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Letters to the Editor

Climate change coverage opinionated, misleading

I was extremely disappointed to read the two articles in last week’s issue about Power Shift.
Joel Tichinoff’s article is extremely misleading about how the majority of participants felt about their experience at Power Shift and Fill the Hill. Had Tichinoff interviewed any of the Halifax delegates he would have received the most enthusiastic and positive of responses. I’ve been to many climate change conferences and rallies and these two events were by far the largest, best organized and inspiring I have ever attend. Tichinoff however, by his own admission, has never attended a climate rally and therefore has no basis for comparison, not to mention the fact that he’s not involved in the youth climate movement and didn’t attend a single Power Shift workshop.
And as to his comments about the lack of coverage of fill the hill, he was factually mistaken: CBC, CTV and Global covered the event.
He also failed to mention that youth protested during Question Period because they felt that it was the only recourse available to them; our leaders won’t listen to the urgent call for action on climate change from their own citizens and from the global community.
As I told him and as he heard on the bus back from Power Shift full of 40 youth participants, the Power Shift and Fill the Hill experience was an incredibly educational and valuable one for those youth. Those speeches were inspiring to many. If a “sense of disenchantment hung over the crowd” it was because our country is governed by people who choose to ignore the largest threat to human civilization the world has ever known – not because they were disappointed by the rally.
The science is proven, the urgent need for action is clear and we are trying to do something about it. I am disappointed with The Gazette for painting this vital movement in such a bad light.
Ben Wedge’s article was also highly misleading. It was in poor taste to highlight CBC’s portrayal of Jeh Custer’s abuse at the hand of security guards as seemingly fake. The photo used by the CBC to show Jeh’s face without blood prior to a later photo of him with blood is extremely blurry and pixelated, and is poor evidence of “an NDP conspiracy,” as the CBC alleges.
Wedge failed to address the core issue in his article, namely that youth felt that protest in the House was their only option to be heard since they’ve tried everything else. Wedge states “theatrics won’t help the cause,” but it appears that the opposite is true. The protest in Question Period got the climate movement more media coverage than ever before. As long as the federal government fails to take any action on the urgent issue of climate change, these types of protests are going to become more and more common.
I expect that you’ll be hearing from the youth who participated in Power Shift and I hope that you’ll publish their responses to these two negative and misleading articles.
One last thing, I understand this week’s issue has a sustainability theme. SustainDal was contacted to write an Opinions piece, for which we are grateful and have already submitted an article. However, as a group, we are disappointed that we have not been contacted to write more articles for the sustainability issue, on which we are one of the best authorities to speak. This is not to suggest that SustainDal should write the entire issue, or even the majority of articles (I understand The Gazette’s unwillingness to publish biased media), however we feel that we could give valuable direction to the content.
In general, I’d like to commend The Gazette for the best year of reporting I have seen in three and a half years.

— Emily Rideout

Editor’s note: Joel Tichinoff interviewed several delegates to get a sense of the atmosphere at Power Shift, however their names were not included, so the quotes had to be cut.

Power Shift story one-sided

I was disappointed to read Joel Tichinoff’s coverage of Power Shift in last week’s issue. I question his experience with climate change issues and find it quite surprising that he was so disappointed and uninspired by the conference. His perspective contrasts greatly to those of my friends who attended – they have come back praising the conference. Of course, the article doesn’t consider any one else’s opinion about the conference, especially from those who are more active in the field and have a lot more experience and credibility to discuss the event.
Additionally, Tichinoff stated that one MP called the loud verbal protest “embarrassing”, but failed to mention that Halifax’s own MP, Megan Leslie, personally called on Halifax Power Shifters to applaud them for their efforts, mentioning that they showed more courage than many MPs in the house.

— Spencer Fowlie.

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