Tag Archives: Joe Oliver

Carol Off interview with Joe Oliver – Gerald Kaplan “Harper is right: Foreign radicals are after the oil sands”

I am not a political person but I’ve always had an interest in politics and history. I read the paper, I listen to the radio – I vote – I can hold a semi-intelligent conversation on the issues of the day. And while I can feel passionate about issues there’s not much that could make me want to write about them or god forbid – go out and protest. I am so not French:)

A few months ago I was cooking and listening to Carol Off (CBC As it happens)  interview with Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver. This is what I heard. A full transcript of the interview is here:

Carol Off : Mr Oliver, who are these radical groups you mention in your letter?

Oliver : Well I’m not going to name names but there are, as people know, a number of groups who are opposed to the development of hydro carbons – they even oppose hydro-electricity development. I don’t know where they think we’re going to get the energy to maintain our current level of civilization but that’s where they’re coming from and they’re trying to game the system.

Carol Off : Why can’t you tell us who they are?

Oliver : Well because I don’t think we need to get into that level of specificity. The point is they’re there, some of them are being financed by, er, by groups, and we think that these decisions which are so important for the Canadian economy, for Canadian jobs, should be made by Canadians in Canada.

Carol goes on to ask what the difference is between the multi-billion dollar foreign oil company investments in Alberta and the so-callled foreign capital fuelled interests of Canadian environmental groups? (I left radical out on purpose)

I thought it was one of the most interesting interviews I had heard in a long time because it’s the first time I had heard government refer to environmental groups as ‘radical’.  In the end the Minister looked foolish but not so foolish for the government to alter its course. Because by keeping the message deceptively simple – ‘environmentalists are radicals’ and they are funded by foreign money and therefore foreigners are driving our national agenda…they have been able to put environmentalists on the defensive by making simple but wrong connections. Smart. We happened to watch Good Night, and Good Luck last night about the honourable Joe McCarthy who used a similar tactic to ruin people’s lives.

Anyways, that interview gave me the chills. It actually scared me. Because I realize the world is not necessarily filled with people who have the best intentions. That I live in a country where I can speak my mind (still). That I don’t want scientific research to be muzzled. I don’t want to live in a climate of fear. We have a government that means business. Serious business. So as a public service I will continue to bring relevant articles where I can. Because I can.

Now this is a very interesting article about the Koch Brothers and their investments in Alberta. It’s also about funding for the Fraser Institute.

Harper is right: Foreign radicals are after the oil sands

GERALD CAPLAN

Globe and Mail Update

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have courageously chosen to expose and confront foreign interests that have surreptitiously been infiltrating the Canadian oil industry – and they don’t mean their Chinese Communist partners. They are apparently in possession of revelations about these extremists and criminals that, in the words of Senator Nicole Eaton, “would make your blood boil.”

Launching a much-needed Senate inquiry into “interference of foreign foundations in Canada’s domestic affairs” and their “abuse” of registered charitable status, Ms. Eaton stated: “There is political manipulation. There is influence peddling. There are millions of dollars crossing borders masquerading as charitable donations.” I am glad to contribute to their work.

Welcome to the world of American brothers David and Charles Koch. According to Forbes, in 2011 Koch Industries was the second-largest privately held company in the United States with annual revenue of about $98-billion; the total revenue for the government of Canada for 2011-12 was $248-billion. The brothers each had a net worth of $25-billion, more than the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame. Among the most powerful men in the world whose holdings included major commercial investments in the Alberta oil sands, for years the Kochs have moved heaven and earth to protect the unrestrained pursuit of oil from environmental considerations. Continue reading

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David Suzuki: What’s so radical about caring for the earth and opposing Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline?

Here’s an excellent editorial piece by David Suzuki and communications specialist Ian Hannington in this week’s Georgia Straight about our government and the proposed development of the two pipelines. Very well done.

By David Suzuki, January 17, 2012

Caring about the air, water, and land that give us life. Exploring ways to ensure Canada’s natural resources serve the national interest. Knowing that sacrificing our environment to a corporate-controlled economy is suicide. If those qualities make us radicals, as federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver recently claimed in an open letter, then I and many others will wear the label proudly.

But is it radical to care for our country, our world, our children and grandchildren, our future? It seems more radical for a government to come out swinging in favour of an industrial project in advance of public hearings into that project. It seems especially radical when the government paints everyone who opposes the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project as American-funded traitors with a radical ideological agenda “to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth.”

It’s bad enough when our government and its “ethical oil” and media supporters don’t tell the truth, but it’s worse when they don’t even offer rational arguments. Their increasing attacks on charitable organizations and Canadians from all walks of life show that if they can’t win with facts, they’ll do everything they can to silence their critics. And we thought conservative-minded people valued free speech!

The proposed Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipeline projects and the massive, mostly foreign-controlled expansion of the tar sands are not about finding the best way to serve Canada’s national interests. If we truly wanted to create jobs, we would refine the oil in Canada and use it to reduce our reliance on imported oil, much of which comes from countries that government supporters say are “unethical”. If we really cared about using resources for the national interest, we would slow development in the tar sands, improve environmental standards, increase royalties and put some of the money away or use it to switch to cleaner energy, eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and encourage Canadian companies to develop the resource.

Instead, we are called radicals for daring to even question the wisdom of selling entire tar sands operations to China’s state-owned oil companies and building a pipeline so that the repressive government of China, rather than Canadians, can reap most of the benefits from the refining jobs, profits, and the resource itself. We are radical because we are concerned about the real dangers of oil-filled supertankers moving through narrow fiords with unpredictable weather conditions and through some of the last pristine ecosystems on Earth. We are condemned by our own government because we question the safety of two pipelines crossing more than 1,000 streams and rivers through priceless wilderness—a reasonable concern, in light of the more than 800 pipeline spills that Enbridge, the company in charge of the Northern Gateway, has had since 1999.

And so here we are, a country with a government that boasts of our “energy superpower” status but doesn’t even have a national energy plan. A country willing to sacrifice its manufacturing industry, its opportunities in the green-energy economy, its future, and the health of its people for the sake of short-term profits. A country hell-bent on selling its industry and resources wholesale to any country that wants them, without regard for the ethics or activities of those countries. Continue reading

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