McKenna’s anti plastics push on Twitter running afoul of local businesses

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna speaks at a press conference in Ottawa on June 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA – Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s campaign against plastic straws is fodder for her Twitter critics this week after she twice posted incorrectly that local Ottawa restaurants have banned them entirely.

McKenna, who is on a nationwide tour this summer to tout the need to reduce plastic waste, took to Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday claiming both the Feline Cafe and Bar Laurel in her Ottawa Centre riding had confirmed they were no longer providing straws.

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Josee Cyr, owner of Feline Cafe says a member of McKenna’s staff contacted her to ask about the straws but McKenna’s tweet posted a few hours later claimed the cafe was “straw free” when Cyr says she told the staffer straws were available upon request.

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McKenna deleted that tweet after Cyr pointed out the error on Twitter but this morning the minister made the exact same mistake in a tweet about Bar Laurel, a restaurant across the street from the Feline Cafe.

READ MORE: More and more businesses are phasing out the plastic straw- but with the ban comes backlash.

Cyr says she knows the minister meant well but she was disappointed the tweet posted didn’t provide the full information, saying some of her customers with disabilities need plastic straws to drink any beverage and inclusivity is very important to her.

A spokesman for McKenna is playing down the errors but says in future the minister will be more specific in her tweets and that she is just trying to showcase local businesses doing their part to reduce waste.

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