Michelle Rempel Garner: NDP tweet about iceless hockey as ridiculous as killing energy industry

© Provided by National Post An NDP MP tweeted this week suggesting that alternatives to ice be used for hockey.

A cold front blew through hell yesterday when a New Democratic Party member of Parliament did the unthinkable and walked back a new climate change policy proposal.

On Tuesday morning, B.C. NDP MP Bonita Zarrillo tweeted, “Is indoor skating ice even a necessity anymore? Can every ice sport be done without ice and different equipment?…just pondering the climate impact of human-made indoor ice.”

The response to MP Zarrillo’s tweet was universally unenthusiastic, to put it mildly. She deleted the tweet Thursday

What’s interesting about this is not that an NDP MP tweeted musings about melting Canada’s indoor ice rinks as a way to prevent humanity from doing the same thing to the earth’s polar ice caps. Canada’s leftist politicians don’t exactly have a reputation for shying away from radical policies.

By deleting the Tweet, did the NDP MP, actually flip flop on climate policy instead of leaning into it?

The question is, why would hockey rinks be off limits to the climate action designs of Canada’s left, while arguably more damaging things to Canada are fair game?

The answer lies in their re-election calculus, as opposed to any true consideration for climate action.

Earlier this year the Liberal government announced that it would ban the sale of diesel and gasoline powered trucks in the relatively near future. And in recent years, the Liberals have also passed multiple pieces of legislation that have been designed to stop investment in Canada’s energy sector. They have also imposed a general carbon tax.

All three of these policies arguably have a much bigger economic impact on Canadians than banning indoor ice rinks would.

The Liberals announced a plan to ban new gasoline and diesel trucks without a plan to address the impact and cost to the millions of Canadians who live away from paved roads or who work farms and construction job sites. There are serious problems with the existence, availability, cost, and infrastructure needed to operate the non-carbon powered vehicles that would be needed to replace Canada’s current fleet. And yet, the left stands by this ban. As opposed to backing down from it, anyone who has raised concerns risks being labelled a heartless redneck who loves their pickup more than mother Earth.

The left responds the same way to anyone who constructively points out that shuttering Canada’s energy sector, while the world is still largely dependent on carbon energy, has the net negative effect of making it more dependent on carbon energy produced in countries with lower environmental and human rights standards than Canada. The same goes for people who point out that a carbon tax probably won’t actually reduce reliance on carbon energy, given there are currently not enough low cost, readily available substitute goods for how we heat our homes during our brutal winters and how we transport ourselves across the sprawling expanse of our nation.

So why do Zarrillo and her ilk back these measures, but are unwilling to go after Leafs fans?

I surmise that Zarrillo’s Port Moody—Coquitlam voters in their relatively warm, urban, west coast riding with a well developed public transit system likely don’t have the same need for trucks as a farmer on the Prairies, the same concerns about the cost of home heating or transport as a single mom in rural Alberta, or the concerns about job safety as a geotechnical engineer in north-central Calgary. It’s politically more viable for Zarrillo to back away from a war on Virtue and Moir’s home turf and take the battle to the workplaces and homes of these others who have little to do with her reelection.

And that’s what leftists really mean when they say that Conservative politicians don’t have so-called “credible climate change policy”: we refuse to divide Canadians with a strategy for emissions reductions that doesn’t consider its overall social and economic cost against actual reductions that are achieved over a set period of time. This is in contrast to the left, which reaps political gain leaning into policy which has made the world more dependent on Russian oil, and the Canadian economy more vulnerable to high energy costs, all while seeing emissions actually grow.

Indoor ice-sports bring joy to many and offer cohesion to the Canadian identity. While Zarrillo may have been right to point out they are a major source of energy use, I would never support a ban on them because that would carry an unmitigated, significant cultural cost to our country. Indoor ice rinks are, in fact, necessary in Canada. That’s why people reacted so strongly to her tweet.

I wish leftist politicians like Zarrillo would consistently reject climate change politics that have the net effect of polarizing Canadians as opposed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Canada needs a national plan that provides low cost, readily available alternatives to high carbon consumer products and practices. That should include things like rapidly building public transit, beefing up Canada’s electric grid to allow for the electrification of vehicles, and looking for ways to make high energy intensive things — like ice rinks — use less energy.

If Zarrillo would like to collaborate on this important issue, I’m more than willing to do so. The perfect opportunity is coming soon — the Flames and Canucks meet in the pre-season on September 25.

I’ll leave the tickets at the will-call.

Michelle Rempel Garner is the Member of Parliament for Calgary Nose Hill.

Source: National Post