Friday, February 7, 2014

We Stand On Guard Against Thee

If you are a member or supporter of the Harper regime, who is Thee? The list is long, but let's start with environmental organizations that have previously been labelled as terrorists.

The latest weapon in this war against dissenting voices, voices the Harper cabal has shown remarkably little tolerance for as they try to move us to some kind of post-democratic state, is the Canadian Revenue Agency. As reported by the CBC,

The Canada Revenue Agency is currently conducting extensive audits on some of Canada's most prominent environmental groups to determine if they comply with guidelines that restrict political advocacy, CBC News has learned.

If the CRA rules that the groups exceeded those limits, their charitable status could be revoked, which would effectively shut them down.

Here is a list of the targeted groups:

The David Suzuki Foundation

Tides Canada

West Coast Environmental Law

The Pembina Foundation

Environmental Defence


Ecology Action Centre

The groundwork for this assault was laid by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty during pre-budget consultations in December, when he warned charities to be very 'cautious', as he was considering tightening up the rule that permits 10% of charitable donations to be used for political activity or advocacy, something that has traditionally been interpreted to preclude partisan activities, which the aforementioned charities have been always very cautious about.

Since the government claims that CRA investigations are complaint-driven, their trojan horse of choice would appear to be a group known as Ethical Oil, whose website states its purpose as

Encouraging people, businesses and governments to choose Ethical Oil from Canada, its oilsands, and from other liberal democracies.

Indeed, the shadowy group, registered as a non-profit but looking like a shill for the oil industry, formally submitted complaints to the CRA about Tides Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defence.

Is this just fair game? Not really, given the following curious fact:

The group was founded by Alykhan Velshi, who is currently the director of issues management in the Prime Minister's Office. Environmental groups say Ethical Oil is funded by the oil and gas industry to try to undermine their work

For a much more detailed discussion of this latest assault on dissent and its implications, you may wish to check out the following video from yesterday's Power and Politics:


  1. This is straight out of Richard Nixon's playbook, Lorne. But, unlike Nixon, Harper appears to be getting away with it.

    1. They certainly seem to have a bottomless repertoire of dirty tricks, Owen.

  2. What's next, Lubyanka on the Rideau? It sounds as though CRA got their marching orders from Joe Oliver. It's time to take to the streets with pitchforks and torches.

    1. The signs are becoming increasingly ominous, Mound, but I am not sure I see much indication of real public outrage building.