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Environment minister blames 'mistake' after tweet praising Syria

November 8, 2017 11:21 AM
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Environment minister blames 'mistake' after tweet praising Syria

Tweet from Catherine McKenna's departmental account praises Syria for joining Paris climate accord

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said "clearly a mistake was made" Tuesday after a tweet from her official departmental account praised Syria for joining the Paris climate agreement.

"Canada Salutes Nicaragua and Syria for joining on to the Paris Agreement! Global #ClimateAction. #COP23," the tweet, since deleted, said.

Nicaragua and Syria were the final two countries to sign on to the climate accord, leaving the U.S. as the only United Nations-member state not supporting the agreement.

The tweet attracted dozens of complaints from other Twitter users, many of them pointing to the widely suspected use of chemical weapons by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Hey @ec_minister - this ... is actually what your gov't should be saying about Syria," a tweet from Raitt's account said, linking to a U.S. State Department tweet about chemical-weapons use in Syria.

Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party, also weighed in, calling the 195-nation pact "empty virtue signalling."

The celebratory Nicaragua and Syria tweet was sent from @ec_minister. Its description says it is run by Environment and Climate Change Canada, Parks Canada and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

McKenna tweeted her response to the controversy from her personal account, @cathmckenna.

"Clearly a mistake was made from my Dept twitter. We've been clear that the murderous Assad regime must end attacks against its people."


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