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Climate skeptic wants Margaret Atwood off PEN board

The last time we checked in with Donna Laframboise, she was dishing about how Kory Teneycke had approached her for a job at Sun TV News, only to discover that her prospects at the station went out the door about the same time Teneycke did. Her assignment was to have been challenging the holy status of David Suzuki, and we joked that she might as well have tried to take on some other pillar of Canadian culture, like the Mounties. She’s done us one better: Laframboise is now arguing on her blog that Margaret Atwood hates free speech and should be booted from the board of PEN International.

Margaret Atwood sits on the same board of directors as a man who openly declares that some people have no right to free speech. She has recently written a forward for a book by another man who thinks politicians should be jailed for their climate change decisions. She has, moreover, encouraged her nearly 100,000 Twitter followers to visit a web page that says a television station that hasn’t even begun broadcasting yet should be stopped.

This is unacceptable. By remaining as Vice President of PEN International, Atwood undermines the credibility of that important and worthy organization. She must resign.

For those not keeping score, the argument hangs on a few things: Atwood’s endorsement of that Avaaz petition from three months ago, her endorsement of a David Suzuki book, and her honorary membership on a board with James Hoggan, the man behind the climate blog Desmogblog.

As a list of grievances, it’s kind of thin. Laframboise isn’t the only one who cried “censorship” when Atwood signed the Avaaz petition. (Frankly, the whole episode didn’t make Atwood or Avaaz look great, though some people ended up looking worse.)  We can’t really believe that Laframboise believes that writing an introduction to a book is the same as endorsing every single thing the author has ever said. And as for Atwood’s honorary membership on the David Suzuki Foundation’s board, well, we look forward to Laframboise’s stinging denunciation of Gordon Lightfoot, Sting and Raffi.

In the end, we don’t think Atwood’s going anywhere.

• Margaret Atwood Should Resign From PEN International [Men]

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