No More Nice Guy: Canada’s Democracy & Reputation Tarred

It turns out Canada’s reputation is getting as toxic as the Alberta tar sands tailings ponds:



Some more facts:

  • Canadian federal taxpayers subsidize the oil industry $1.38 billion a year. And that’s not counting your Province’s subsidies to the oil industry.
  • The International Energy Agency says up to two thirds of known fossil reserves must be left in the ground to avoid a 2°C global temperature rise.
  •  The Canadian government has mounted an intensive lobbying campaign to weaken clean fuel standards that the European Commission has proposed to achieve its climate change targets.



election fraud*

And, as often happens in petrostates, Canadian democracy has been subverted. Yesterday a judge ruled that election fraud happened during the 2011 federal election by someone who had access to the Conservative Party of Canada’s database, although the judge was careful not to directly blame the CPC party:

“I am satisfied, however, that the most likely source of the information used to make the misleading calls was the CIMS database maintained and controlled by the CPC, accessed for that purpose by a person or persons currently unknown to this court.”

In summary: election fraud happened, it was carried out by someone with access to the Conservative party’s database, and the voters who received robocalls with inaccurate voting information were overwhelmingly either Liberal or NDP supporters.  Hmmm – I wonder who could have been behind this criminal act? And why aren’t Canadians marching in the streets over this corruption of our democracy?

More links:

Oil Sands Deals Lose Traction

Federal Judge Confirms Election Fraud in 2011 Vote

Rethink Alberta Campaign Ruffles Some Tar Sands Supporters’ Feathers

There’s a slick new campaign, launched last week by a consortium of environmental, community and indigenous groups, that has been getting a lot of media attention in Canada, particularly in Alberta. It’s called “Rethink Alberta” and is designed to shine light on the environmental devastation of the Alberta tar sands, and to impact Alberta’s “bottom line” by affecting their tourism industry. Along with a video, the campaign includes billboards in four American cities that compare oil-covered birds in the Gulf of Mexico with dead ducks in a Syncrude tailings pond. The ads call the tar sands the “other oil disaster” and urged travellers to boycott Alberta. Not surprisingly, there has been angry reaction from Premier Stelmach, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and some Albertans. Watch the video and decide for yourself if extracting oil from the tar sands is worth the price:


Visit the Rethink Alberta website to “take the pledge” to not visit Alberta until the Alberta Government:

  1. Halts the expansion of the Tar Sands.
  2. Stops spending millions of dollars on public relations campaigns designed to keep the United States addicted to dirty Tar Sands oil.
  3. Takes meaningful steps to transition its economy away from dirty Tar Sands oil to clean energy alternatives.

More links:

Rethink Alberta campaign riles Tories

Dead Ducks In A Tailings Pond – How It Happened

Corporate Ethics

Rethink Alberta