BC Liberal MLA Ousted From Caucus for Questioning Climate Change Policy and Focus on CO2 as Driver

By Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
August 19, 2022 Updated: August 19, 2022

A Liberal MLA from northern B.C. has been kicked out of his party’s caucus after reposting a tweet that supports carbon dioxide as an essential element of life rather than a catalyst for global warming.

John Rustad, who represents the riding of Nechako Lakes, was removed from the BC Liberal Party on Aug. 18 after he shared a Twitter post by Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore challenging the idea that carbon dioxide is the “control knob of global temperature” regarding climate change.

Moore’s tweet included an article by Australian writer Tony Thomas who cited research that there has been “no linear warming trend for 10 years to 1 August 2022” in Australia, and that the Great Barrier Reef is currently “enjoying the largest area of coral cover ever recorded.”

Thomas’s article was published on Quadrant Online, an Australian literary, cultural, and political journal, on Aug. 14.

Rustad was first elected as a BC Liberal MLA in 2005. Prior to his role as opposition critic on forests, lands, and natural resource operations in 2017, he served as aboriginal relations minister and forests minister under Christy Clark’s Liberals.

The outspoken critic, who worked in the forest industry for over 20 years, drew criticism from BC Liberal Party Leader Kevin Falcon who stressed that Rustad does not speak on behalf of caucus on the climate change issue.

“Let me be clear, #ClimateChange is one of the most critical threats facing our future,” Falcon said on Twitter on Aug. 17. “The @bcliberals are strongly committed to substantive climate action & restoring BC’s place as a world leader in climate policy. @JohnRustad4BC does not speak on behalf of caucus on this issue.”

Falcon followed up with a statement the next day, saying that “politics is a team sport, and British Columbians expect their elected officials to work co-operatively on the important issues facing our province.”

“Following a pattern of behaviour that was not supportive of our caucus team and the principles of mutual respect and trust, I have removed MLA John Rustad from the BC Liberal Caucus effective immediately,” he said.

The opposition leader said in another tweet on Aug. 18 that Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone will serve as interim forestry critic.

‘Essential Component of Life’

In his response hours later, Rustad defended his stance on the tweet.

“I believe in climate change. I know, as British Columbians, we impact our climate. Like many, I am concerned about the effects of climate change and how it will affect our future and the next generation,” he wrote on Twitter on Aug. 18.

“However, I refuse to support policies brought forward by environmental elitists to punish everyday British Columbians and families who are already dealing with out of control inflation.”

Rustad has been outspoken in his defence of carbon dioxide. He argued against using the word “pollution” to describe it in the B.C. legislative assembly last April.

“Carbon dioxide is an essential component of life on this planet. It is not a pollution. That sort of misinformation out there is just ridiculous,” he said.

“It doesn’t serve anybody well. It doesn’t serve the environmental movement well. It doesn’t serve us as a province well. A poor choice of words. That’s the raspberry.”

Isaac Teo
Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.