Politics

The City of Ottawa municipal election has been poisoned with corruption, censorship and intimidation

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Corruption: the first four mayoral candidates debates were organized by climate activists. Not surprisingly, they made the debates about “climate justice” and eliminated from the 4th and most important climate debate, Mike Maguire, the candidate who most seriously opposed the City’s energy plans.

Also eliminated, even though he accepted, in writing, a written commitment from the organizers that he would participate in the 4th debate, was candidate Ade Olumide, who has registered a formal complaint. But then Olumide had criticized candidate and current councillor Catherine McKenney, a favourite of climate activists, on several issues. He especially condemned McKenney’s wild plan to boost Ottawa’s cycling budget (for bike paths) by 1,250% to $250 million while, as Olumide put it in his October 5 press release, “people [are] dying due to the waitlist to enter a drug treatment program and the lack of supportive housing.”

Censorship: Rogers TV censored out two critical public questions that put the City’s plans in a bad light before uploading Mayor Debate #3 to the web. See here for the two questions, and the corresponding answers, that Rogers deleted.

All questions from the public critical of the City’s climate plans were also censored from the 4th debate by the organizers. For the later October 17 debate, every question had to first be approved by the local community association and then by the hosting community association, thereby ensuring no substantial opposition to Ottawa’s climate plans.

Intimidation: When, on October 6, I started to ask my question in the public Q&A at the debate between candidates for council in my ward (Knoxdale-Merivale, debate organized by the Fisher Heights and Area Community Association), left-wing candidate Sean Devine interrupted and launched into a tirade of ad hominem personal attacks against me, calling me a “climate change denier” and other insults. This was followed by yelling from the audience that the moderator made no attempt to stop.

Then, all hell broke loose. A man beside me shouted out that I was not wearing a mask. I responded that it was recommended but not required, which is currently correct in Ontario. But then suddenly, I had the moderator and two dozen people attacking me, saying I had to leave if I didn’t put on the mask immediately! I repeated that it was not required, but the audience became so aggressive that, with no attempt by the moderator to calm everyone down, I eventually put on a mask to shut them up. Unfortunately, even this did not pacify the woke organizers of the debate. Ironically unconcerned about possible COVID transmission, one of the people running the event came over to yell in my face that I had better keep the mask on or else.

The City of Ottawa’s public health department wrote to me the next day:

“Masks are no longer mandatory in most indoor settings with some exceptions such as hospitals, long-term care, and OPH clinics. Private facilities and private organizers may recommend that masks be worn. Masks continue to be strongly recommended in crowded situations, and therefore, in the case of elections, the facility or organization may recommend the use of the mask. Not wearing a mask does not result in legal action.”

So, the debate organizers and many in the audience were just being bullies, using the mask issue in an apparent attempt to distract people from thinking about the issues I tried to bring up and instead intimidate and silence an evil “climate change denier.” My attackers were lucky—others may be less forgiving than I am when personally attacked, so the exchange could have easily degenerated into something more serious.

On learning about the situation in Ottawa’s election, a friend of mine in British Columbia said:

“Unbelievable what’s going on, and I’m afraid it’s not just in Ottawa. And it is frightening. Even if it were in Moscow, Beijing, or Tehran, it would be frightening …This is our country’s capital city people! How utterly embarrassing!!!!”

We are less than three weeks from Remembrance Day, so it is especially appropriate for me to ask:

Is this the democracy my father and grandfathers risked their lives to defend in two world wars?

Sincerely,

Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition – Canada (ICSC – Canada)

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