Wednesday, May 12, 2021

350 Canada: Partisan Greenwashing

If there are still any Greens left out there who think that 350 Canada is a non-partisan organization that is striving for better climate outcomes in Canada (and for the planet), and not a mouthpiece of for the NDP, it's time for a major rethink.

350 Canada has long endorsed the NDP-branded "Green New Deal (for Canada)", rather than a more generic call for climate action. This kind of branding piggy-backing matters, because what you end up with are partisan New Democrats and (ostensibly) non-partisan 350 supporters talking up the same partisan-branded initiative.

In the 2019 election, 350 Canada supported a Squad of Green New Deal champions, and promoted these MP's heavily on their website. All were New Democrats. Of course, this approach overlooked the considerable national gravitas that the Green Party has brought to the climate change conversation when Elizabeth May was elected to parliament in 2011. Why wouldn't 350 Canada tell voters in Saanich Gulf Islands to back May - and Paul Manly, for that matter, who at that time was the newly-elected MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith?

From: 350 Canada website

350 Canada even gave their website a make-over, changing their brand's colours from predominately red to orange and sky blue. It's hard not to notice the orange now. This stuff matters, as it sends a message to people who engage via website.

From: 350 Canada website

Today, 350 Canada did something it has never (to my knowledge) done before: it has publicly called for solidarity with the people of Palestine, and is urging its followers to get involved in the global BDS movement. While this is probably good news for many Greens and supporters, I offer two observations. On the surface, this seems out-of-step with 350 Canada's mission of "ending the fossil fuel era and building a green economy". But, recent events appear to have led 350 Canada to speak out about what's going on in Israel/Palestine - and no, I'm not talking about the terrible images we're all seeing via social media, but rather the NDP Policy Convention's approval of motions that now endorse sanctions and an arms embargo of Israel.
350 Canada on Twitter

350 Canada could have been vocal about boycott, divestment and sanctions at any time in its history - but doing so would have aligned it with the Green Party as per our 2016 policy - and not the NDP. But now a little over a month after the NDP has caught up to the Green Party on this issue, you've got 350 Canada going public. Coincidence? Maybe. But I don't think so.

Greens need to stay away from 350 Canada. They are working against our interests and the interests of the planet by playing a hidden partisan game with voters. They are not being honest with Canadians, and are now clearly working in opposition to what they claim to want in terms of climate action, by giving the NDP covert support. Instead of engaging in partisan greenwashing, they ought to be telling their supporters to do what would really work: Vote Green.

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