OTTAWA—The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) will be holding the winner of the federal election to account in four main subject areas after receiving substantial replies to its election questionnaire from four of the five main parties.
That is, unless the Conservative Party wins. The RAIC obtained responses from the Liberals, NDP, Greens and Bloc Quebecois but the Conservatives did not respond.
The questionnaire was part of a strategy by the RAIC designed to create awareness of architectural issues among the parties and candidates as well as the public, and also to arm its own members with more information through an election toolkit.
The RAIC asked questions about sustainability, design excellence, living conditions on First Nations reserves and Canada Post community mailboxes.
In the first of four questions, the RAIC asked the parties if they would support the 2030 Challenge, a set of targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings for new or majorly renovated federal buildings.
In response, all four parties pledged to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Green party explicitly stated that it supports the 2030 Challenge for carbon neutrality in new federal building construction and renovation.
"Greens will unleash an army of carpenters, electricians and contractors to take outdated and inefficient public buildings…and plug the energy leaks that increase greenhouse gases and costs," the Green party wrote.
The RAIC asked how Canada should address the design and construction of First Nation communities, some of which have been compared to refugee camps.
The Liberals, NDP and Greens proposed a "nation-to-nation" relationship with First Nations and to improve funding for housing and infrastructure. The Bloc demanded that the federal government work with Aboriginal nations by investing in better housing, among other actions.
"A Liberal government would immediately lift the two-per-cent cap on funding for First Nations programs and re-engage with indigenous communities…to advance progress on critical issues such as access to adequate housing," said the Liberals.
When asked if design excellence must be a high priority for federally funded projects, the Liberals, NDP, Greens and Bloc all agreed.
"The NDP is open to working with provinces, territories and municipalities to improve the dialogue, debate and input into the creative processes that contribute to building better communities," wrote the NDP.
"Understanding the importance of such sustained investment, the RAIC is providing the federal political parties with an opportunity to explain their platforms and elaborate on how they plan to enhance people’s quality of life," says RAIC President Sam Oboh.