Just hours after the leader of the Canadian Conservative Party decreed his party wasn’t one of “climate change deniers,” his party voted at its policy convention on Saturday against acknowledging that “climate change is real.”
One of the proposed changes to the policy book, which was roundly endorsed by Conservative Party Leader Erin O'Toole, simply acknowledges the existence of climate change.
“We recognize that climate change is real,” the resolution says. “The Conservative Party is willing to act.”
The proposal, put forward by the Quebec riding Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier, also declared that “Canadian businesses classified as highly polluting need to take more responsibility” and stated the Conservatives should support green industries.
The resolution was voted down with a slight majority of 54 percent. Out of over 50 policy proposals put forward during the convention only four were voted down.
According to the CBC, Atlantic and Quebec members of the Conservative Party voted in favour of deeming climate change real but every other province’s members did not. Saskatchewan, Alberta, the territories, and Ontario Conservatives were the most strongly opposed.
Earlier this year, a report found the Albertan government paid $28,000 for a report that smeared climate reporters and activists as being part of an environmental conspiracy against the oil and gas industry.
Press Progress reported that Campaign Life Coalition, an anti-abortion group with significant sway over Canadian social conservatives, was spreading conspiracy theories about climate change ahead of the vote. In pamphlets instructing supporters on how they should vote at the convention, the Campaign Life Coalition wrote, “Global warming is being used by global elites and the United Nations to advance population control through abortion and sterilization.”
Just hours before the Conservative Party members rejected science, O’Toole gave a speech where he said he would not allow his “candidates to defend against the lie from the Liberals that we are a party of climate change deniers.” Despite the embarrassing results of the vote, O’Toole said afterwards the Conservative Party would treat climate change as real and create “a serious and comprehensive plan.”
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.