|Dr. David Suzuki|
Green groups are responding to the Conservative government’s aggressive attacks on “radical” and “foreign funded” organizations, which culminated in $8-million in new spending in last month’s budget for the Canada Revenue Agency to step up “education and compliance” oversight of the charities, including more audits.
“We’re seeing a very difficult period of time in terms of the rhetoric and the tone of what’s coming out from the government,” Mr. Robinson, the Suzuki Foundation’s chief executive, told The Globe and Mail’s editorial board on Thursday.
“And why we find this alarming is that environmental groups and organizations, we think, provide a really valuable input into discussions in our society, things that Canadians value.”
The Suzuki Foundation, which had revenues of $8.7-million last year, is one of a number of green groups that have been targeted by supporters of the oil industry and the proposal to build a pipeline called the Northern Gateway to bring oil sands bitumen to the West Coast. Mr. Robinson said the group has not taken a position on the proposal and remains well within the law, with its work primarily focused on scientific research.
Dr. Suzuki said he had to leave the board and distance himself from the organization because the foundation was being targeted because of his personal views and actions. The 76-year-old environmentalist said he had felt he needed more freedom to speak his mind.
“Every time I shot off my mouth, the foundation got blamed for my remarks as an individual and I thought, ‘I can’t stand being a liability,’ ” Dr. Suzuki said. “I’m at an age now where … I can say things without, I think, being accused of having an ulterior agenda or a desire for money or fame or whatever.”
Sometimes in politics, issues have a kind of abstract quality, and the public is less able and perhaps less willing to delve into the complexities, and a specific political act 'gets a pass' from public scrutiny and criticism. However, when there is a face, and when that face is the world renown one of Dr. David Suzuki, who has done more to educate the public about some of the beauties and complexities of nature, as well as many of the dangers our economic masters are generating against the sustainability of that same nature, of which we are all a part, there is no ambiguity about the issue.
This resignation is a kind of political declaration of war.
Environmental groups are now the new definition of political terrorism, so defined by the Harper gang.
And what that means is that this government will tolerate no public statements by any "charity" that contradict their tone-deaf and blind and blatantly anti-environmental protection policies, so that they can proceed with their "job-creation" strategy of pipelines and oil-company profits much of which flow directly into their campaign war chest.
Silencing Dr. David Suzuki is like a family silencing the wisdom of its most cherished elder, refusing to listen to the formal eduation, and the decades of experiential learning and research and the platinum reputation for integrity that has become the hallmark of this man's life as a Canadian. And any Canadian government that would seek or even tolerate his resignation from his own foundation, in his words, "so I am not a liability" is so far removed from the core of Canadian values as to be a foreign body to the nature and culture of the country. So what, if he spoke publicly in favour of the Ontario Liberal party's energy policy! Does that make him a political enemy and a potential terrorist? Hardly!
And if the public is not ashamed of this kind of political warfare, it deserves whatever myopia and regression this government serves up, in the interests of their political "friends" and allies.
We're with Suzuki, unequivocally and irretrievably and we call on our countrymen to push back against this neurotic and brittle mind-control, as government policy, not to mention the dangers it proposes to OUR environment.