A Privy Council think tank in a sardonic notice says Santa has fled the North Pole as a climate change refugee. One MP described the mocking write-up as unfunny.
“It’s more like an April Fool’s joke,” said MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), Deputy Conservative Whip. “It’s not even funny. To be frank, it is a bizarre statement to put out there.”
The Policy Horizons think tank in a notice Santa Is Moving To The South Pole wrote, “Thanks to rising global temperatures, rapidly melting Arctic ice and growing human operations in the North, Santa Claus has signed an agreement with the international community to relocate his village next year to operate in an exclusive zone in the South Pole.”
“Santa’s relocation agreement marks the first time the international community agrees on a common legal definition of climate change that includes refugees as corporations, as well as individuals,” the notice continued. “This deal is expected to lead to the deployment of a global climate change refugee visa system that in the near future could help to more easily relocate individuals and corporations facing the impacts of climate change.”
Policy Horizons staff yesterday did not comment. The notice was unsigned.
“If people who work there have nothing better to do than this, maybe they could be seconded to help fix the Phoenix pay system,” said MP Brassard. “That way their fellow employees can at least have gifts from Santa for their kids under the tree.”
The same federal agency in a 2016 paper Canada 2030: Scan Of Emerging Issues – Sustainability predicted the nation could become a preferred destination for climate change refugees fleeing catastrophic weather events. “Canada has the opportunity to become a preferred destination for climate refugees as well as companies trying to reduce their supply chain exposure to the risks of climate change,” said the report. “Canada may also have an opportunity to become an important producer of water intensive goods in the future.”
“Extreme drought, rising food insecurity and water scarcity in some regions of the world may have important impacts over the next 10 to 15 years including regional conflicts, spread of disease and viruses, and rising commodity prices” said Emerging Issues; “Even companies are evaluating their exposure to the rise in extreme weather events and are searching for climate-proof regions for their production facilities.”
Isabelle Perrault, spokesperson for Policy Horizons Canada, earlier said the paper was intended as “exploratory”. “We have not explored the types of economic opportunities that could be harnessed from climate refugees that come to Canada, so unfortunately cannot comment on that at this stage,” said Perrault.
“Our purpose is not to predict the future but to identify emerging issues,” said Perrault, adding the document “does not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.”
By Jason Unrau