Did you hear the news this week? Environmental groups have been warned by Elections Canada that if they speak of the perils of climate change, it could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, of the People’s Party of Canada, because he doesn’t believe it’s a thing.
What does this mean?
It means that discussing climate change is a partisan activity and if a group engages in it, they would have to register as a third party for the election, which could then jeopardize the group’s charitable tax status.
Mr. Bernier has the remarkably bone-headed opinion that climate change isn’t real. Or, if it is a little bit real, it’s part of natural cycle of the earth. Not caused by man. Not one little bit. And certainly, there is no urgency to do anything about it, according to Mr. Bernier.
I call the opinion bone-headed because… science. And bone-heads.
“There is no climate change urgency in this country,” Bernier said in a speech in June, reports the Canadian Press.
This despite a recent government report that says Canada is on the verge of warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, and that for the north, the rate is almost three times the global average.
In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C.
I mean why to do you think President Donald Trump is suddenly interested ‘buying’ Greenland? It’s not for its icebergs. It’s because it is melting at an astounding rate, making resource extraction, not to mention control of access to arctic shipping lanes and resources, suddenly very attractive. Soon Greenland will have warmer beaches, where Trump hotels could suddenly go up.
Trump doesn’t believe in global warming either, but he’s not going to let that stop him from making a buck.
But Bernier prefers to stay with his head fully buried in the sand.
And because of that, environmental groups, whose very purpose is to advocate for the planet, will not be allowed to advocate for it, so as not to bruise Bernier’s delicate feels.
Let me clarify, they can discuss it, they just can’t have any campaigns or activity undertaken by the group that costs more than $500. So no ads, nothing that would exceed $500 in costs.
So if a politician suddenly came out and said I don’t believe drinking impairs your ability to drive, would MADD have to stop discussion around drinking and driving during an election period? So as not to appear partisan? Even though the vast majority of the population do accept that drinking does cause impaired driving?
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
Just because a politician says something, does not make it true.
Politicians have been saying dumb things since the dawn of time. That doesn’t mean it’s a hard fact.
As Catherien Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network Canada says, “Climate change is a scientific fact,” she said. “It’s not an opinion.”
As reported this week by Black Press, an Elections Canada spokeswoman says the rules around advertising for third parties are not new, but concedes the concerns about climate change may be coming up only now because the environment is poised to play a bigger role in the campaign, which is expected to get underway early next month.
But good news as the week went on, Bernier himself called Elections Canada’s statement “absurd”, saying the law should only regulate partisan advertising when there is mention of a candidate or party by name.
Score one for the non-boneheads.