Sean Fraser has a lot of nerve.
In an interview with CBC News about the Northern Pulp mill, the Liberal incumbent pleaded with Central Nova residents to vote strategically.
“I think people who are thinking about voting Green or NDP in this riding, in many ridings across Canada, need to think long and hard,” he said. “Do you want to wake up on Oct. 22 with Andrew Scheer as prime minister, who opposes every single measure we’ve put forward in the past four years to reduce our emissions?”
Fraser wants voters to trust him on Northern Pulp, even though he won’t take a firm position on its parent company’s plan to pump “treated” effluent directly into the Northumberland Strait.
He wants voters to trust the Liberals on the environment, despite the fact they declared a climate emergency one day and bought an oil pipeline the next.
Given his unwillingness to take a principled stand, and considering his government’s spotty track record on the environment, Fraser is on shaky ground here.
But the ground gets even shakier.
The first-past-the-post system, along with its implicit strategic voting conundrum, was supposed to be a thing of the past.
However, the Trudeau government quickly and cynically broke its promise on electoral reform, condemning us yet again to consider voting against candidates rather than for them.
Despite his party’s betrayal on this important issue, Fraser is shamelessly telling Central Nova electors: “If you’re thinking about parking your vote, you have to ask yourself, do you want to make a difference or do you want to make a point?”
If only there was a way voters could “make a difference” and “make a point.”
If only there was a way they could oppose environmental degradation while supporting meaningful electoral reform.
Fortunately for Central Nova residents, there are several candidates who check all of these boxes.
But their names aren’t Sean Fraser or George Canyon. They’re Betsy MacDonald, Barry Randle and Chris Frazer.