More of the same from Conservatives at the Manning Conference: The politics of fear and division

Ottawa, ON – The following is a statement from Rodger Cuzner, Liberal M.P. for Cape Breton—Canso:

“The 2019 Manning Networking Conference kicks off today with an agenda that includes the Conservative Party returning to many of its usual topics: the demonization of immigrants, a refusal to denounce far-right extremists, and making pollution free again. Here are some highlights of their 3-day event:

  • Today, the conference will begin with a short speech from Preston Manning who has said he supports pollution pricing “wholeheartedly”. Unfortunately, Andrew Scheer refuses to believe the science, despite having started his political career working for Manning.
  • On Saturday morning, Doug Ford’s speech will segue into a pro-pollution rally on Parliament Hill. This event comes just one month after the Yellow Vest Convoy at the same location, attended by Andrew Scheer and Faith Goldy – who has been widely described as a ‘white nationalist.’
  • In the afternoon, Andrew Scheer’s speech will be followed by a session entitled “New Approaches to Tackling Climate Change”. This will feature economist Ross McKitrick, a climate change denier with no scientific credentials who states that climate action isn’t cost-effective and that CO2 emissions are beneficial to the environment.
  • On Sunday, a conservative columnist and one of Doug Ford’s failed candidates will participate in a discussion entitled “Can Canadian History Be Saved from the Mob?” Between them, they have an extensive track record of questionable commentary. Among a long list of controversies, the columnist is probably best known for a series of editorials in which she decried Quebec as “the most anti-Israel of all the provinces” and as a sanctuary for Hezbollah – while Ford’s failed candidate is known for promoting the belief that businesses and schools should be legally permitted to only serve specific ethnicities.

“Once again, it’s disappointing to see that the Conservatives are failing to address issues important to Canadians. Their refusal to put forward a plan to tackle climate change, combined with their refusal to denounce violent extremism, shows just how out of touch they are.  Our Liberal government will continue to confront these important issues head-on and strive for a better and stronger Canada.”