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

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Four 100 Mile-based Stormriders deployed to California

There they will join thousands of firefighters working to contain over 25 major wildfires

Police impound tiny home, trailer en route to the Yukon

A Vancouver Island driver was pulled over on Highway 97 after serious concerns with his custom-built trailer.

UPDATED: Crews dealing with power outages in South Cariboo

BC Hydro crews are working on restoring power to 63 customers on Mahood Lake Road.

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read