The NDP candidate in Vancouver Granville, Yvonne Hanson, has described a recent Elections Canada warning as a "dangerous miscommunication of reality".
The federal election regulator has said that election ads costing $500 or more will be considered partisan if they warn about the dangers of climate change. And registered charities, including many environmental groups, face intense restrictions on being engaged in partisan political activities.
"The recent Elections Canada ruling that talks about climate change as partisan activity is limiting the scope of involvement of our environmentally involved friends," Hanson told the Straight by phone.
She added that this "institutional failure" was not necessarily due to Elections Canada but because of "a lot of working parts that came together".
"And it is a dangerous miscommunication of reality," Hanson claimed.
There's widespread scientific consensus that human activity is causing an accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting in climate change and extreme weather events.
Elections Canada, however, has stated that because People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier doesn't accept this scientific consensus, anyone who promotes this idea in advertising is making a partisan statement.
Protest planned at Liberal event
Hanson registered her objections to the Straight shortly before heading out to a demonstration in Vancouver against Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna.
She's scheduled to speak at an event for Vancouver Granville Liberal candidate Taleeb Noormohamed. It's scheduled at Big Rock Vancouver Brewery & Eatery (310 West 4th Avenue) at 6 p.m.
"Catherine McKenna calls herself a climate leader and yet the Liberal government is investing billions into expanded fossil-fuel infrastructure despite having declared a climate emergency," Hanson said. "It's something that I would consider to be incompatible with climate leadership, so we cannot have any new fossil-fuel infrastructure in a climate emergency.
"We have 10 years left to cut our emissions in half," Hanson continued. "So I am not sure how we are going to pretend that we're going to accomplish that goal if we are then spending billions of dollars of public money actively working against that goal."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised that any profits from the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion will be reinvested in a transition to "clean energy" for Canada.
"The TMX project is a significant investment in Canadians and in Canada’s future that will create thousands of good, middle-class jobs, maintain the highest environmental standards, and fund the clean energy solutions that Canada needs to stay competitive on the global stage," Trudeau said on June 18.
Noormohamed was briefly a candidate last year for the Vision Vancouver mayoral nomination before pulling out for health reasons.
When Vision's last mayor, Gregor Robertson, was in office, he steadfastly opposed the pipeline project, repeatedly warning that it threatened Vancouver's tourist economy if there was ever an oil spill in the waters off Vancouver.