Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says Harper’s power-grab “is harming democracy” and he’s 100% right.
Photo by Remy Steinegger [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
With unassailable majorities in both the House of Commons and Senate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is potentially the most powerful leader in the world. He’s much more powerful that U.S. President Barack Obama who has to content with Congress on major decisions. In addition to the power that comes with the office of the prime minister in a parliamentary system, Harper has also accumulated more power through various anti-democratic means.
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.