Ken Finlayson operates a small ranch near Lac la Hache. He’s seen here with People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier. — Kamloops this Week

People’s Party candidate regrets comparing climate change activism to Nazi propaganda

Ken Finlayson said he was trying to show teenaged activist Greta Thunberg is being exploited

  • Sep. 24, 2019 2:55 p.m.

-Kamloops this Week

The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo candidate for the People’s Party of Canada who shared a social media post comparing climate change activism to Nazi propaganda told KTW he regrets his actions following backlash after recent media coverage.

Ken Finlayson posted the content on the People’s Party of Canada Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding association’s Facebook page earlier this month.

He shared an image of teenaged climate change activist Greta Thunberg alongside Nazi imagery with children dating back to 1940s Germany, along with the caption: “Useing children for propoganda! How low can you go?”

The photo collage shows Nazi Party leader Heinrich Himmler — an architect of the Holocaust — holding a blond, pig-tailed girl, and a poster from the Hitler Youth next to an image of Thunberg.

Finlayson, who, like the People’s Party, does not believe climate change is human-caused, said he posted the image because he believes Thunberg is being exploited by those who believe in man-made climate change to advance a political agenda.

“She’s kind of the face of the alarmists that say the world is ending because of man-made carbon dioxide,” Finlayson said.

READ MORE: Guns, taxes, climate change and more at North Okanagan forum

Thunberg, who is 16, has been making international headlines, having recently sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in a zero carbon emission boat to address the UN at a climate conference in New York City.

Asked why he chose to use this particular meme to state his opinion on climate change, Finlayson said he wasn’t trying to make a moral equivalency between people who believe in climate change and Nazis.

“Maybe I was short-sighted in not realizing that some people might take it that way,” he said.

“There is no moral equivalency with the Nazis. It’s despicable and, if I did suggest that, it certainly wasn’t my intention, but some people obviously took it that way.”

Finlayson said he was not trying to attack Thunberg, but was suggesting she needed to be protected from exploitation, given her age and the fact she has Asperger’s syndrome.

READ MORE: “How dare you?” Greta Thunberg addresses UN climate summit

“What I was criticizing was the manipulation of someone I perceive to be a vulnerable child,” he said.

“I don’t regret trying to defend a child, even if she didn’t need defending. If I thought she did, then I don’t apologize for defending someone I perceive to be vulnerable.”

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