Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Ontario energy minister says we should wear sweaters in winter.
Titled Protecting the Environment One Sweater at a Time, it informed us that Ontario has officially gotten into bed with an uber-wealthy multinational organization known as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
“Ontario is joining WWF-Canada for National Sweater Day,” it read, before assuring us that we can all “play an important role in fighting climate change” by “Putting on a sweater and turning down the thermostat.”
First of all, it’s disturbing for any democratically-elected government to link itself loudly and publicly to an activist organization. Government is supposed to represent all of us – not align itself with special interest groups. National Sweater Day was invented by the WWF’s marketing department – a department already in a position to hire public relations professionals to publicize this campaign. And what a profoundly insulting campaign it is.
Hello, it’s winter here in Ontario. And it’s bloody frakking freezing outdoors. At seven o’clock this morning it was -20C in Ottawa, -25 in Sudbury, -30 in Thunder Bay, and -31 in Timmins. At the moment, it happens to be a balmy -12 where I live.
Apparently, we’re all morons. In the dead of winter, when many of us work hard to avoid receiving a fuel bill so large we won’t be able to pay it at the end of the month, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli and Environment Minister Jim Bradley think we aren’t smart enough to figure out that wearing a sweater is a good idea.
I live in sweaters at this time of year. For months now, I’ve also been wearing long underwear under my blue jeans – in or out of the house. When Spring finally arrives, me and the other 13.5 million residents of this province will rejoice because we’ll be able to step outdoors without spending five full minutes donning protective gear.
Bulky scarf – check. Thick gloves – check. Ear muffs, unattractive but practical winter boots, long heavy coat – check. As a friend wrote on Facebook today, we live in a country where these things matter:
I have a winter survival kit in my truck. There are extra gloves, an extra coat, sleeping bags, candles and matches (to heat the truck with should it become disabled in ice and snow), a metal can to melt snow with for drinking water, flares, and food.
…Sunday night, we ran into a friend who was walking very slowly, in obvious pain, using a cane. What happened? She was stuck in her disabled car for 10 hours and had on fashion boots. She has severe frostbite on her feet and was at risk of losing several toes.
Ontario residents are regularly reminded, with the arrival of every hydro and gas bill, that energy costs money. We are not energy-wasting idiots.
For anyone to imagine we aren’t smart enough to wear sweaters unless the government tells us to is unbelievably offensive.
the press release is backed up here