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UCP leadership hopeful Danielle Smith's 'climate cops' claim called misinformation, dangerous

United Conservative Party leadership candidate Danielle Smith is pushing hard on the idea that Justin Trudeau is hiring “climate cops,” but those claims are being called incorrect and dangerous.

“It’s another conspiracy theory that’s being spread,” said Duane Bratt, a political scientist with Mount Royal University.

On Saturday, Smith put out a tweet based on a job posting from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The job posting is for an environmental enforcement officer.

Smith’s tweet, which has gained a lot of traction from her supporters, asks, “Is Justin Trudeau seriously hiring Climate Change Enforcement Officers?” and calls them “climate cops.”

“It’s dangerous rhetoric and she put that out after the verbal attack on Chrystia Freeland,” Bratt said.

Smith also attached a photo of the main character from the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop with the title “Justin Trudeau’s Climate Police,” along with a list of “perks” including handcuffs, baton and weapons.

The actual job posting says “Environmental Enforcement Officers enforce the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act.”

It also says enforcement officers work in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments, including “remote outdoor locations.”

The posting says enforcement officers are required to wear uniforms and carry safety equipment such as body armour, handcuffs, baton and prohibited weapons such as OC spray.

In a statement to CTV News, Environment Canada said enforcement officers have powers and protections of peace officers.

“They have the authority to issue enforcement actions. In order to work as officers, in addition to their other education/training, they complete 16 weeks of standardized enforcement training and ongoing training to maintain the certifications and skills required for their designations,” the statement said.

As for Smith’s interpretation of the posting, Bratt said it is a “different version of reality.”

“It’s a mixture of a whole bunch of lies, but if you’re absolutely convinced that there’s nefarious motives behind the federal government, it doesn’t matter what’s in the job ad,” he said.

In Smith’s tweet and in a release she sent out on Monday, she brought up the need for an Alberta sovereignty act.

“We need the Alberta Sovereignty Act to stand up to Trudeau for whatever wild idea he has next,” Smith said in the release.

The act would give Alberta powers to ignore federal laws and court rulings deemed not in the province’s interest.

“That’s separatism. Call it what it is,” Bratt said.

He says stopping the spread of misinformation like this won’t be easy.

“It’s got to come from the top, it’s got to come from responsible leaders. Unfortunately, we’re not dealing with responsible leaders. So it’s up to other Albertans to call this out,” Bratt said.

CTV News reached out to Smith’s team for comment, but did not hear back. Top Stories

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