McKenna defends Canada’s climate credibility amid Trudeau controversy

McKenna defends Canada’s climate credibility amid Trudeau controversy

Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna promised to advocate for a full ban on single-use plastics

Liberal cabinet minister Catherine McKenna says Canada still has credibility on the world stage as a climate change champion despite the controversy over Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s past dressing in blackface.

McKenna, the environment minister, tried to push the fractious federal election campaign onto more familiar territory for her and her embattled party on Saturday, framing the fight against climate change as the core issue facing voters.

Trudeau had to contend with global mockery on Friday, including from late-night American comedians as images of the three times he chose to put on black- or brownface as part of costume events continued to flash around the world. U.S. President Donald Trump said he was surprised by the images of Trudeau.

McKenna promised to advocate for a ban on single-use plastics from federal government buildings, museums and parks at an event on the shores of the Ottawa River just west of Parliament Hill. The pledge was part of her local campaign as the MP for Ottawa Centre, and was not a plank in her party’s federal platform.

McKenna deflected a question about whether the controversy had undermined Canada’s efforts to lead globally on climate change.

“The measure of a person and of a party should be based on what you have done,” she said, citing Canada’s international actions to tackle climate change and “provide a leadership role at the table” as well as ”action to combat racism or our announcement yesterday that we would eliminate assault weapons.”

She added that “this election could not be more important,” noting that issues like climate change are at stake.

“We have (a) Conservative Party and Conservative politicians who do not believe in action on climate change,” McKenna said.

Trudeau wasn’t campaigning Saturday and neither was Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. Both were taking a break from the road, as is common on Saturdays during federal elections, after keeping up full-tilt schedules since the federal election call on Sept. 11.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh campaigned in Toronto, reiterating his commitment to help self-employed workers who are feeling left behind economically.

Singh was campaigning with Andrew Cash, a former NDP MP who’s trying to take back his Davenport seat from the Liberals. They held a discussion on precarious work at a neighbourhood coffee shop.

Green Leader Elizabeth May is in Winnipeg, where she’s to make an announcement in the morning and campaign with Manitoba Green candidates at The Forks later.

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier is in northern Ontario for a plowing match and a rally in North Bay.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Kyla Gibson with her boyfriend Gavin Hardy. (Photo used with permission)
Sylvan Lake couple lose ‘fur babies’ to house fire

‘They were our world and nothing will ever replace them,’ Kyla Gibson said of her three pets

File Photo
Sylvan Lake challenging locals to Lap the Lake

Locals are challenged to walk 37 km in 30 days to “lap the lake” for charity

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. Public opposition to the Alberta government’s plans to expand coal mining in the Rocky Mountains appears to be growing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File
Alberta cancels coal leases, pauses future sales, as opposition increases

New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt welcomed the suspension

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

Most Read