Kamloops MP candidate defends his choice to compare youth activist with Nazi propaganda | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops MP candidate defends his choice to compare youth activist with Nazi propaganda

Ken Finlayson, the People's Party of Canada MP candidate for the Kamloops-Thomspon-Cariboo riding, shared a photo comparing 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg with a child sharing Nazi propaganda.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK -Ken Finlayson
September 20, 2019 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Comparing a teen environmental activist with the Nazi party will likely get some eye-rolls and maybe a bit of anger on social media but if you're running for MP, you might get more than that.

But Ken Finlayson, who is running for Member of Parliament for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding with the People’s Party of Canada, isn't backing down — he's doubling down. The Sept. 6 post compares environmental activist Greta Thunberg to a child spreading Nazi propaganda. Thunberg is a 16-year-old from Sweden who has encouraged the youth of the world to voice their concerns about climate change, even speaking at the United Nations and U.S. Congress. Finlayson believes Thunberg cannot form these opinions herself and is being exploited by everyone concerned about climate change.

“I was defending her as a vulnerable child being exploited for a political agenda and I think this whole global warming thing is a political agenda,” Finlayson says.

The doubling down? Finlayson says she is vulnerable because she has a form of autism. He offered, however, that he wouldn't feel so sorry for her if she could process things in a “rational way.”

“This child is a special case. She’s a special needs child, she has an affliction. An affliction that causes her to suffer mental anguish, and we’re validating that mental anguish she suffers from, and I think that's cruel,” Finlayson says.

Finlayson posted this photo to Facebook which has since been deleted.
Finlayson posted this photo to Facebook which has since been deleted.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK - People's Party Of Canada

Robert Hanlon, an associate professor at Thompson Rivers University who specializes in politics, says that Finlayson’s post could have been made simply to get attention, as the new People’s Party of Canada does not have much recognition.

“One of the most important things they try to do is gain media attention and put the spotlight on some of the more extreme issues, but they use extreme imaging and messaging to bring that home,” Hanlon says. “Speech and language do hurt and do harm, and images matter. To take them lightly, to kind of just throw them around for political opportunity, I think the voters should see it for what it is.”

Hanlon believes Finlayson’s reasoning about ‘defending’ Thunberg is misguided since he would not feel the same way if she didn’t have Asperger’s, and since Finlayson does not credit a certain organization or party as the ones exploiting her.

“I think he's got no defence. I think it’s a bit of confusing logic that it really is based on, I don't know where it comes from but really what it shows is a lack of political leadership and you don't want candidates there that can't even explain or justify their belief system,” Hanlon says.

Hanlon says Finlayson’s denial of climate change is an ill-informed and encourages voters to do thorough research before drawing similar conclusions.

“There is a margin of voters and people out there that do think that and they are entitled to their views and opinions but I would certainly encourage them to go talk to some climate scientists instead of getting their information from news sources that they pick and choose,” Hanlon says. “Maybe take a course on climate science and then they can see what they think after that.”

Finlayson says the People’s Party of Canada does not believe in climate change, and he says they would remove the carbon tax if elected. Finlayson says the carbon tax is a tactic used by political and environmental groups to create revenue.

“She’s being exploited to serve their agenda, at her expense. Her psychological and emotional expense and that was what I was defending, and that is what I won't apologize for,” Finlayson says.

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