So was a Conservative plan to belatedly put to rest queries about the tenor of the party’s climate policy.
The idea was to come up with a detailed policy in time for the one-year anniversary — on Monday — of Scheer’s promise to present an alternative to the Liberal climate-change framework.
But that was until actual climate-driven events got in the way.
The real risk would have been that the plan would attract the wrong kind of attention.
For while the details have yet to be sketched out, it is already clear that Scheer is not about to surprise the country with more ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets than those Justin Trudeau is aiming for.
A Conservative government would not build on some of the foundations put in place by the Liberals over the past three and a half years. It would dismantle them, go back to square one and rewrite a new Canadian climate plan.
Scheer’s determination to do away with Trudeau’s national carbon-pricing framework and with the reinforced regulatory oversight of future major industrial and energy developments the Liberals introduced is already well documented.
The policy Scheer will eventually present will have to reflect those two commitments.
On that basis, it is not clear — for instance — that a Conservative government would pursue the commitments Canada undertook under the Paris Agreement rather than follow U.S. president Donald Trump out of the latest global climate change framework.
Scheer and his caucus voted for the Paris Agreement early on in his leadership tenure. He has since refused to be pinned down on whether that is still party policy. Last Friday’s postponed announcement would have lifted the veil on his intentions.
It is possible — albeit not necessarily probable — that the flooding of the past weeks and the toll it has taken on people and homes will prompt Scheer’s Conservatives to go back to the drawing board to tweak their plan.
What is more certain is that the sequence of events that caused the party to keep its policy announcement on hold in wait of a drier day should sound a cautionary note for Conservative party strategists.
Polls show a substantial cohort of voters will not support a party that does not come across as committed to address climate change.
Those same polls report that the environment in general and climate change in particular rank second only to the economy in the current priorities of the Canadian electorate.
As health care rose on voters’ radars in the late nineties, concerns over climate change have been on the rise over the past few years.
Those numbers were compiled before the climate episode of the past week provided Canadians with the latest taste of what to expect as global warming causes waters to rise and — eventually — remain at levels well above their historical average.
There is no guarantee that the upcoming federal campaign will be free of climate-driven emergencies. One way or another, it will be hard to avoid having a serious conversation about climate change come the next election.
The fact that it is a conversation Scheer did not feel comfortable initiating on his party’s terms against the backdrop of the weekend’s floods speaks volume about the delicate political position the Conservative party has manoeuvred itself in.
A Global News Ipsos poll published last week showed the Conservatives trailing the Liberals in Quebec and British Columbia, two provinces that have in common a high level of resistance to the Conservative pro-pipeline agenda. Scheer’s close alignment with Kenney could come back to bite his party next fall.
It is possible for the Conservatives to win a federal election with little more than nominal Quebec support but only as long as the party makes up for that with a solid performance in B.C.
When the waters recede as they hopefully will over the next few weeks, Scheer will have to be mindful that his lead in national voting intentions does not follow suit.
Chantal Hébert is a columnist based in Ottawa covering politics. Follow her on Twitter: @ChantalHbert