Following a reference to "misguided dogma" in the throne speech and some heated comments from Brad Wall in the Saskatchewan legislature, a group of environmental activists is calling on the Premier to clarify his stance on climate change.
More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition criticizing Wall for his comments.
'He's out of touch with reality, to be quite honest.' - Environmental activist Mark Bigland-Pritchard
They've raised concerns the premier does not accept climate science — the belief held by many scientists that human activity is causing a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to global warming and climate change.
Mark Bigland-Pritchard, with Climate Justice Saskatoon, is one of the organizers of a town hall meeting planned for Wednesday evening.
He's also written an open letter to the Premier asking him to clarify his position on climate change.
"He's out of touch with reality, to be quite honest," said Bigland-Pritchard.
All MLAs should oppose Leap 'principle': Wall
Last week, Wall criticized New Democrat MLA Cathy Sproule for allegedly supporting the Leap Manifesto, the controversial policy calling for a restructuring of the Canadian economy to move away from a dependence on fossil fuels.
'There are 3,000 Saskatchewan families who've lost their job in the resource sector.' - Premier Brad Wall
"That's what she voted for in Edmonton, that the drop in oil prices should be considered a gift to this country," Wall said in the legislature.
At their recent convention in Edmonton, members of the federal NDP voted to debate the proposals contained in the manifesto in the party's riding associations over the next two years.
"There are 3,000 Saskatchewan families who've lost their job in the resource sector who don't consider it a gift, Mr. Speaker. Not for a moment," Wall said on May 19.
Clean energy jobs
"What the Premier doesn't talk about is the jobs that could be created through clean energy," Bigland-Pritchard said Wednesday. "Because we've got to move in that direction anyway."
Wall also said it is the obligation of all Saskatchewan MLAs to vote against "a principle like that" and stand up for Saskatchewan.
But Bigland-Pritchard says not even many of the workers in the oil patch agree with Wall on that.
"There are people who've been working in Fort McMurray who are saying, sort of, 'Please — give us the training so we can shift from welding pipes to welding wind turbines,'" he said.
Throne speech mentioned 'misguided dogma'
Wall's comments followed the May 17 throne speech that included a reference to "some in this country who, given the opportunity, would shut down major parts of Saskatchewan's economy and put thousands of hard-working Saskatchewan people out of work, all in the name of some misguided dogma that has no basis in reality."
Climate Justice Saskatoon notes that Wall has said he's not rejecting climate science, just the Leap Manifesto — but it argues that only raises more questions about where he really stands, since the manifesto is based on climate science.
They've sent an open letter to Wall with 10 questions regarding his view of climate science, clean energy technology, and indigenous rights.