EDITORIAL: Bernier giving Canadians more reason to ignore PPC

Online First Opinions

Maxime Bernier wants to be Prime Minister of Canada. But what would-be PM attacks a 16-year-old girl by calling her “mentally unstable” because she advocates about climate change.

Well, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) has done just that in a fiery tweet-storm towards Greta Thuneberg, the Swedish teen that just completed a zero-carbon transatlantic voyage to attend a climate change conference in New York.

Thuneberg became a European celebrity of sorts last year when she refused to go to school in the weeks before the country’s general election as she highlighted the impact of climate change. She continued the school strike on Fridays after the election, spurring thousands of young people to follow suit. Since then, she’s met the pope, spoken at Davos and attended anti-coal protests in Germany.

In a series of tweets in late August, Bernier called Thunberg “the international mascot for climate alarmism” and claimed she is being used as “a convenient shield” by the left.

“@GretaThunberg is clearly mentally unstable,” he tweeted. “Not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression and lethargy, and she lives in a constant state of fear. She wants us to feel the same: ‘I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I fear every day.’”

“My concern is not for @GretaThunberg’s feelings, but for the millions of Canadians and people in other countries who will be poorer, will suffer and have their lives upended if we let her and the gusting movement she represents impose their radical ideas,” he later added.

The tweets had many people replying back against his assertions and name calling of the 16-year-old. There were also many replies in support of Bernier, which made things that more frustrating as a Canadian myself to read.

The PPC disputes climate change, according to its environmental platform. It refuses to accept the scientific consensus that global warming caused by human activity has put the future of the planet in serious jeopardy.

“Many renowned scientists continue to challenge this theory,” it states.

How can a grown man like Bernier think that was the right thing to do and would garner him any idea of support? Which one of his advisers gave the green light for this tirade.

It is so unprofessional and un-Canadian as anything I can remember. If anything his tweet-storm has done more harm than good for his party, which currently polls as the cellar dweller in many of the polls I’ve seen. It seems Bernier and the PPC are grasping at straws to get any publicity they can. Guess they’re going by the old adage “any publicity is good publicity.” I reckon this is not the type of publicity any party with a real chance to win seats in October’s federal election would want.

It is Greta’s generation—the ones going to our schools this year—that will have to pay for our lack of action on climate change unless we do something. All Greta wants is for her generation to not suffer.

Attacking her because of her autism and labelling her as Bernier does anything but endear me to even consider your party at the ballot box. And I suspect I’m not the only Canadian that thinks that way.

  • Pat Healey