‘A f—ing nightmare’: NDP candidate’s past comments on oil and gas draw scrutiny

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Saskatchewan NDP candidate’s past comments on oil and gas draw scrutiny
WATCH: Saskatchewan NDP candidate Meara Conway is being scrutinized for her past comments about the oil and gas industry – Oct 5, 2020

A Saskatchewan NDP candidate is being scrutinized after a screenshot of what appears to be a 2018 Facebook post made by her calling the tar sands “a f—ing nightmare” was released by the Saskatchewan Party.

Meara Conway, who is running for the NDP in Regina-Elphinstone Centre, allegedly made the written remarks as Meara Alexandra on the social media platform. The format of the lengthy post in the screenshot shows the response to be part of a comment thread. The wording indicates she is refuting points made in a previously referenced, unknown article.

The Saskatchewan Party shared this screen capture of a 2018 comment allegedly attributable to Meara Conway’s Facebook page. (Expletives have been censored by Global News.). Saskatchewan Party / Submitted

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The focus in the first half of the post discusses a lack of planning for a transition away from fossil fuels.

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“The tar sands are a f—ing nightmare period,” states the post. “So tar sands + no federal plan to transition out of oil is the context in which we’re talking about investing millions of public money into increasing our capacity to move raw bitumen? Absolutely it should be opposed.”

“Any political agenda that takes climate changes seriously doesn’t have space for the KM Transmountain expansion.”

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The Saskatchewan NDP’s official party position supports the energy industry, specifically oil and gas, and is pro-pipeline.

Leader Ryan Meili reiterated that Monday when asked about the aforementioned post.

“People’s position develops. Folks are part of a team and our position is that we support the energy industry,” he told reporters during a campaign announcement about health care in Regina.

“All of our candidates agree with our party policy,” he said.

In a prepared statement shortly after, Conway recognized Meili has made it clear that oil and gas are economic drivers in the province and will be for the foreseeable future.

“I’m very proud of the balanced approach he and the Saskatchewan NDP have articulated, which includes investments into renewable energy that would create sustainable, well-paying jobs for energy sector workers,” her statement said. “And I am of course very concerned about the impacts of climate change.”

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The Saskatchewan Party’s release of the post comes on the heels of controversies around two of its candidates.

Its former Saskatoon Eastview candidate Daryl Cooper resigned after his social media activity was put under the microscope. Cooper, who maintains he did nothing wrong and that he was seeking diverse opinions to prepare for a job in politics, came under fire for promoting of COVID-19 conspiracy theories on his campaign’s Facebook page and liking tweets regarding QAnon’s far-right ideologies.

Click to play video: 'Daryl Cooper resigns from Saskatchewan Party campaign after advancing COVID-19 conspiracies'
Daryl Cooper resigns from Saskatchewan Party campaign after advancing COVID-19 conspiracies

Over the weekend, the Saskatchewan Party’s Regina Rosemont candidate, Alex Nau, responded to his 2016 involvement in a country music festival drinking game that was degrading toward women. He said he regretted his involvement and would not do something like that again.

The Saskatchewan NDP has been associated with sharing its political opponents’ personal missteps.

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When attention was drawn to that at Monday’s Saskatchewan NDP press conference, Meili suggested a broader discussion may be necessary.

“How much do we want to dig into people’s social media? Certainly the further back you go, the more murky it gets,” Meili said.

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