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Catherine McKenna confronts Rebel reporter ‘climate Barbie’ references

04 Nov 17
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Environment Minister Catherine McKenna confronted a reporter for The Rebel on Friday, demanding he make a commitment that the far-right site quit calling her “climate Barbie.”

The exchange happened at a news conference following a meeting of provincial, territorial and federal environment ministers in Vancouver.

Christopher Wilson identified himself as a Rebel reporter and asked McKenna a question about the national government’s comment on the part of hydroelectricity as a clean energy supply.

“So you are the Rebel Media that occurs to call me ‘climate Barbie.’ I certainly hope you’ll no longer use that hashtag,” McKenna said.

Wilson replied that he has never called her name.

However, the reporter has used it at least twice on Twitter and it appeared in an article published under his byline in January. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

McKenna pushed Wilson to get a commitment the French will stop using that name in its articles and on social networking.

“Me personally, yes, but I do not have editorial control of the others,” Wilson responded.

Wilson subsequently accused McKenna of banning one of The Rebel’s correspondents from visiting an upcoming climate summit, which McKenna refused and stated she wrote a letter supporting the socket to come so that they could learn about climate change.

“Absolutely, and I have a valid question about hydroelectricity’s function,” Wilson said.

McKenna interjected that she was just asking for a commitment that the socket won’t call her names, speak about the color of her hair or make fun of her.

“The reason I am asking you not to do so is because I have two brothers. There are a number of women that want to get into politics and it’s wholly unacceptable that you do so,” she said.

Wilson responded by saying he finds it unacceptable that McKenna “smears” individuals who question climate change as “deniers” with “all of the connotations of the Holocaust denial.”

McKenna ultimately thanked Wilson for his devotion to stop using the word and addressed his question on hydroelectricity.

The Rebel didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Back in September, Conservative MP Gerry Ritz apologized for calling McKenna “climate Barbie” on Twitter, stating the term is “not reflective of the role that the minister plays.”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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