In 2019, Catherine McKenna told the CBC the volume of sexist attacks she claims she was subjected on a regular basis were symptomatic of toxic climate skepticism. “I will say it is worse for women in climate,” McKenna said. “Misogyny and climate denial seem to go together.”
However, in the same year, the Privy Council Office collected information on just five “incidents” against McKenna.
Data collected by the Privy Council and obtained by Rebel News through access to information shows that most cabinet ministers received one or two “incidents” which could include any number of unpleasant contacts with the public up to and including vandalism and threats to cause bodily harm and death.
Other incidents were also collected and counted along with threats as part of the assessment.
These occurrences included “negative comments on social media” and “suspicious persons or vehicles.” Letters, indirect threats, harassment, vandalism to constituency offices or residences were also included in the official count.
Even after including mean tweets as something akin to serious threats to cause bodily harm, the federal government bureaucrats were still only able to inflate the number of incidents to fewer than a half dozen for Catherine McKenna in 2019 and 12 in 2020.
Despite media coverage insisting she was deluged with mean tweets, suspicious vehicles and death threats, she was not the minister who was most harassed or annoyed by members of the public.
In 2019, with less than half a difficult public interaction per month, McKenna was tied for the top spot with Ahmed Hussen, who at the time was the minister of immigration.
In 2020, McKenna was second on the list, behind Minister of Justice David Lametti in the number of incidents against cabinet ministers. Lametti had 13 whereas McKenna had 12 documented incidents, according to the PCO.
One of the 2019 incidents counted for McKenna was an act of vandalism wherein a vulgar slur was painted across the windows and doors of her constituency office.
In 2019, McKenna was assigned an RCMP security detail due to the supposed volume of threats she said she received. “Experts” sought by CBC for comment explained that threats against female climate activists were commonplace.
“It definitely resonates with much of the online abuse that we are subjected to as women in climate,” Kim Cobb, director of the global change program at Georgia Tech told The Current.
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