Maxime Bernier is, if nothing else, good at stirring up controversy around his campaign. His latest attempt to rile up his base and push his claims about climate change comes in the form of criticizing teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. Maxime Bernier's Twitter was filled with an eight-tweet thread on Labour Day criticizing Thunberg's work and calling her "mentally unstable."
The Twitter thread, which attracted plenty of negative reactions, essentially focused on Thunberg's call for complete societal change in order to combat climate change. Bernier, already a critic of climate change science, claimed that Thunberg and people like her "want to make us poorer and restrict everything from housing, transportation, food, travel, and what we consume, to even having babies."
Sixteen-year-old Thunberg has been outspoken in her views on climate change. Her school strike in her native Sweden due to anxiety about climate change brought her worldwide attention. She has spoken at Davos and even met with the Pope.
Thunberg's age did not deter Bernier in his criticisms. The worst blow came in the tweet where Bernier wrote "@GretaThunberg is clearly mentally unstable. Not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression and lethargy, and she lives in a constant state of fear."
Thunberg has been open about the fact that she has Asperger's, and that the threat of climate change has affected her mental state. In August, she tweeted, "I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And - given the right circumstances - being different is a superpower."
Bernier's tweets have drawn plenty of criticism from other people on Twitter, including Former Ontario Liberal environment minister Glen Murray.
Others had more to say about how Bernier was basically attacking a teenager for trying to bring attention to a global issue.
Thunberg has been invited to attend a climate change march in Montreal on Sept. 27. She arrived in New York after sailing from England on a zero-emissions sailboat.