Yukon MP Ryan Leef denies he is a climate change denier, after critics accused him of siding with people who discount climate change and its effects.

The criticism came after Leef told a constituent that, contrary to popular belief, polar bears are thriving. Leef said his position was distorted in a national newspaper story.


Yukon MP Ryan Leef said as a northerner, he sees the effects of climate change every day. (CBC)

"I think that's been spun completely out of proportion. There's never been a hint that we don't recognize the signs and issues of climate change particularly in the North and our territory," he said.

He continued, saying the signs of climate change are everywhere in the North.

"Highways, sloughing banks in the North on river systems, the permafrost; there are thousands of signs and symbols in the Yukon, across the North that climate change is something we need to deal with," he added.

Leef also said he is a member of the federal climate change caucus in Parliament.

Leef made the comment during an announcement about a clean energy project in Haines Junction, Yukon. The federal government is contributing money to study the feasibility of a bio-mass plant in the community.