2020 has been a very hard year so far and with everything that’s going on in the World, I think we can agree that we are dealing with some very hard times and big issues. It’s in these moments that we look to our elected leaders to rise above the usual crap, partisanship and ideological blindness that we see all too often in our politics daily. I think we can easily say that while some elected officials have managed to do that, many haven’t.
While we can rightfully look down our collective noses and some of the insanity, we’re seeing in the United States with the Trump administration, we’ve got some stuff in our own back yard we can’t ignore. And folks, a prime example of that took place today in the House of Commons, where MPs are debating an Opposition Day motion on the struggles in our economy. You’d think this would be a conversation for facts and ideas, but folks you don’t know one Cheryl Gallant, MP:
Okay folks, if you want me to act shocked that Cheryl Gallant said something that was ignorant of facts and such, I just can’t be. This is the same MP who just a few of years ago use an image of slain Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in a partisan fundraiser that offered potential donors Easter hams. Yep, you read that right. She’s also the MP who just last year claimed that “smoking weed is destroying the environment” and also attacked media outlets in her own fake news YouTube video, calling outlets like CBC and Global News “fake news”. Of their coverage, she said that “this collusion between the elite-stream media and the Liberals will only increase over the next two years.”
Ahh, yes, just the kind of balanced stuff we’re looking for right? Well here’s the thing about that clip above of Mrs. Gallant; not only did she deny the premise of climate change, it turns out that her fact finding in Australian was missing an important thing: facts. Behold this:
Yeah, it turns out that claim of “200 people charged with arson” is a bunch of misinformation that was spread by the likes of Donald Trump and Sean Hannity, misinformation that was thoroughly debunked by this piece on Vox.com. As it points out, “legal action was taken against 183 people since November 8, 2019, for fire-related offenses, including things like improperly discarding cigarettes or not taking enough precautions around machinery”, which is not arson, a very specific crime involving criminal intent. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough the piece goes onto say that “legal action “ranges from cautions through to criminal charges,” according to New South Wales police”. So to be very clear, not all of those people who were subject to “legal action” was charged with any crime at all. Oh, and if you want to put a cherry on that crap sundae, it turns out that not all of these penalties are for incidents linked to the wildfires. As the report finishes with, only 24 people are currently facing criminal charges for deliberately igniting fires in New South Wales, and even fewer have actually managed to start large fires. Yeah folks, that 200 number keeps getting smaller and smaller.
It’s almost as if you shouldn’t trust things that Donald Trump and Sean Hannity tweet to try to debunk climate change, right? Funny that. And to cap all of this, it turns out that the police specifically had to debunk this “arson started Australia’s wildfires” stuff. Again in the Vox.com piece:
“Officials in the state of Victoria have also refuted arson as a major cause of bushfires. “Police are aware of a number of posts circulating in relation to the current bushfire situation, however currently there is no intelligence to indicate that the fires in East Gippsland and north-east Victoria have been caused by arson or any other suspicious behaviour,” a police spokeswoman told The Age on Thursday. In the State of South Australia, 10 people have been arrested since September for deliberate or reckless fire behavior.https://www.vox.com/2020/1/9/21058332/australia-fires-arson-lightning-explained
Yep folks, it’s all Grade A bull plop from Cheryl Gallant, a longtime serving Conservative MP who brought that out when trying to downplay climate change. That’s what she brought to a serious discussion about the state of the Canadian economy, in a motion brought by her own party might I add. It goes without saying that Mrs. Gallant should be ashamed of herself for uttering climate denial misinformation in the House of Commons, ensuring it was read into the record, but being Cheryl, I doubt she’ll be the least bit ashamed. She hasn’t shown shame for any of her past scandalous behaviour, so why would she start now? But on a day when the Conservative Party was supposedly trying to focus on the betterment of our economy, that’s who they put up to speak, to say those kinds of things. Needless to say, that’s not rising to this serious moment and if a party decides to continue to act in such an unserious way, they shouldn’t be shocked when Canadians refuse to take them seriously when they come to ask for their votes.