Andrea Rondeau column: Climate change is not partisan

I haven’t been so outraged by a news story in a long time

We are far, far past the point where this is just a matter of opinion.

I haven’t been so outraged by a news story in a long time as I was when I read about how Elections Canada has warned some environmental charities that speaking out about the urgency of climate change (for some of them, basically, what they do) during the upcoming federal election period may be considered partisan. This is all because fringe party leader Maxime Bernier (People’s Party of Canada) is a climate change denier.

RELATED: Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

We must be able to call a spade a spade. We cannot allow one person’s dinosaur assertions to muzzle everyone on a topic that is so essential to the future of every living thing on this planet. Climate change and what the various parties are planning to do about avoiding the imminent tipping points climate scientists around the world tell us are rushing to meet us absolutely should be a central election issue. Whether climate change is real should not. Only those deeply in denial, for whatever reason, can still ignore this threat. Those few cannot be given an outsized voice to set the agenda. Environmental charities (and everyone else) must be allowed to state facts, even if they don’t support a nutty policy position from one party.

I’m incredibly disappointed in Elections Canada. Either they, too, are guilty of insanely backwards thinking or they are utterly lacking in courage.

Elections Canada has said they’ll decide separately on each case whether discussion about climate change is partisan or not, and only if it gets complaints. But you can bet the climate change deniers, some backed by extremely deep pockets looking to protect their own financial interests, will be scouring the news for any excuse to file such a complaint. I don’t blame charities at all for being gun shy. If they are found to have done something partisan they could be in hot water not only with Elections Canada, but with the Canada Revenue Agency over their tax exempt status.

And all for stating facts. What next? A fringe party that decides the world is flat, and anyone who says differently is suddenly partisan? So anyone now can just make any quack claim not backed up by science and we have to treat it seriously? Not in this space at least.

Elections Canada must find its backbone and reassess its position. Nothing else is acceptable.

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