OTTAWA, May 27, 2013 – “Canadians should be outraged that the federal government is shoving millions of taxpayer dollars into American advertising to promote Keystone XL,” says Dave Coles, President of Canada’s largest energy workers’ union. The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada has learned that since 2010-11 Natural Resources Canada has increased its advertising budget by 7000%.
“After slashing its spending on environmental regulation enforcement, Natural Resources Canada has found millions of dollars to push a pipeline that will export Canadian jobs, trample First Nations rights and is bad for the environment,” says Coles.
Last week Prime Minister Harper flew to New York to push for approval of the pipeline and since July 2011 there have been at least 25 other pipeline promotion trips to the U.S. by Canadian ministers, deputy ministers and provincial premiers. Each trip reportedly costs up to $45,000.
“The Conservatives claim to support free markets, yet over the past couple of years they’ve spent tens of millions of dollars of public money in support of a private corporation’s international lobbying efforts,” says Coles.
“Last year Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver denounced environmental groups that receive international funding as a threat to the Canadian regulatory system, and now he’s allocating millions of dollars in public money to intervene in US politics. The hypocrisy is astounding.”
In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we’re all potential terror threats. Until proven otherwise. So suggests a recent study by Queens University’s Jeffrey Monaghan and Kevin Walby, published in the journal Policing and Society. Welcome to Multi Issue Extremism (MIE), Canada’s new classification of so-called domestic terror threats.
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.