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Bitter cold fires climate controversy

Canadians are accustomed to cold weather to the point where many take pride in knowing that their particular region is colder than another.

But that perverse pleasure is being tested as below-normal temperatures and dangerous wind chills continue to grip much of the country.

In Alberta, where some eastern parts of the province remained under a wind chill advisory Sunday, Calgary city councillor Sean Chu set off a storm of controversy on the weekend with a tweet suggesting the intense cold cast doubt about global warming.

In Winnipeg, where it was —30 C on Sunday with a wind chill that made it feel like —44 C, the weather kept people away from the normally busy outdoor skating rinks.

A Twitter comment by Chu, meanwhile, about whether the cold snap was evidence against global warming was quickly rebuffed by many. Others lauded it.

The comment noted that "global warming alarmists" were quiet about the Calgary weather, as well as stories about two icebreakers trapped in pack ice off the coast of Antarctica.

"Is it b/c the weather's been so freaking cold?" Chu asked in the tweet.

Residents across the Prairies were being warned to bundle up as the extreme wind chill values could bring on frostbite on exposed skin in just five to 10 minutes.

A snowstorm was predicted to strike southeast of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay on Sunday evening and expected to usher in bitterly cold winds. Environment Canada warned the system would likely bring "some of the coldest air in years," leading to "record-shattering cold."

Already, wind chill warnings were in effect Sunday in northwestern Ontario, where icy winds were said to feel like -35 C to -45 C.

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