Are you an “enemy of the Government of Canada”? Or perhaps only an enemy of the Harper Government?

Leadnow.ca has brought to light some more information about how the present Harper Government is beginning to use backroom threats against companies in Canada in order to avoid any media scrutiny.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

This week, we learned that the Harper Government is using closed-door intimidation tactics against Canadian charities. They’re trying to silence groups that question our government’s plans to push the Enbridge western pipeline and supertankers project through overwhelming local opposition, and recklessly expand the tar sands at all costs.

A whistleblower just revealed that the Prime Minister’s Office threatened to revoke the charitable status of Tides Canada if they continue their support for ForestEthics, an environmental group that has engaged thousands of Canadians in the public hearings about the Enbridge project.[1]

According to the whistleblower, a former senior communications manager for ForestEthics named Andrew Frank, the Prime Minister’s Office told Tides Canada they consider ForestEthics to be an “enemy of the Government of Canada” because of the group’s opposition to the Enbridge pipeline and tar sands expansion.[1]

This is about more than our jobs and environment. It’s about our rights and our democracy, and we need to speak out now. Together, we can stop these closed-door intimidation tactics by shining a bright light of public attention on our government’s actions.

Click here to tell Prime Minister Harper to stop the threats and ensure fair hearings for Canadians, then please forward this important message far and wide.

http://www.leadnow.ca/stop-the-threats

While we don’t know exactly what was said behind closed doors, the Globe and Mail reports that the Harper Government has called ForestEthics a group “acting against the government of Canada and people of Canada” in private meetings designed to intimidate charitable funders.[2] And Peter Robinson, the Chief Executive Officer of the David Suzuki Foundation, says that environmental groups are “right to worry” that the government will threaten the charitable status of groups they disagree with in order to shut down debate.[3]

The latest threats are part of a much larger pattern. Internal documents from March 2011 outline the Harper Government’s strategy to spend Canadian tax dollars on a PR and lobbying campaign to derail Europe’s climate and environmental policy. The foreign lobbying strategy lists First Nations and environmental groups as the government’s “adversaries,” while oil companies, industry associations, and the National Energy Board are listed as the government’s “allies.”[4]

Our government’s job is to provide a free and open forum for Canadians to hear the arguments and evidence for and against the Enbridge western pipeline and oil supertanker project, so that together we can decide whether or not the project is in Canada’s best interests.
Instead, Prime Minister Harper is abusing the power of government to silence Canadians who are concerned about a project that will kill jobs, destabilize the climate and threaten our salmon and coast.

Click here to tell Prime Minister Harper to stop the threats and ensure fair hearings:

http://www.leadnow.ca/stop-the-threats

The public hearings about the Enbridge western pipeline and supetanker project are now severely compromised in three ways:

1. The Harper Government has directly biased the hearings with a massive PR campaign to discredit environmental organizations as “foreign special interests” and “radical groups” while privately threatening Canadian charities.[5]

2. The National Energy Board has stacked the deck for the Enbridge western pipeline and supertanker hearings by issuing a directive that muzzles any discussion about the environmental impacts of the tar sands. In this way, they’ve ensured the hearings will overstate the benefits of the pipeline by ignoring the major costs of expanding the tar sands.[6]

3. The National Energy Board has committed to “consult” with First Nations, but it has not committed to respect the rights of First Nations to “free, prior and informed consent” over any project that affects their territory. Over 70 First Nations groups, covering the entire proposed path of the pipeline and much of the BC coast, have already stood together to oppose the project.[7,8]

We are seeing a radical shift in our national conversation, an aggressive attempt to poison the well of debate with public smears and private threats against organizations that Canadians have built to help us all have a voice on the issues that matter.

Sources:

Affidavit accuses Prime Minister’s Office of threatening environmental charity
http://www.globaltvbc.com/canada/affidavit+accuses+prime+ministers+office+of+threatening+environmental+charity/6442566233/story.html
Environmentalist’s departure sheds light on tension felt by green groups
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/activists-dismissal-raises-the-temperature-in-pipeline-debate/article2313991/
Attack on “radicals” sign of tougher federal strategy
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/01/11/pol-gateway-pipeline-strategy.html
Feds list First Nations, green groups as oilsands “adversaries”
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Feds+list+First+Nations+green+groups+oilsands+adversaries/6054920/story.html
”Scary time” for Canada
http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/2012/01/25/scary-time-canada
Canadian pipeline needs aboriginal consent: chief
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-aboriginals-idUSTRE80O1SC20120125
Save the Fraser Declaration
http://savethefraser.ca
Whistleblower’s Open Letter to Canadians

PMO branded environmental group an ‘enemy’ of Canada, affidavit says
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1120800–pmo-branded-environmental-group-an-enemy-of-canada-affidavit-says
Affidavit accuses Prime Minister’s Office of threatening environmental charity
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/greenpage/affidavit-accuses-prime-ministers-office-of-threatening-environmental-charity-137994418.html
Affidavit accuses PMO of threatening environmental group
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20120124/pmo-affidavit-environment-120124/
Leadnow.ca is an independent community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Thank-you to Leadnow for their great investigative work. With the evil Harper Government it is always what they do and never what they say.