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.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Election 2019

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Steve Piper, owner of Monashee Health Collective, is leading an applied research project to develop an app that will help health professionals connect with patients in real time. (Contributed).
Okanagan researchers developing app to connect patients with practitioners virtually

The prototype holistic wellness app will be tested and launched over the next six months

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The British Columbia provincial election will be on Oct. 24. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Greater Vernon Chamber reacts to provincial election

Chamber president congratulates NDP, lists the issues the chamber will advocate for

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Ashton Hickson, firefighter with the BX-Swan Lake Fire Rescue, will be on scene Oct. 31, 2020, at one of two locations collecting donations for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. (RDNO contributed)
Fill your boots for Muscular Dystrophy: North Okanagan firefighters

BX-Swan Lake fire department hosting boot drive to boost funds for charity

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A four-vehicle accident on the Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous destroyed two cars and a section of bridge guardrail but remarkably injured no one. (Sicamous RCMP Image)
Sicamous’ Bruhn Bridge site of two collisions

Although a total of five vehicles were involved, no one was injured

Steven Gardner in an Instagram selfie that contributed to his arrest.
Receipt plus Instagram selfie leads to arrest of Kamloops man

Steven Gardner is facing three firearms charges

Most Read