The Saskatchewan government appeared to write off climate science as “misguided dogma” earlier this week in a Speech from the Throne that doubled down on the province’s support for—and reliance on—the oil and gas economy.
As The Energy Mix went into final production, there was some question of whether the reference in the speech was to climate or opposition to genetically modified organisms, an issue the Saskatchewan government considers hostile to the province’s agriculture industry. On the available information, climate and energy advocates interpreted the language as a statement of climate denial, prompting one Saskatchewan expat to launch an online petition in response.
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The Speech from the Throne, in a section titled Standing Up for Saskatchewan, committed the recently-reelected government to supporting a strong province within a strong, united Canada. In that context, it stated, “it is troubling that today, there are some in this country who, given the opportunity, would shut down major parts of Saskatchewan’s economy and put thousands of hard-working Saskatchewan people out of work, all in the name of some misguided dogma that has no basis in reality.
“There are those who are not comfortable with and even oppose much of what we produce in Saskatchewan and how we produce it—oil and gas, coal and uranium, livestock and grains,” it continued. “They would prefer that those sectors did not exist and that the thousands of jobs in those sectors did not exist.”
In the online petition, Vancouver communications specialist Jason Mogus addresses himself to the people of Saskatchewan. “I know you are hard-working, community-minded, resilient, humble, and very smart,” he writes. “I know this because I was born in Saskatoon and most of my father’s family live in your great province.”
But he urges citizens to stand up to a provincial government that denies climate science and is trying to block progress on a national climate plan. “In 2016, it is a great moral and intellectual affront for your Premier—as much as you love and respect him—to call climate change a hoax, and position it as an unfair attack on your economic well-being,” Mogus writes. “This kind of black and white thinking not only denies science, it makes Saskatchewan look like a backwards province out of touch with reality, which I know it is not.”
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