When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in 2010, killing 11 people and spewing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, it cost more than $40 billion to mop up the mess. In Canada, an oil company would be liable for only $30 million, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the rest.
That’s just one of a litany of flaws Canada’s environment commissioner identified with the government’s approach to environmental protection. According to environment and sustainable development commissioner Scott Vaughan, who released a final series of audits before stepping down, the federal government’s failure to protect the environment is putting Canadians’ health and economy at risk.
Two years ago, under your leadership, Canada endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, despite initially voting against it at the UN General Assembly. Canada’s decision to reverse its position to support international efforts that recognize and protect the rights of indigenous peoples was heralded by your government as an important milestone on the road to respect and co-operation with Aboriginal Canadians.
During the 2012 federal budget, the Conservative government allocated $8 million to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to crackdown on charities engaged in “political activities.” The purge has begun. Yesterday, the right-wing Big Oil lobby group, EthicalOil.org, dispatched a 44-page letter to the CRA asking the agency to investigate the David Suzuki Foundation and review its charitable status.
Make no mistake, Ethical Oil is asking the CRA to do more than review the foundation’s charitable status.The banner on the group’s website uncompromisingly screams: Canada Revenue Agency: Time to Investigate. (See banner below)
Now the trouble is: Ethical Oil’s order will likely be carried out. The group has clout. The excellent graphic below, from a piece by Matt Price of Huffington Post, highlights the links between the group and the Conservative Part of Canada.
The second graphic is the banner on Ethical Oil’s website.
I’ve also attached Ethical Oil’s 44-page letter. (See below)
We must fight back against this burgeoning culture of fear aimed at silencing legitimate democratic dissent.