Rex Murphy: Scheer and Trudeau both continue their tiresome climate charades

Scheer, just like Justin Trudeau, had to show that he, too, has a plan to meet those sacred Paris commitments

Rex Murphy
June 21, 2019

“Daddy, what did you do in the Climate War?”

“Son, I carpooled twice a week, and (his voice breaks, a tear bleeds down his cheek) gave up stir sticks and plastic coffee lids.”

Quoted from It was Hard: Tales from the Climate War (Patmos Publications, 2077).

It is a fiction and a delusion that Canada is in any way now or ever will be a significant influence, for good or ill, in the dreary, endless, pup-chasing-its-own-tail “fight against climate change.”

Canada’s leverage over the future climate of the entire planet is incidental and trivial. We are as a toothpick among redwoods. This is acknowledged. Were we to halt this country’s entire energy output, the race to eco-apocalypse that the doom-mongers say we’re on would not be slowed by a week. The coal mines of India and China would see to that.

It is a fiction and a delusion that Canada is in any way now or ever will be a significant influence 

We are, of course, not contemplating anything like that. Instead the Liberal government has instituted a pot-holed energy tax which by the very most optimistic projections will hardly dent the nation’s overall energy use. This it calls “fighting climate change.” Canada as a whole contributes the most meagre fraction to the (putative) problem; the Liberal “plan” aims to decrease that meagre fraction by an even more meagre fraction. In the climate wars, Canadian politicians are spectators pretending to be contenders.

And what was the key element of the approval? That any profits from the just-re-approved Trans Mountain pipeline — should it ever get built — will be thrown to Liberal-picked “green projects.” Projects with one aim: to end the oil industry which supplied the money for them. This week’s announcement has the Liberal government promising to phase out the oil industry with the industry’s own money. Economics meets assisted dying.

As for Andrew Scheer’s cloud of blather (“Canada, yes us, is going to ‘invent’ the world out of climate doom”), it was another tepid spasm of “I’m the reasonable one here.” Instead of going to Fort McMurray, which is where energy policy should be announced if he wanted to show where his heart is, Scheer was in front of a picture-postcard calm lake under a beautiful blue sky — the kind of PR background you might find in a Greenpeace fundraising ad. It lacked only a swan with blue feathers and someone reciting Wordsworth.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is joined by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna as he announces the government has reapproved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, on June 18, 2019, on Parliament Hill. Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Scheer, just like Justin Trudeau, had to show that he, too, has a plan to meet those sacred Paris commitments, and join the crusade against carbon dioxide wherever it takes him.

Both “plans” are trite. They address a global problem that Canada has not the least competence to fix. Both are pious and cowardly concessions to the mindset that not to be seen talking about or “taking steps to address climate change” would put them offside the politically sanctified posture of “concern” for the planet. They are meant only to appease: to appease the international green clerisy, the perpetually agitated world-savers of radical environmentalism, such nomads of anti-capitalism as Naomi Klein, and finally to stave off the fitful rants of California-based guitar-picking ecologists like Neil Young.

Not to genuflect to this band — and here’s the real killer — might create the impression that they are more concerned about laid-off workers, the Canadian economy, and in particular defending Alberta from the storm of antagonistic propaganda, homegrown and international, that has swirled over that province’s economic life-force for over a decade. Instead of the mewling “living up to our Paris commitments,” how about a new slogan: “Restoring Alberta’s standing in the Confederation and bringing back jobs to citizens.”

Both ‘plans’ are trite … Both are pious and cowardly concessions 

Neither, if they believe the rhetoric of climate change, has the stomach to say, if it’s the emergency we proclaim it is, let’s shut down half of our industries, ration car and air travel, put gasoline on a high-price ledge, and take the hit. The gap between declaring a “national climate emergency” and what this government is actually imposing as a response to it, is laughable. Ban plastic straws in A&W takeouts and underwrite cold storage for the Weston’s! Maybe trite doesn’t cover it.

As for the grand announcement itself — that approval was being granted for the TMX pipeline project — what exactly was that?

Four cabinet ministers and the prime minister for the announcement of an approval (was it the second or third?) of an extension to a pipeline, built in the 1950s, that has been sitting in regulatory remand for eight years? And has run through 17 court cases. And umpteen professional protests. And the departure of the company that ran it, owned it and wanted to build the damn extension, due to sheer frustration with the mess of Canadian green obstructionism, and government’s prostrate, supine response to that campaign.

A protester holds a photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a Vancouver protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on May 29, 2018. Darryl Dyck/CP

All five powerful leaders sat there looking like they’d lost a favoured aunt to announce that – wow! — the Canadian government is approving an extension to — gasp! — a pipeline! Why, this is The Last Spike in our time. A nation-building moment if ever there was one. This is better than the Raptors. Or a climate emergency debate. Or plastic straws. If only Stompin’ Tom was still with us so we could get a ballad out of this. Let us all stand and sing the anthem.

Here’s the bottom line to this week’s dual charade. Trudeau had to say yes — how sad this is — to one pipeline. And Scheer had to show that he knows where Paris is, and cares about global warming. It was a pre-election dance for the both of them. Assemble the panels. We have a lot of chattering to do.

Report: Internet Users Who Call For Attacking Other Countries Will Now Be Enlisted In The Military Automatically

Arwen~ Ha!

June 21st, 2019


U.S.—A new policy issued by the United States Department of Defense, in conjunction with online platforms like Twitter and Facebook, will automatically enlist you to fight in a foreign war if you post your support for attacking another country.

People who bravely post about how the U.S. needs to invade some country in the Middle East or Asia or outer space will get a pop-up notice indicating they’ve been enlisted in the military. A recruiter will then show up at their house and whisk them away to fight in the foreign war they wanted to happen so badly.

“Frankly, recruitment numbers are down, and we needed some way to find people who are really enthusiastic about fighting wars,” said a DOD official. “Then it hit us like a drone strike: there are plenty of people who argue vehemently for foreign intervention. It doesn’t matter what war we’re trying to create: Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, China—these people are always reliable supporters of any invasion abroad. So why not get them there on the frontlines?”

“After all, we want people who are passionate about occupying foreign lands, not grunts who are just there for the paycheck,” he added.

Strangely, as soon as the policy was implemented, 99% of saber-rattling suddenly ceased.”

Jordan Peterson: Gender politics has no place in the classroom

A six-year-old girl became confused about her identity after an Ottawa teacher taught her class that ‘girls are not real and boys are not real’

National PostJordan Peterson

June 21, 2019

Back in September of 2016, I released three videos, expressing my concern about Bill C-16, which was then under consideration by the federal government, following the passage of similar legislation in a number of provinces. C-16 purported to merely add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. However, it was embedded in a web of policy, much of it created by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which indicated that the bill comprised the tip of a very large iceberg. I was particularly upset with the insistence that failure to use the “preferred pronouns” chosen by individuals whose gender-related identity did not fit neatly, according to their personal judgement, into the standard categories of boy and girl or man and woman would now become an offence punishable by law.

Worse is the insistence characteristic of the bill, the policies associated with it, and the tenth-rate academic dogmas driving the entire charade, that “identity” is something solely determined by the individual in question (whatever that identity might be). Even sociologists (neither the older, classical, occasionally useful type, nor the modern, appalling, and positively counterproductive type) don’t believe this. They understand that identity is a social role, which means that it is by necessity socially negotiated. And there’s a reason for this. An identity — a role — is not merely what you think you are, moment to moment, or year by year, but, as the Encyclopedia Britannica has it (specifically within its sociology section), “a comprehensive pattern of behavior that is socially recognized, providing a means of identifying and placing an individual in society,” also serving “as a strategy for coping with recurrent situations and dealing with the roles of others (e.g., parent-child roles).”

Your identity is not the clothes you wear, or the fashionable sexual preference or behaviour you adopt and flaunt, or the causes driving your activism, or your moral outrage at ideas that differ from yours: properly understood, it’s a set of complex compromises between the individual and society as to how the former and the latter might mutually support one another in a sustainable, long-term manner. It’s nothing to alter lightly, as such compromise is very difficult to attain, constituting as it does the essence of civilization itself, which took eons to establish, and understanding, as we should, that the alternative to the adoption of socially-acceptable roles is conflict — plain, simple and continual, as well as simultaneously psychological and social.

To the degree that identity is not biological (and much, but not all of it is), then it’s a drama enacted in the world of other people. An identity provides rules for social interactions that everyone understands; it provides generic but vitally necessary direction and purpose in life. If you’re a child, and you’re playing a pretend game with your friends, you negotiate your identity, so the game can be properly played. You do the same in the real world, whether you are a child, an adolescent, or an adult. To refuse to engage in the social aspect of identity negotiation — to insist that what you say you are is what everyone must accept — is simply to confuse yourself and everyone else (as no one at all understands the rules of your game, not least because they have not yet been formulated).

Your identity is not the clothes you wear, or the fashionable sexual preference or behaviour you adopt and flaunt, or the causes driving your activism, or your moral outrage at ideas that differ from yours 

The continually expanded plethora of “identities” recently constructed and provided with legal status thus consist of empty terms which (1) do not provide those who claim them with any real social role or direction; (2) confuse all who must deal with the narcissism of the claimant, as the only rule that can exist in the absence of painstakingly, voluntarily and mutually negotiated social role is “it’s morally wrong to say or do anything that hurts my feelings”; (3) risks generating psychological chaos among the vast majority of individuals exposed to the doctrines that insist that identity is essentially fluid and self-generating (and here I’m primarily concerned about children and adolescents whose standard or normative identity has now merely become one personal choice among a near-infinite array of ideologically and legally defined modes of being), and (4) poses a further and unacceptably dangerous threat to the stability of the nuclear family, which consists, at minimum, of a dyad, male and female, coming together primarily for the purposes of raising children in what appears to be the minimal viable social unit (given the vast and incontrovertible body of evidence that fatherlessness, in particular, is associated with heightened risk for criminality, substance abuse, and poorly regulated sexual behaviour among children, adolescents and the adults that they eventually become).

So why bring all this up again? This week, journalist Barbara Kay released a story on The Post Millennial website about an application filed before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario by the parents of a six year girl, “N,” who was made subject to the new tenets of gender identity theory by her hypothetically well-meaning elementary school teacher at Devonshire Community Public School (Ottawa-Carleton District School Board). According to Kay’s account, the teacher insisted to the children that “there is no such thing as girls and boys,” and “girls are not real and boys are not real.” In consequence, “N” began to manifest substantial confusion about her identity. She asked her parents why her existence as a girl was not real. She asked to see a doctor for an opinion. She became unsettled about the reality of her biological existence. Her concern persisted over a three-month period — a long time in the life of a young person.

Consider this: At the tender age of six, “N” was being required, first, to question an identity she had spent continual and effortful time developing since (at minimum) the age of two — learning the rules she understood to be generically appropriate for her role, so that she knew how to fit in, play her part, get along, refrain from violating the expectations of her peers and the adults she interacted with, and planning, as best as she could, her course through life as a female. Second, she was being required to question what constitutes “real” — because if you are six, and you’re a girl, and you know it (and so does everyone else), and you are now being told that none of that is “real,” then the whole idea of reality becomes shaky and unstable. The seriousness of the philosophical and psychological confusion that such demands are capable of generating should not be underestimated.

The seriousness of the philosophical and psychological confusion that such demands are capable of generating should not be underestimated 

I can barely envision a pedagogical strategy less conducive to stable early childhood development, particularly for a thoughtful child, which is exactly what “N” seems to be — much to her detriment, in this situation. Trusting her teacher, as she apparently did, “N” listened to her lessons and tried to think through what the complicated and internally contradictory mess of information she was presented with might actually signify — and failing, as was inevitable, because there is nothing that it signifies that is reasonable, logical, practical, or true. No matter: “gender fluidity” is school board policy, even for six-year olds, and the distress of a perfectly normal child at the lessons is a price well worth paying to ensure that ideological purity, no matter how counterproductive and absurd, is stringently maintained. Better the child suffers than the teacher thinks. Better the entire educational system reformulates itself around the new dogma (and to hell with the possibility that the experiment might go wrong) than the ideologues governing its structure question their absurd and fundamentally resentful presumptions.

Despite discussing their concerns with the school principal, the superintendent of the school board, and the curriculum superintendent, the parents allege that all these authorities refused to agree to “communicate with parents when sensitive discussions took place” (remember, these are six year olds) and would not issue any directive or take any corrective action “to ensure that children of female gender identity were positively affirmed.” “N’s” parents have since moved their child to another school where the same absolutely inexcusable foolishness has not yet repeated itself. And now we’re going to find out — courtesy of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (an organization in which I could hardly have less faith and which should be abolished as soon as possible) — whether little girls have the right to maintain their normative, common, practical and realistic world-view and opinion of their own bodies, or whether that is trumped administratively and legally by the existence of the incoherent set of rights inexcusably and forcibly granted to the tiny minority of people who insist that their “identities” are entirely self-generated and absolutely inviolate socially and legally. I would place a strong bet on the latter, and I think the fact that it’s come to that is to our great collective shame and danger.

The silence of the majority on such issues — driven, I think, by fear of the purposeful and genuinely dangerous social alienation likely to be generated in the wake of any given individual’s objections (regardless of how representative of the majority those objections happen to be) — will, in my opinion, generate a state of affairs among our children and adolescents that we will come in the decades to follow to deeply and profoundly regret.

Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and the author of the multi-million copy bestseller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. His blog and podcasts can be found at

Ross McKitrick: Apocalyptic rhetoric about extreme weather keeps ramping up. But experts say there’s no emergency

Clip out this column, keep it close at hand, and quote from the experts when the occasion arises

Legions of self-appointed “fact checkers” readily ignore even the most deranged exaggerations by politicians if they serve the cause of alarmism.Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

Special to Financial Post Ross McKitrick

June 21, 2019

By Ross McKitrick

On June 7, I published an op-ed on this page telling the story of Roger Pielke Jr., a U.S. climate expert whose research on climate change and extreme weather didn’t support many of the alarmist slogans on the subject. Despite his findings being squarely in the mainstream of his academic specialty, for stating them publicly Pielke Jr. was vilified, bullied and eventually harassed into quitting the field.

Conservative MP Lisa Raitt tweeted a link to my article. As if to prove the point of the story, the climate mob quickly vilified, bullied and harassed her into deleting her tweet.

I wrote Lisa an open letter, hoping she would notice the pattern. Legions of self-appointed “fact checkers” readily ignore even the most deranged exaggerations by politicians if they serve the cause of alarmism but will pile on aggressively and relentlessly against any efforts to bring evidence into the discussion.

But let us not be deterred. The evidence is in the relevant sections of the past Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report, which I will now quote at length. Read these paragraphs and ask yourself if the word “emergency” applies. Ask yourself if it sounds anything like what you have been repeatedly told by our environment minister and the prime minister, who speak so often about these things.

Flooding: “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.” (p. 214)

To which they added, in their 2012 report on the subject, “In the United States and Canada during the 20th century and in the early 21st century, there is no compelling evidence for climate-driven changes in the magnitude or frequency of floods.” (p. 176)

Droughts: “In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century, owing to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice.” (p. 215)

The case against a climate ’emergency’ is in the reports 

The report goes on to point out that there is a decreasing trend in droughts in central North America.

Precipitation: “In summary, confidence in precipitation change averaged over global land areas is low for the years prior to 1950 and medium afterwards because of insufficient data, particularly in the earlier part of the record. Available globally incomplete records show mixed and non-significant long-term trends in reported global mean changes. Further, when virtually all the land area is filled in using a reconstruction method, the resulting time series shows less change in land-based precipitation since 1900.” (p. 202 )

Extreme precipitation: “(It) is likely that since 1951 there have been statistically significant increases in the number of heavy precipitation events (e.g., above the 95th percentile) in more regions than there have been statistically significant decreases, but there are strong regional and subregional variations in the trends. In particular, many regions present statistically non-significant or negative trends, and, where seasonal changes have been assessed, there are also variations between seasons.” (pp. 213-14)

Additionally, Environment Canada continues to maintain that “the observational record has not yet shown evidence of consistent changes in short-duration precipitation extremes across (Canada).”

Here is what the IPCC said about tornado trends in its 2012 report: “There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.” (p. 151). They went on to say they don’t know if there is a connection with greenhouse gases because some changes could increase conditions conducive to tornado formation and others could decrease them.

And there’s more. Read the presentation by Roger Pielke Jr. that started this whole episode. Hurricane intensity and landfalls, hurricane-related flooding and tropical cyclones all fail to exhibit significant trends. Weather-related damages are growing because population and wealth are growing, but it hasn’t been attributed to climate change.

The IPCC does say that as temperatures have gone up in many places, maximum temperatures have gone up, though less than minimum temperatures. So there’s that. But in Environment Canada’s recent report on Canada’s Changing Climate, most of what they say about heatwaves concerns model predictions of the future. Regarding observed trends, they conclude: “For North America and Central America, there is medium confidence that more regions have experienced increases in heatwaves and warm spells than have experienced decreases.” (p. 34) That’s about it.

Apocalyptic rhetoric about extreme weather continues to ramp up as politicians try to menace Canadians into backing their climate policies. Clip out this column, keep it close at hand, and quote from the experts when the occasion arises. Just be prepared to be dismissed as a science denier.

Ross McKitrick is a Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph and a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute. For the full version of his “Dear Lisa” letter, click here.

Prescriptions for the Dominion

by Mark Steyn
The Mark Steyn Show
June 21, 2019

Mark Steyn and Conrad Black sit down to discuss Conrad’s new book, The Canadian Manifesto, in this Mark Steyn Show special on the eve of Dominion Day.

Our Canadian readers will know that Dominion Day – or “Canada Day” as it’s regrettably known – is around the corner, on which Mark’s home and native land will celebrate its 152nd birthday. To mark the occasion, we bring you this special edition of The Mark Steyn Show, featuring Mark’s friend and old boss Conrad Black, or as he’s formally titled, The Rt Hon, The Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Fresh off the heels of his presidential pardon, about which Mark wrote here, the two chat about Conrad’s newest book, The Canadian Manifesto: How One Frozen Country Can Save the World.

The book spends a bit of time going through Canada’s history, and the country’s unique relationship with the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. Then, Conrad lays out his prescriptions for Canada. Some rooted in policy, others in shaking up the fundamental structure of Canadian democracy.

From the erasure of historic Canadian figures to what an ideal Canadian healthcare system would look like, to the annexation of the Turks and Caicos, this wide-ranging chat has it all.

You can watch the episode on YouTube, though for convenience it’s also embedded below:

GORDON: Is Andrew Scheer for the $595 million media bailout or not?

Scheer needs to realize that anything short of opposing the media bailout is an utter betrayal of fundamental conservative principles as well as the future of the Conservative movement in Canada.

Excerpt from article: “Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of bribing the media last fall when the Liberals announced their government was planning to give political journalism $595 million bailout. It was a fair assessment to make, but over the better part of a year, Scheer has not categorically come out against a bailout of the media.

Often what is left unsaid by a politician is far more important than what is said.  ”

Arwen~ Exactly

Read full article here:



JUNE 21, 2019

Sometimes, a chilling reality is illuminated not so much by what someone says but by the laughter that it provokes.

At the Cambridge Union debating society on Sunday, asked why he’d made a point of associating Jews with money, the Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, replied: “I have some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends.”

At which a great gust of laughter swept across his audience. They thought this swipe at Jewish people was funny.

In London this week, I took part in an Intelligence Squared debate before a hostile audience of 950 in which the former Israeli MK Einat Wilf and I were proposing that anti-Zionism was antisemitism.

When I observed that the Israelis go to unique lengths to avoid killing civilians in war and that the ratio of civilians to fighters whose deaths they cause is at least three or four times better than in any other country, the audience laughed derisively. When I said Israeli Arabs enjoyed full civil rights, the audience laughed again in disbelief.

It reminded me of the moment on BBC TV’s Question Time show in 2001, when I pointed out to a venomous audience that Israel was the only democracy in the Middle East. The audience laughed in scorn.

To be a proud Jew in Britain now is to feel oppressed inside a mirrored universe in which truth and lies have been reversed and what was once thought beyond the pale is now standard discourse.

Mahathir Mohamad has a long record as a virulent antisemite. Bitterly criticized for giving him a platform, the Cambridge Union defended itself by saying the laughter had emanated from Mohamad’s own delegation and critics should watch the whole discussion rather than a clip out of context.

But the whole discussion was much worse. For Mohamad made one antisemitic comment after another with only the most feeble of pushbacks.

He was given a broadly unchallenged opportunity to say this: “Not all Jews are bad. I have lot of Jewish friends here in Britain but most support wrong things in Israel… The Jews do a lot of wrong things which force us to pass comment… I’m waiting for the Jewish people to separate themselves from the deeds of Israelis. If I could I would punish this country which has stolen other people’s land, killed a lot of people, broken international laws.”

He wasn’t challenged on his gross libels against Israel, merely asked whether it was fair to condemn Jews in general for the “alleged” crimes of the Jewish state.

In Mohamad’s mind, the crimes of Israel and the Jews formed one seamless robe. That should come as no surprise. Yet many think anti-Zionism and antisemitism are two entirely different ideologies.

As I said in the Intelligence Squared debate, however, they cannot be separated. Anti-Zionism has weaponized antisemitism. The unique characteristics of antisemitism are replicated in anti-Zionism because anti-Zionism is the modern mutation of antisemitism.

Antisemitism is an obsessional hatred based entirely on lies; it accuses the Jews of crimes of which they are not only innocent but the victims; it holds them to standards expected of no one else; it depicts them as a global conspiracy of unique malice and power.

Anti-Zionism has exactly the same characteristics. It singles out the Jewish people alone as having no right to their own ancient homeland and, based on the big lie that the Jews stole the land, writes the Jews uniquely out of their own history.

The associated Israel-bashing demonizes, dehumanizes and delegitimizes Israel in order to bring about its destruction. It does this through a narrative of lies.

Some of these falsehoods were duly trotted out by our opponents in the debate: the Israeli anti-Zionist academic at Exeter University, Ilan Pappe, and the Al Jazeera journalist Mehdi Hasan.

Hasan proved himself to be an unscrupulous demagogue, rousing his Israel-bashing audience to wild support through the brazen tactic of reversing what I had just said. Repeatedly and hysterically, he claimed I was calling all anti-Zionists antisemites.

But this was the very opposite of what I had said. Many who subscribe to anti-Zionism, I said, were not antisemites. Plenty are; but many others subscribe to Israel-bashing lies without realizing they are lies.

They truly believe the lie that the “Palestinians” were the original inhabitants of the land, that Israel is a serial human rights abuser and all the rest of the calumnies. They believe them because they are the default position of the intelligentsia pumped out by the media, most importantly by the BBC, with virtually no public challenge.

Of course, none of this was to any avail. Demagoguery and falsehoods won that debate hands down.

Einat and I had been under no illusions and had known exactly what to expect. Nevertheless, it is lowering to be in the presence of evil. And whipping up an audience with falsehoods in the service of an agenda of hatred and bigotry is evil.

That audience contained a significant number of Muslims. Yet the huge problem of Muslim antisemitism in Britain and Europe is virtually never mentioned in a conspiracy of silence.

The day after the Intelligence Squared event, BBC TV screened a debate between the contenders for the Conservative Party leadership.

This included a video-link call from a member of the public, Imam Abdullah Patel, the deputy head of a primary school in Gloucester. Referring to the effects of “Islamophobia” on his community – and with obvious reference to front-runner Boris Johnson’s previous comment that women who wore the niqab resembled “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” – he asked the candidates if they agreed that “words have consequences.”

The following day, however, it emerged that this imam was an antisemite and Israel-basher. Offensive tweets were unearthed, including his remark that “Every political figure on the Zionists’ payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn. They don’t like him. He seems best suited to tackle them!”

He also tweeted a map of the US, suggesting Israel should be moved from the Middle East to North America as a solution to the Middle East conflict.

Once these and similar tweets were revealed, everyone ran for the hills. The imam’s school suspended him. The BBC claimed it hadn’t seen his Twitter account which had been temporarily concealed.

Nevertheless, in the BBC debate the imam’s question had produced a Pavlovian response of cultural cringe. The home secretary, Sajid Javid, committed himself to launching an inquiry into alleged Islamophobia in the Tory Party and bounced his rival contenders into agreeing.

Yet Islamophobia is a term invented by the Muslim Brotherhood to silence legitimate discussion of faults in the Islamic world. Those pressing to outlaw Islamophobia in Britain even claim the term Londonistan is “racist.”

This term, invented by the French secret service in exasperation at Britain’s refusal in the 1990s to take Islamist extremism seriously, was the title of my own 2006 book on the capitulation of the British establishment to Islamization – of which the campaign to silence debate as “Islamophobic” is a prime example.

Meanwhile, the truth about Israel provokes derisive laughter – which becomes uproarious when a virulent antisemite trots out his antisemitism. Thus one week in Londonistan.

This is my last column for The Jerusalem Post. Many thanks to my readers who have given me such tremendous support. If you want to continue to follow my work, you can find it at or on my own website,

Jerusalem Post

Trudeau’s ‘plastic ban’ won’t help the environment. It could actually harm it instead

Opinion: Alternatives have a significantly higher total impact on the environment, while inflating costs for consumers

A customer reaches for a plastic bag at a grocery store in Toronto.Cole Burston/Bloomberg

June 14, 2019

By David Clement

This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government will seek to ban many single-use plastics starting in 2021. Although the final list of banned items is still undetermined, it will likely include plastic bags, takeaway containers, cutlery and straws. To further justify the ban, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna cited images of marine wildlife being injured or killed as a result of plastic in our oceans.

It’s a hard-to-resist pitch. No one wants to contribute to marine deaths as a result of plastic, and most of us don’t like the idea of plastic items taking over 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. These concerns ultimately stem from worries about climate change, and the environmental problems that could arise as a result.

Unfortunately for the environmentally conscious among us, a ban on single-use plastics does almost nothing for the issue of plastics impacting ocean marine life, and does very little in terms of environmental impact. Canadians are not significant polluters when it comes to marine litter. Up to 95 per cent of all plastic found in the world’s oceans comes from just 10 source rivers, which are all in the developing world.

Canada on average, contributes less than 0.01 MT (millions of metric tonnes) of mismanaged plastic waste. In contrast, countries like Indonesia and the Philippines contribute 10.1 per cent and 5.9 per cent of the world’s mismanaged plastic, which is upwards of 300 times Canada’s contribution. China, the world’s largest plastics polluter, accounts for 27.7 per cent of the worlds mismanaged plastic. Canada, when compared to European countries like England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and France, actually contributes four times less in mismanaged plastic. The only European countries on par with Canada are the significantly smaller Sweden, Norway and Finland. A plastics ban might sound productive in terms of plastics pollution, but the evidence doesn’t suggest that Canada is actually a significant contributor for mismanaged plastic, which means that a Canadian ban will do little to aid marine life devastatingly impacted by plastic pollution.

However, proponents will say we should still support the ban on the basis of trying to curb climate change. Although noble, banning plastics doesn’t necessarily equate to better environmental outcomes. In fact, some alternative products, although branded as green alternatives, have a significantly higher total environmental impact once the production process is factored in.

Take plastic bags for example, which are public enemy number one. Conventional thinking suggests that banning single-use plastic bags will result in people using reusable bags, and that this reduction in plastic use will have a positive impact on the environment. Research from Denmark’s Ministry of the Environment actually challenged that conventional wisdom when it sought to compare the total impact of plastic bags to their reusable counterparts. The Danes found that alternatives to plastic bags came with significant negative externalities. For example, common paper bag replacements needed to be reused 43 times to have the same total impact as a plastic bag. When it came to cotton alternatives, the numbers were even higher. A conventional cotton bag alternative needed to be used over 7,100 times to equal a plastic bag, while an organic cotton bag had to be reused over 20,000 times. We know from consumer usage patterns that the likelihood of paper or cotton alternatives being used in such a way is incredibly unlikely. These results were also largely confirmed with the U.K. government’s own life-cycle assessment, which concluded that these alternatives have a significantly higher total impact on the environment.

While Canadians might support the idea of a plastics ban, they don’t want to pay for it. A Dalhousie University study showed us that 89 per cent of Canadians are in support of legislation to limit plastics. However, that same study also showed that 83 per cent of Canadians were not willing to pay more than 2.5- per-cent higher prices for goods as a result of plastic regulations. This creates a significant problem for Trudeau’s ban, because higher prices are exactly what we’d see.

There are simple solutions available to us that don’t involve heavy-handed bans. First, we could focus more strictly on limiting how plastics end up in our rivers, lakes and streams. Better recycling programs and stricter littering prohibitions could go a long way to curbing the plastic Canada does contribute. For those single-use products that otherwise end up in landfills, we could follow Sweden’s lead, and incinerate that waste. Doing so creates a power source for local communities, while capturing airborne toxins, limiting toxic runoff, and significantly reducing the volume of waste.

Good public policy should address a real problem and should make a meaningful impact on the said problem. Unfortunately, Trudeau’s proposed single-use plastics ban would have little to no impact on overall ocean waste, while promoting high-impact alternatives, and inflating costs for consumers. All three of these factored together create a fairly toxic policy mix.

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager with the Consumer Choice Center.