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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Labelling radicals or creating them?

When the NDP members went to Washington to lobby against Tar Sands their actions were labeled treacherous by our Environment Minster Peter Kent. Funny that, protecting the environment is supposed to be his job, not defending industry.

This week Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural resources accuses everyone opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline of belonging to “environmental and other radical groups”

In both cases government members dismiss the democratic right of opposition, in the first instance MPs were basically told they should stay at home and STFU about important issues and in the second case that the public should be considered radical if they disagree with government or care more about the world we live in than the profits of oil companies.

Sure we have procedures to voice our concerns and ask questions about these mega projects but Oliver sweeps these aside as fraught with loopholes and illegitimate “stacked” hearings that actually allow citizens to speak on the issues. Have no doubt that just like the debate in the HOC last fall the Northern Gateway hearings will be cut short limiting public input, data, and circumventing the proper procedures. Rather than have hearings “stacked” with real people with legitimate concerns the majority of voices heard will be those supporting dirty oil and the pipeline project.

The "Harper" government is continuing its old trick of demonizing anyone who speaks against it. No longer however are they content to prey on senior diplomats, appointees and bureaucrats, now it is forbidden for any Canadian citizen or group to have an opposing view to the ruling Junta. Those that speak out are quickly labeled as treacherous radical enemies of the state not worthy of a voice at the table.

Take a group of people, almost any group will do and belittle their beliefs, tell them their voices don’t matter and destroy those things they care about with no recourse and you’ve got a great recipe for creating REAL radicals. This is essentially what the Conservatives are doing to the environmental movement.

Now I will never believe that putting long term human survival and proper stewardship of the environment before profit is radical but blowing stuff up to achieve these ends IS.

I WOULD NEVER endorse such actions but it would not surprise me if the Conservative methodology (even more so than their agenda) will create new versions of the Earth Liberation Front, more Wiebo Ludwigs, or some devotee of Derrick Jensen will take this quote and reinterpret it. "Every morning when I awake I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam. I tell myself I should keep writing, though I'm not sure that's right".

Harper wants to label and silence “environmental radicals” but in hindsight I think we’ll agree he did more to create them than silence them.

I hope Canadians will rise up politically before someone takes this path
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