In Tuesday’s Huffington Post Cameron Fenton, National Director of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, wrote an excellent article about the Harper government’s hounding of environmentalists and First Nations opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline. In Harper Government Can’t See the Forest For the Trees, Mr. Fenton starts off by describing a repetitive nightmare he is having these days (and he’s not alone):
The light in the hearing room is bright, hot and pointed right at me. The heat is suffocating, and I am visibly sweaty, the senator leans over, taps his microphone and begins to read questions from a typed sheet.
“Mr. Fenton, Have you ever donated to or been a member of the Sierra Club of Canada?”
“Do you own a book or books written by Dr. David Suzuki?”
“Did you or did you not write blog posts that were critical of the oilsands?”
That’s usually about the time I wake up, but instead of relief that my nightmare is over, I make the mistake of turning on the radio or picking up the paper to find my speculative fiction becoming more and more real.
Environmental groups in Canada are in the crosshairs of the government, not simply under investigation for fiscal mismanagement, but the targets of criminalization, misinformation and a smear campaign.
Most recently, Canada’s environment minister started to use the term “money laundering” to criminalize the acceptance of foreign funding by Canadian organizations.
At first I was taken aback by this, but the more I think about it, it’s a great idea. If you will permit me to change metaphors for a moment, it’s high time that we find our own Elliot Ness and unleash a Canadian team of Untouchables to root out this corruption, to find those charitable groups using foreign money, to hijack our legislative processes and hold my generation’s future hostage.
Let’s start with the Fraser Institute.
A recent investigation by the Vancouver Observer showed that the Fraser Institute received half a million dollars from the U.S.- based Koch Foundation. As the philanthropic arm of Tea Party darlings and fossil fuel industry billionaires Charles and David Koch, this foundation has been linked across the globe to campaigns that promote climate denial, lobby against clean energy legislation and stand in the way of global progress on curbing emissions. To read the full article, click here.
If you’re Canadian, you can go to the Lead Now site to sign a petition against the Conservative government’s rush to push through the omnibus budget bill that would strip our environmental protections, silence our environmental watchdogs, and damage our economy: click here. Or better yet, call your Member of Parliament and tell them enough is enough.