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Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference speaks about climate change to the New Democratic Party national convention. (tim krochak/The Canadian Press)
Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference speaks about climate change to the New Democratic Party national convention. (tim krochak/The Canadian Press)

Bureau Blog

The NDP's Ken Dryden Add to ...

It's not that hockey players and politics never mix. Ken Dryden was a cabinet minister, after all.

But they are not common fixtures at political conventions. And in Canada, hockey players count as celebrities.

So the NDP brass could not contain their delight at getting Andrew Ference, a Boston Bruins defenceman, to talk to their convention about climate change on Friday afternoon.

Mr. Ference - who from the back of the conventional hall looked for all the world like Clark Kent in his neat suit and thick-rimmed glasses - is not a comfortable speaker. But he is earnest and is clearly committed to the fight against greenhouse gas emissions. And he is trying to convince his NHL buddies to join him.

"Every player in the NHL produces 10 tons of greenhouse gases each year, most of it through travel. The NHL Players Association is running the Carbon Neutral Challenge to give players an opportunity to offset that carbon. Already more than 500 of our members are paying offsets and awareness is growing," Mr. Ference told the crowd.

Mr. Ference rides his bike to the rink. He eats organic food.

And he apparently has a job when his hockey career is over.

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, who followed Mr. Ference on the stage, said he wants an NHL team restored in his province, he wants Mr. Ference to play for it, and he wants him to run for the party when he hangs up his skates.

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