Tar sands campaigners are Canada's new 'terrorists'
Publisher: The Ecologist
Date Written: 05/03/2015
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX17360
Canada's Harper government has targeted as a new crime being a member of an 'anti-Canadian petroleum movement', and equating such a stance with terrorism.
Canada's 'Anti-Terrorism Bill' proposes a massive increase in the power of security services, writes Pete Dolack - and in the crosshairs are campaigners against a tar sands industry that's intent on releasing 240 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, and those fighting the pipelines needed to get the heavy crude to market. Who are the real 'extremists'?
Canada's Harper régime has invented the new crime of being a member of an 'anti-Canadian petroleum movement', and equating such a stance with terrorism.
A secret report prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the country's national police agency, claims that public activism against the problems caused by oil and gas extraction is a growing and violent threat to Canada's national security.
Whether police officials truly believe they understand the global climate better than scientists who are expert in the field or are merely providing 'intelligence' that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to hear, I will leave to others more familiar than I with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Instead, the RCMP quotes the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, cites a poll commissioned by a foundation connected to the oil industry, and a columnist at the Toronto Sun, a hard-right tabloid in the Murdoch mold.
The Globe and Mail of Toronto quoted a Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman denying any intention of spying on peaceful protestors:
"There is no focus on environmental groups, but rather on the broader criminal threats to Canada's critical infrastructure. The RCMP does not monitor any environmental protest group. Its mandate is to investigate individuals involved in criminality."
Environmentalists and Indigenous Peoples have been subjected to spying by the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, according to a complaint filed by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.
Such speed is consistent with the Harper government's attitude toward activists. A previous environment minister, Peter Kent, called parliamentary opponents of tar sands "treacherous" and had a long history of dismantling every regulation he could.
A scientist who is often trotted out by global-warming deniers is Wei-Hock ('Willie') Soon, who was recently revealed to have taken more than $1.2 million from the fossil-fuel industry. The New York Times reports that at least 11 papers Dr. Soon has published since 2008 omitted disclosures of this funding and at least eight violate the ethical guidelines of the journals that published him. The Times reports:
"[D]ocuments show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as "deliverables" that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress."
US President Barack Obama's February 24th veto of a congressional bill designed to force Keystone construction by no means puts that issue to rest. The State Department's inaccurate claim that the pipeline would not add to global warming and falsehoods that tens of thousands of jobs would result remain an official document.
TransCanada Corporation, the same company that wants to build Keystone XL to the Gulf of Mexico, is also proposing an Energy East pipeline that would carry tar sands oil to terminals in Québec City and St. John, New Brunswick.
The RCMP reports asserts that "extremists pose a realistic criminal threat to Canada's petroleum industry." Advocating for clean air and water is a crime?