This Article is part of the Tar Sands Reporting Project special report See the full report

VIDEO: Sun TV smears Preston Manning for believing in climate change

Sun TV's Ezra Levant attacks Preston Manning for views on global warming
Photograph by Mychaylo Prystupa of Ezra Levant of Sun TV at a rally earlier this year in Vancouver.

This won't end well.

Sun TV fired first in what could be the beginning of a nasty civil war within Canada's conservative movement.

Preston Manning, founding father of the modern conservative movement and head of the right-wing Manning Centre, made a pair of surprising appearances recently in the Globe and Mail challenging Canadian conservatives to change their thinking on climate change.

"We also need to address environmental concerns, particularly as they interface with resource development...

Conservatives can play a big role in reconciling these interests. The words 'conservative' and 'conservation' come from the same root. Living within your means – something that fiscal conservatives believe in – is actually an ecological concept," the former Reform Party leader told the Globe and Mail last week.

Manning went further a few days later in a Globe and Mail opinion piece, offering "a few suggestions" on how to communicate climate change and the need to put a price on carbon:

"The 'good idea' the commission seeks to advance – and that I wholeheartedly support – is that for any economic activity, especially the production of energy, we should identify its negative environmental impacts, devise measures to avoid, mitigate or adapt to those impacts, and include the costs of those measures in the price of the product. It's the idea behind using carbon pricing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Cue the outrage from Sun TV personalities.

Hosts Brian Lilley and Ezra Levant immediately set to work smearing Manning's reputation as a conservative.

Lilley bashed Manning in a bit titled "fake conservatives." He said that if a veteran conservative like Manning "no longer stands by [conservative] principles, then let's just admit that they've left the tribe and let them go."

Meanwhile, Levant called Manning a "flim flam man" (slang for "confidence man"). He accused Manning of using "jedi mind tricks" and "linguistic trojan horses" to "bamboozle the oil patch," all while "using his 1990s reputation to fundraise money from the oil patch" on behalf of the Manning Centre.

Levant repeated twice that the Manning Centre is "bankrolled by the oil and gas industry" during his on-air rant.

"Today, skepticism about the science and economics behind the theory of man-made global warming has been largely vindicated," Levant added in his Sun newspaper column. "And yet Manning chose this moment to switch sides."

"Manning's change of heart is inexplicable," Levant added, branding Manning's commentary as "2014 Preston Manning giving tips on how to defeat 1990s Preston Manning."

Here's the highlight reel:

 
 
This article appeared yesterday in PressProgress and is published with permission.

More from PressProgress

See more

More in Commentary

Why free trade talks with China failed

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jetted off to Beijing, the media was told to expect the announcement of a free trade agreement, the first of its kind between China and a G7 country. The first sign...

A young Iranian helps Syrian refugees adjust to Canada

A young Iranian, himself, new to Canada reaches out to help Syrian refugees settle here. But with the war in Syria, tensions between Iranians and Syrians are rising. How will he succeed?

Linda Solomon Wood on a Bloomberg presidential bid

What do you think of Bloomberg's intimation he may run for president? I think it's a terrible idea.  The last time we had a strong third party candidate in a presidential race it was Ralph Nadar...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.

Special reports

Athabasca tar sands, photographed by Andrew S. Wright

Tar Sands Reporting Project

Our award-winning team's crowd-funded series on the people, places and conflicts associated with Canada's tar sands.
Support this report