Tag Archives: Canadian Journalists

#PMO #Harper’s #CPC #EnemyList vs #Canada = #EpicFail 4 #cdnpoli and #Freedom

#PMO #Harper’s #CPC #EnemyList vs #Canada = #EpicFail 4 #cdnpoli and #Freedom

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”
~ Mario Savio – The Machine Speech – Sproul Hall Steps – Dec 2 1964

Richard Nixon, Watergate cited as anger erupts over Stephen Harper government’s ‘enemy’ list By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News July 16, 2013

OTTAWA — Comparisons with the Nixon administration and Watergate are being raised following revelations the Harper government ordered “enemy” lists compiled in advance of this week’s cabinet shuffle.

The Prime Minister’s Office sent an email to Conservative ministerial aides on July 4 asking to develop lists of troublesome bureaucrats as well as “friend and enemy stakeholders” for incoming ministers and their staff.

The PMO has refused to comment on the controversy, which erupted after emails outlining the order were leaked to media outlets in Ottawa by an unidentified source on Monday, the same day as the federal cabinet shuffle.

Postmedia News has confirmed through several sources that the emails are authentic, although it was unclear whether the lists were actually created and distributed to new ministers after the shuffle.

The order was considered controversial from the beginning, one insider said, prompting an immediate pushback from some corners and contributing to the decision not to compile a list of “bureaucrats that can’t take no (or yes) for an answer.”

Some also reportedly questioned the wisdom of putting the order down in writing for fear it could be leaked and prompt the type of controversy that has, in fact, erupted.

Former environment minister Peter Kent, who is now a Conservative backbencher, said in an interview with Postmedia News that he had not seen nor was aware of any such request from the PMO.

He added it makes perfect sense for an incoming minister to be briefed on those organizations and interest groups he or she can expect to interact with on the new file.

But Kent said “friend and enemy” language is not only “juvenile,” but harkens to former U.S. president Richard Nixon’s so-called “Enemies List,” the existence of which was revealed during the Watergate scandal.

“That was the nomenclature used by Nixon,” he said. “His political horizon was divided very starkly into friends and enemies. The use of the word ‘enemies list,’ for those of us of a certain generation, it evokes nothing less than thoughts of Nixon and Watergate.”

Independent MP Brent Rathgeber, who resigned from the Conservative caucus in June, described the existence of such lists as “inappropriate” and contributing to the “dysfunctional workplace” that Ottawa has become.

However, he said he was not surprised the order was issued given the “very young, very hyper-partisan individuals” in the PMO “who see the world in black and white.”

continue reading: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/national/Richard+Nixon+Watergate+cited+anger+erupts+over+Stephen/8668035/story.html

Ministerial staff asked to develop blacklists in lead-up to shuffle: source
By Amy Minsky and Tom Clark | Global News July 15, 2013 11:26 pm

OTTAWA – In the lead-up to Monday’s cabinet shuffle, ministerial staffers were asked to develop lists of troublesome bureaucrats and “enemy” stakeholders, Global News has learned.

Global National’s Jacques Bourbeau and chief political correspondent Tom Clark react to the changes made during the cabinet shuffle. [Video]

The information was to be included in a transition binder traditionally prepared for incoming ministers.

Global News has obtained a July 4 email written by Erica Furtado, an executive assistant with issues management in the Prime Minister’s Office, with the subject line “Transition Binder Check List”.

In the e-mail, Furtado lists 10 items that need to be addressed in the transition binders. See a scan of the actual email below. [View this document on Scribd]
A source provided the internal email to Global News, saying Furtado sent it following a meeting of the issues management team in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Essentially, ministerial staff was asked to develop a “blacklist” of public servants and stakeholders, the source said.

When the source and some others in their office protested putting such lists together, the group was labelled “political unreliable” and cut off from further communications on the matter, the source said.

Later on July 4, Furtado sent a follow-up email noting that item six on the checklist – fingering troublesome bureaucrats – was “no longer required.”

Examples for the stakeholder “enemies” included environmental groups, non-profits, and civic and industry associations with views that don’t run parallel to the Conservative agenda, the source explained.

The source said the PMO also made a verbal request that ministerial staff come up with a list of “enemy reporters,” but the request was subsequently withdrawn.

A spokesman from the prime minister’s office denied they ever requested a list of enemy reporters, but said the rest of the checklist is normal procedure for staff to assist in the transition of a new minister.

© Shaw Media, 2013

continue reading: http://globalnews.ca/news/718943/ministerial-staff-asked-to-develop-blacklists-in-lead-up-to-shuffle-source/

Stephen Harper’s new ministers were given ‘enemy’ lists
Ishmael N. Daro on July 15, 2013

Every now and then, this federal government does something weird and creepy to confirm everyone’s worst suspicions about Stephen Harper and his inner circle.

Monday’s cabinet shuffle was one of the most significant renewals of the government’s front benches since the Conservatives first took office in 2006, and all those new ministers needed some pointers on how their new ministries work. So it was awfully nice that introductory binders included “enemy” lists.

continue reading: http://www.thealbatross.ca/26922/stephen-harper-ministers-enemy-list

Cabinet shuffle 2013: new ministers given “enemy” lists
By: Susan Delacourt Parliament Hill, Bruce Campion-Smith Parliament Hill Published on Mon Jul 15 2013

Ministers in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s newly shuffled cabinet are being armed with “enemy” lists of people and bureaucratic interests to avoid, according to a PMO email obtained by the Star.

OTTAWA—Ministers in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s newly shuffled cabinet are being armed with “enemy” lists of people and bureaucratic interests to avoid, according to a PMO email obtained by the Star.

The July 4 email, from Erica Furtado in the PMO’s issues-management department, directs government staffers on what to include in the transition booklets that are given to new ministers.

continue reading: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/07/15/cabinet_shuffle_2013_new_ministers_given_enemy_lists.html

Tories facing heat for compiling ‘enemies’ lists for new ministers
STEVEN CHASE OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail Published Tuesday, Jul. 16 2013, 12:58 AM EDT Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 16 2013, 8:30 AM EDT

The Harper government is facing questions about whether Conservative staffers were compiling enemies lists as part of transition plans for Monday’s cabinet shuffle.

A July 4 email obtained by Global News shows a Prime Minister’s Office official asking staff working for cabinet ministers across the government to draw up lists of pesky bureaucrats and “enemy stakeholders.”

continue reading: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-tories-facing-heat-for-compiling-enemies-lists-for-new-ministers/article13240082/

Stephen Harper requested list of enemy lobby groups, bureaucrats and reporters, documents show
Mike De Souza Published: July 15, 2013, 6:51 pm Updated: 2 hours ago (16Jul2013)

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office asked Conservative political staffers to develop lists of “enemy” lobby groups, as well as troublesome bureaucrats and reporters to avoid as part of preparations for incoming ministers named in Monday’s cabinet shuffle, according to leaked documents sent to Postmedia News by an unidentified source.

The leaked documents, also sent to other media outlets, appeared to provide a “check list” for outgoing political staffers to provide as part of a briefing package for new ministers.

The list proposed 10 categories required for each portfolio, including immediate and long-term issues, as well as warnings about “pet bureaucratic projects” and a list of “who to avoid: bureaucrats that can’t take no (or yes) for an answer.”

continue reading: http://o.canada.com/2013/07/15/stephen-harper-requested-list-of-enemy-lobby-groups-bureaucrats-and-reporters-documents-show/

Backgounders: Harper’s Hitlists and Enemies


Harper Government Spends Millions Monitoring Press Of Own MPs
Althia Raj huffingtonpost.com Posted: 05/08/2013 7:54 pm EDT | Updated: 05/09/2013 10:18 am EDT

OTTAWA — The Harper government has spent more than $23 million over the last two years on media monitoring — including more than $2.4 million tracking some of its own backbench MPs in television interviews, radio and print, according to documents tabled in the House of Commons earlier this week.

The names of 65 Conservative backbench MPs — or just about 64 per cent of all Tory MPs who have no ministerial or any parliamentary secretary duties — are included in a list of search terms the federal government paid third-party contractors to monitor in news media from April, 2011 to December, 2012, although some of the terms were also monitored in early 2013.

MPs and staff in every office The Huffington Post Canada contacted Wednesday were bewildered to learn who was named on a list of politicians the Privy Council Office (PCO) tracks. (The PCO is the prime minister’s department).

Conservative government found spying on aboriginal advocate: Tim Harper
Well-known advocate for aboriginal children Cindy Blackstock knew all along her government was spying on her and Tuesday the country’s privacy commissioner agreed.
By: Tim Harper National Affairs, Published on Wed May 29 2013

OTTAWA—Cindy Blackstock knew all along her government was spying on her and Tuesday the country’s privacy commissioner agreed.

Now the well-known advocate for aboriginal children wants to know how many other Canadians may have official Ottawa poking around in their personal affairs — and not even know it.

On a day when most of Ottawa was justly riveted on the Tom Mulcair-Stephen Harper Senate spending showdown, a chilling report by Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart was buried in the news cycle, but it was confirmation of a story Blackstock has been telling since 2011 and an indictment of the way in which the Conservative government is dealing with aboriginal injustice.

Blackstock had become, in essence, an enemy of the state.

In 2007, her organization, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, filed a human rights complaint against Ottawa, alleging discrimination was behind a policy that has Ottawa providing 22 per cent less than the provinces for aboriginal child welfare services.

As the case lumbered through the judicial system, Blackstock first found herself shunned by official Ottawa, then, she alleges, the government began to stalk her in retaliation for her court action, monitoring her personal Facebook page, appearing at her public appearances and repeatedly accessing her Indian status report without reason.

continue reading: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/05/29/conservative_government_found_spying_on_aboriginal_advocate_tim_harper.html

Toronto artist Franke James says Harper government monitored her climate change artwork
By Mike De Souza, Postmedia News May 24, 2013

OTTAWA – More than two dozen senior officials and diplomats in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government monitored information about a Toronto artist over her criticism of the oil and gas industry’s environmental performance.

This behind the scenes reaction was described in passages from more than 2,000 internal federal emails and other records, featured in a new book – Banned on the Hill – released this month by the artist and environmental activist, Franke James.

“This is a small fraction of all the people who’ve been monitoring my file and this is ridiculous,” said James in an interview.

“It’s simply by disagreeing with them that I made it on to their list.”

James has gained a strong Internet fan base through her work, producing animated visual essays and illustrated books that promote sustainable development.

Her first book from 2009 – Bothered by my Green Conscience – described her efforts to reduce her environmental footprint by selling her SUV and a battle with municipal bureaucrats for the right to replace her interlocking brick driveway with a permeable green driveway.

But she found herself on the federal government’s radar in the spring of 2011 after some diplomats agreed to offer a $5,000 grant in support of a European art tour featuring James’s artwork, only to see it revoked a few days later by a senior director of the Foreign Affairs Department’s climate change division who felt the funding would “run counter to Canada’s interests.”

continue reading:

When science goes silent
With the muzzling of scientists, Harper’s obsession with controlling the message verges on the Orwellian
by Jonathon Gatehouse on Friday, May 3, 2013 5:00am – 0 Comments

As far as the government scientist was concerned, it was a bit of fluff: an early morning interview about great white sharks last summer with Canada AM, the kind of innocuous and totally apolitical media commentary the man used to deliver 30 times or more each year as the resident shark expert in the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). So he sent an email off to Ottawa notifying department flaks about the request, and when no response had been received by the next morning, just went ahead and did it.

After all, in the past such initiative was rewarded. His superiors were happy to have him grab some limelight for the department and its research, so much so they once gave him an award as the DFO’s spokesperson of the year. But as he found out, things have changed under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Soon after arriving at his offices, the scientist was called before his regional director and given a formal verbal reprimand: talk to the media again without the explicit permission of the minister’s office, he was warned, and there would be serious consequences—like a suspension without pay, or even dismissal.

“He can’t understand it. The interview was of no consequence and had absolutely no relevance to government policy,” says Gary Corbett, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the union that represents 30,000 government researchers, technicians and science support workers. “It really burst his bubble. They’ve taken away the impetus to educate the public.” Corbett shared details of the incident for the first time with Maclean’s but not the scientist’s identity, for fear he might face further sanction. It’s just one of many such stories of muzzled federal scientists and suppressed research that are being brought to the union’s attention, he says. All against the backdrop of sweeping cuts to water, air and wildlife monitoring programs, a total restructuring of federal environmental reviews, and the downloading of responsibility for lakes and rivers to the provinces. “It’s almost like this government doesn’t want any of this stuff to be open to public discussion,” says the union leader. “What we’re seeing is a total lockdown.”

Since taking power in 2006, Stephen Harper’s government has rarely been caught on the wrong foot. Disciplined on the hustings, in the House, and above all with the media, Tory ministers and MPs have largely avoided the gaffes and unvarnished opinions that used to plague the conservative movement. But to many of its critics, Ottawa’s obsession with controlling the message has become so all-encompassing that it now threatens both the health of Canada’s democracy and the country’s reputation abroad.


Allan Gregg Speech To Alberta Federation Of Labour Slams Harper Government (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post Alberta | Posted: 05/01/2013 12:12 pm EDT | Updated: 05/01/2013 12:18 pm EDT

In a bold move on Alberta soil, Canadian pundit and former Progressive Conservative pollster Allan Gregg delivered a speech to the Alberta Federation of Labour in Edmonton last weekend, criticizing the “assault on reason” by the current federal government.

The former Edmontonian returned to his hometown to deliver a speech, titled “1984 in 2013: The Assault on Reason,” to more than 500 trade unionists attending the annual convention.

“I came here to talk to you about a troubling trend, an assault on reason that doesn’t look like much different than the one described by George Orwell in his dystopian novel 1984…,” Gregg begins.

“It seems as though our government’s use of evidence and facts as the basis of policy is declining, and in their place, dogma, whim and political expediency are on the rise.”

“Even more troubling, especially from the perspective of a public opinion researcher, is that Canadians seem to be, if not buying it, certainly accepting it,” he continued.

Gregg rhymes off programs cut by the government in order to save money, including the long-form census.

“Why would anyone forsake these valuable insights and the chance to make good public policy, rather than bad public policy, under the pretense that rights were being violated when no one ever voiced concern? Was this a crazy one-off move … or was there something larger going on?” he asks.

Watch the full speech in the video below. Story continues after the video


9th Conservative MP speaks out against being muzzled
Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press Published Tuesday, April 16, 2013 7:23PM EDT

OTTAWA — Another Conservative caucus meeting is expected to be dominated Wednesday by the divisive subject of an MP’s freedom to speak in Parliament without being silenced by the party leader.

There is every sign that a number of Conservative MPs refuse to allow the issue to subside three weeks after MPs vented in front of Prime Minister Stephen Harper about their right to speak their minds in the Commons.

Harper will not be in the room to quell any caucus disturbance. He is in London for the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

On Tuesday, BC MP Russ Hiebert became the ninth Conservative MP to stand in the Commons and defend the right of MPs to speak freely without prior consent of the party whip.

continue reading: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/9th-conservative-mp-speaks-out-against-being-muzzled-1.1241039

Canada’s environmental activists seen as ‘threat to national security’
Police and security agencies describe green groups’ protests and petitions as ‘forms of attack’, documents reveal
Stephen Leahy in Uxbridge, Canada guardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 February 2013 17.41 GMT

Monitoring of environmental activists in Canada by the country’s police and security agencies has become the “new normal”, according to a researcher who has analysed security documents released under freedom of information laws.

Security and police agencies have been increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organise petitions, protest and question government policies, said Jeffrey Monaghan of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

The RCMP, Canada’s national police force, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) view activist activities such as blocking access to roads or buildings as “forms of attack” and depict those involved as national security threats, according to the documents.

Protests and opposition to Canada’s resource-based economy, especially oil and gas production, are now viewed as threats to national security, Monaghan said. In 2011 a Montreal, Quebec man who wrote letters opposing shale gas fracking was charged under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act. Documents released in January show the RCMP has been monitoring Quebec residents who oppose fracking.

“Any Canadians going to protest the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington DC on Sunday had better take precautions,” Monaghan said.

In a Canadian Senate committee on national security and defence meeting Monday Feb 11 Richard Fadden, the director of CSIS said they are more worried about domestic terrorism, acknowledging that the vast majority of its spying is done within Canada. Fadden said they are “following a number of cases where we think people might be inclined to acts of terrorism”.

Canada is at very low risk from foreign terrorists but like the US it has built a large security apparatus following 9/11. The resources and costs are wildly out of proportion to the risk said Monaghan.

“It’s the new normal now for Canada’s security agencies to watch the activities of environmental organisations,” he said.

Surveillance and infiltration of environmental protest movement has been routine in the UK for some time. In 2011 a Guardian investigation revealed that a Met police officer had been living undercover for seven years infiltrating dozens of protest groups.

Canadian security forces seem to have a “fixation” with Greenpeace, continually describing them as “potentially violent” in threat assessment documents, said Monaghan.



Stephen Harper government builds stone wall around information: Public editor
Canada has avoided the plague of quote approval but governments control the flow of information in other ways.
By: Kathy English Public Editor, Published on Fri Oct 19 2012

“I was appalled, but perhaps not really surprised, to learn of the quote approval practice you reveal,” reader Frances Smith told me in an email this week in response to my last column about the increasingly common practice of U.S. journalists allowing politicians to vet their quotes before publication.

“How politely you put it: ‘quote approval,’ ” Smith wrote. “There’s another not-so-polite word for it — Censorship.

“This is so ‘1984’ it’s creepy. The Ministry of Truth, or Minitrue, is upon us.”

As I wrote last week, it is a very good thing that Canadian journalists who cover politics, government and public affairs are not facing the same pressures as their American counterparts to agree to demands to allow politicians and public officials to vet, edit or approve their own words before publication as a condition of being interviewed.

But that doesn’t mean everything is tickety-boo here. Indeed, some alarming aspects of George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” as described in his classic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, are the all-too-real truth for Canadian journalists whose role it is to hold the Stephen Harper government to account.

It is no secret that the Harper government has gone to extraordinary lengths to seek to control the agenda and thwart journalists’ dual purpose of holding politicians to account and making government more transparent to citizens.


Allan Gregg Speech Slams Tories’ Orwellian ‘Assault On Reason’
The Huffington Post Canada | Posted: 09/10/2012 3:50 pm EDT | Updated: 09/10/2012 4:16 pm EDT

Well-known Canadian pundit and former Progressive Conservative pollster Allan Gregg delivered a scathing critique of the the Conservative government under Stephen Harper in a speech at Carleton University last week in Ottawa.

Titled “1984 in 2012 – The Assault on Reason,” the speech was given at an event to celebrate the move of Carleton’s Faculty of Public Affairs into a new building.

In the address, Gregg draws parallels between the “nightmarish future” envisioned by George Orwell in his famous novel “1984” and the attitude displayed by the Conservatives in the present toward scientists, environmentalists and public servants.

The speech quickly went viral on social networks, accumulating thousands of shares.

Gregg is perhaps best known as a former regular on CBC’s political At Issue panel on “The National.” His resume, however, goes on and on.

He is chairman of the polling firm Harris Decima and served as a pollster and advisor to the PCs under Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell. He was also a founding shareholder of the TV network YTV and has served as Chairman of the Toronto International Film Festival. He even founded a record label, The Song Corp., and has worked with the Tragically Hip, The Watchmen and Big Wreck.

You can read the complete text of Gregg’s speech below the slideshow.

continue reading: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/10/allan-gregg-speech-assault-on-reason_n_1871658.html

Stephen Harper government turns environmentalists into public enemies
By: Linda McQuaig Columnist, Published on Mon Jun 04 2012

Prime Minister uses the resources of the state to intimidate and silence critics.

Nicole Eaton may be Canada’s Mitt Romney.

The Republican presidential candidate comes across as a wealthy patrician with little sense of how tough the world can be for people who don’t have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal.

That tendency also seems to afflict Eaton, a wealthy Conservative fundraiser appointed to the Senate by Stephen Harper. She’s a leading figure in the Harper government’s campaign to aggressively go after environmental activist groups by threatening their charitable status.

“I don’t understand their fear of a chill,” Eaton told the Globe and Mail last week. Eaton, who was born wealthy and married into the Canadian department store fortune, has probably never experienced the kind of fear that the Harper government seems bent on instilling in environmental activists who dare to challenge its agenda.

In fact, creating a chill among environmental activists seems to be precisely the aim of the Harper team, as it gears up for a new stage in its battle to sideline anyone raising questions about the relentless growth of Alberta’s oilsands.

continue reading: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/2012/06/04/stephen_harper_government_turns_environmentalists_into_public_enemies.html

Are Canadian Women Also Radical Enemies of the State?
Tia Everitt Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

In an orgy of axe swinging and program bludgeoning last week, the federal government set their sights on taking a clean shot at the health and well-being of Canadian women. With all of the vitriol and paternalistic reining in recently, one can’t help but wonder if the government has lumped people with two X chromosomes in with the other “radical” enemies of the state, like Dr. David Suzuki or people who like whales. The latest casualties? 6 federally funded women’s health programs, which fall under the umbrella of the Women’s Health Contribution Program.

continue reading: http://politicsrespun.org/2012/05/are-canadian-women-also-radical-enemies-of-the-state/

Canadian government muzzles librarians and archivists, creates snitch line to report those who speak online or in public without permission
Cory Doctorow at 11:12 am Tue, Mar 19, 2013

Canada’s Conservative government has issued new regulations to librarians and archvists governing their free speech in public forums and online media. According to the Harper government, public servants owe a “duty of loyalty” to the “duly elected government” and must get permission from their political officers managers before making any public utterance — or even a private utterance in an online forum that may eventually leak to the public, to prevent “conflicts” or “risks” their departments.

The Tories have also rolled out a snitch-line where those loyal to the party line can report on their co-workers for failing to maintain ideological purity.


Harper wages ‘wars’
By: Frances Russell Posted: 03/14/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0 | Last Modified: 03/16/2012 4:52 PM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s hostility toward Elections Canada is long-standing and visceral. As Elections Canada starts its investigation into harassing and misleading phone calls in the 2011 election, it’s uncertain how confident Canadians can be the Conservatives will co-operate or that Elections Canada can proceed without consequence.

As head of the right-wing National Citizens’ Coalition, Harper fought Elections Canada all the way to the Supreme Court over the ban on unlimited third-party election advertising and lost. From today’s vantage point, that court case has an eerie if not prophetic title — Harper vs. Elections Canada.

In 2001, Harper penned a fundraising letter to his members claiming “the Elections Canada jackasses are out of control” for charging a private citizen who transmitted election results in real time.

Harper has had two more bouts with the agency since becoming prime minister, accusing it of staging a partisan witch hunt and of being in bed with Liberals and the media. He attacked it for prosecuting the Conservatives for the “in and out” affair, illegally transferring money to 67 local candidates who then transferred it back to be spent on national ads, thus exceeding campaign spending limits. He also attacked it for upholding the law allowing veiled voting.

continue reading: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/harper-wages-wars-142592086.html

Stephen Harper wages war on environmental activists opposing Northern Gateway Pipeline Project
Why won’t the prime minister shut up and allow the regulator to do its job?
by Matthew Kalkman on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Sometimes I feel like I am in a terrible nightmare and I can’t wake up. I had that feeling again when I read the story about fellow citizens being labelled by a Prime Minister’s Office official as “enemies of the government of Canada” solely for the issues they had with our government’s environmental policy. This nightmare only continued with the release of secret memos branding aboriginal communities as “adversaries” in the Enbridge pipeline debate, and took on global proportions when the attacks persisted during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s trip to China. I gave myself a pinch, and yet still found I was in a country that was more and more difficult to recognize as the progressive Canada we all felt we inhabited. We now see Harper’s attack machine—which mastered its tactics against former Liberal leaders like Michael Ignatieff and Stéphane Dion—being pointed at Canadian citizens who care about having an honest discussion on our environment. This has become all too Orwellian.

The federal government empowered a Joint Review Panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the National Energy Board Act to rule on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline Project. Enbridge hopes to build two 1,177-kilometre pipelines between Alberta and Kitimat to facilitate the export of oil to Asia.

The PMO’s criticism of environmental groups that are intervenors in the regulatory process of the pipeline hinders the integrity of the process itself. It also calls into question the ability of charitable foundations, which fund intervenors, to have views that differ from the Harper government. This is failed leadership.


Government labels environmentalists “terrorist threat” in new report
Canada’s new counter-terrorism strategy lists environmentalism next to white supremacy as an “issue-based” terrorist threat. Is eco-terrorism really a danger to Canadians?
Alexis Stoymenoff Posted: Feb 10th, 2012

This article can now be found in Extract: The Pipeline Wars Vol. 1 Enbridge. Extract contains a year of the Vancouver Observer’s powerful reporting on the proposed Enbridge pipeline. Get your copy here

Praise for Extract: The Pipeline Wars Vol. 1 Enbridge

“This is one of the greatest stories underway on the planet—the effort to wrest vast quantities of the dirtiest energy on earth from beneath Canada’s boreal forests, and the even greater and far more beautiful effort to stop them. The stakes—the health of the planet’s climate—simply couldn’t be higher.

Read this book. Extract does a great job of giving voice to some of the people on the front lines and giving you the information you need to engage in the debate.”

— Bill McKibben, climate activist and 350.org founder

Extract: The Pipeline Wars is a terrifying tour-de-force that opens a grim window on the future: this is not just about British Columbia, but about the world. As the fossil fuel industry taps dirtier and dirtier sources of energy to maintain their supremacy, as more regions of the world are despoiled in the process, the downhill run to ultimate destruction lies plainly before us…unless it can be stopped. Extract: The Pipeline Wars tells us why, and how, this must happen. Excellent, important work.

— William Pitt, Truthout editor and New York Times bestselling author.

We need information and hard facts to make thoughtful, forward-thinking decisions that reverberate long into the future. Here’s a book that cuts through the self-interested rhetoric of climate deniers and the fossil fuel industry.

— David Suzuki, environmentalist and David Suzuki Foundation founder

continue reading: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/government-labels-environmentalists-terrorist-threat-new-report

ForestEthics: Affidavit Accuses Prime Minister’s Office Of Threatening Environmental Charity
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press First Posted: 01/24/2012 4:44 pm Updated: 01/26/2012 11:15 am

A former employee of an environmental group critical of a proposed oilsands pipeline says the Prime Minister’s Office threatened a funding agency if it didn’t pull its support for the group.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper denies the allegations.

In a sworn affidavit released Tuesday to The Canadian Press, Andrew Frank says he was told by his supervisor at ForestEthics that a PMO official had referred to their organization as an “enemy of the state.” The affidavit describes how staff were told their jobs were at risk after the official told Tides Canada, which supports the work of ForestEthics, that the government would “take down” all of the agency’s projects unless it cut ForestEthics loose.

Tides gets most of its money from private foundations and assists a wide array of social and environmental charities in Canada — from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to the World Wildlife Fund. It also partners with major corporations and governments, including federal government agencies.

Frank says he was fired from his job as communications adviser at ForestEthics on Monday over his plans to go public.

His affidavit details a series of conversations allegedly held in early January between ForestEthics and Tides staff.

continue reading: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/24/forestethics-pmo-stephen-harper_n_1229175.html

“Scary time” for Canada
Critics say they’re “dismayed” by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s anti-democratic and “McCarthy-esque” tactics, regarding regulatory hearings for the Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline.
Alexis Stoymenoff Posted: Jan 25th, 2012

ForestEthics whistleblower Andrew Frank claims that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office is resorting to threats to quell environmental opposition against the Northern Gateway pipeline. There have been conflicting reports on what actually happened at Frank’s organization, but for others in the environmental community his serious allegations come as no surprise.

In an open letter and signed affidavit, the former ForestEthics communications manager recounted how representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office attempted to silence pipeline critics, alleging that they blacklisted the environmental group as an “enemy of the Government of Canada”. Frank claimed that the PMO threatened the charitable status of the prominent Tides Canada Foundation, unless they agreed to pull funding from ForestEthics.

Tides CEO Ross McMillan would not comment on Frank’s allegations, saying his depiction of interactions with the Prime Minister’s Office was “inaccurate”. PMO press secretary Andrew MacDougall has denied that the office made any of the statements reported in the affidavit, and Frank has since been fired from his position.

Regardless of whether or not the Prime Minister’s Office named the organization an “enemy” of the state, the feeling of tension amongst environmental groups on the pipeline issue is hard to ignore. For John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada, Frank’s claims are simply another sign of the Harper government’s aggressive tactics.

“I can’t really comment on what was said there, but I can tell you that I have personally been yelled at by John Baird when he was the environment minister,” said Bennett.

“So I’m not surprised that someone in the Prime Minister’s Office might say something like that. It certainly rings true with how they talk to us whenever we do get a chance to talk to anyone.”


Harper’s Former Schoolmate Now on His Enemies List
‘Radical foreign’ oil sands foe Bill McKibben attended Toronto elementary school with Stephen Harper.
By Andrew MacLeod, 19 Jan 2012, TheTyee.ca

One of the “radical foreign” environmentalists the Canadian government has targetted in recent weeks appears to have gone to elementary school with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“I didn’t know him, but it does sound like we overlapped,” said Bill McKibben in an email to The Tyee.

McKibben founded the global climate campaign 350.org and his books include The End of Nature, which his website says was the first book on climate change for a general audience when it came out in 1989.

In early January when Harper’s Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver criticized “radical” foreign environmentalists who oppose the proposed Gateway pipeline that would take oil from Alberta’s oil sands across northern British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, McKibben felt targetted.

“I think he’s talking about people like me,” he wrote in a Vancouver Sun column. “I’ve spent much of the last year helping rally opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline from the oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico. I was arrested outside the White House in August, and emceed the demonstration that brought thousands of people to circle the White House in November.”

The campaign McKibben led against the Keystone XL pipeline has so far succeeded, by the way, with United States President Barack Obama announcing Jan. 18 he’s rejected TransCanada Corp.’s application for a building permit, though the company is welcome to reapply after making a small route change.

Once were neighbours



Stephen Harper’s hit list, organizations whose funding has been cut or ended
Dennis Gruending March 25, 2011

The Conservative government, or the Harper government as it insists upon being called, has either fallen or engineered its own defeat and the election is upon us. This is perhaps a good time to take stock of who the Harperites have spent their time attacking in the past several years. (They have also lavished favour on their own, appointing them to be judges, to the Immigration Review Board, the CRTC or other federal agencies). The list of organizations that have been shut down and cut back, and the individuals bullied, is a long one and we can expect it to grow if, as seems likely, the Conservatives are reelected. I have written extensively about some of these actions, including the government’s attack on the ecumenical group KAIROS and the shameful treatment of the Rights and Democracy organization, but the following list, culled from on line sources, is more comprehensive.

continue reading: http://www.dennisgruending.ca/2011/03/stephen-harpers-hit-list/

Research Further: Harper’s Hitlists and Enemies

  • Hit List Voices-Voix Coalition – The hit list documents more than 80 cases of individuals, organizations and public service institutions that have been muzzled, defunded, shut down or subjected to vilification. A further dozen are currently in development. The evidence shows a pattern of silencing people, shutting out knowledge and narrowing the democratic space for those who engage in advocacy and dissent in Canada.The hit list allows you to filter your search by profile type (e.g. individuals), by type of target (e.g. women or environmental organizations), or by silencing tactics (e.g. defunding).
  • “Enemies of the State” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. – Although Jews were the main target of Nazi hatred, they were not the only group persecuted. Other individuals and groups were considered “undesirable” and “enemies of the state.” Once the voices of political opponents were silenced, the Nazis stepped up their terror against other “outsiders.”
  • First they came… WikipediA – “First they came…” is a famous statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the sloth of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. There is some disagreement over the exact wording of the quotation and when it was created; the content of the quotation may have been presented differently by Niemöller on different occasions.
  • Mario Savio The Machine Speech via Sproul Hall Steps Dec 2 1964 LiveWord? Canada via YouTube – “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

Hat tip to D and Occupy Canada for providing some of the details!

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