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not all is equal. what choice will you make?

Foreign Meddling 101

Ethical Oil January 25, 2012

It’s only been a few short weeks since we launched, the campaign to expose the foreign lobby groups working to sabotage and paralyze the hearings into the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. What an impact: reporters everywhere are finally asking tough questions about the influence of non-Canadian power on our regulatory processes, and the government is calling for measures to begin “fixing” the system to ensure that these foreign meddlers cannot achieve their ultimate goals of stopping Canada’s economic development, to turn Canada into “one giant national park,” as the prime minister himself put it.

But here’s another, more important development: Opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline is plummeting. In December, just one month ago, a Forum Research poll found 51% of Canadians were opposed to the proposed project. In January, the percentage of Canadians opposed was 43%. That’s an 8% drop in a month. That is significant.

Maybe Canadians are starting to grow suspicious of all this manufactured dissent: groups we once listened to, even empathized with, thinking they were representing Canadian voices, have been revealed as foreign-paid operatives. The anti-Gateway lobby has suffered an incredible loss of credibility. How could they not, when they go on TV to announce they’re available for hire to anyone with money — Martians, even?

The more Canadians learn about the covert operations of the foreign lobby working to shut down Canadian jobs and opportunities, the more Canadians will stop believing the spin coming from the anti-Gateway groups. So, here are a couple of great articles worth reading to shed a little more light on the machinations of the anti-Canadian-oil campaign:

From business columnist Claudia Cattaneo, writing in the Financial Post:

“The major environmental organizations campaigning against the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL are as strategic, self-serving and political as their Big Oil counterparts. They exploit the Canadian sector’s ineptness at telling its story, as well as Canadians’ ignorance, to push their competing anti-oil, pro-green energy industry agenda, stretching facts and magnifying risks…Unlike Big Oil, they are not transparent about their motives.”

Read on, as Cattaneo reveals a secret meeting between the major anti-oil groups: “a crossborder coalition to jointly raise funds from big U.S. foundations to take on Canadian politicians, regulators, investors, communities and the media.” They developed “plans to raise the negatives of the oil-sands industry, boost the costs of producing them [and] stop infrastructure development…”

Lawrence Solomon, meanwhile, a veteran environmentalist himself, reveals the backstory behind the collusion that turned many environmentalists into lobbyists for American interests.

After years of environmental groups toiling away at the grassroots, he explains, they were essentially bought up by foreign billionaires. Those who resisted, were frozen out.

“Co-operation, not competition, became the watchword. At future joint meeting of funders and agreeable environmental groups, common strategies would be set, and differing roles carved out for the agreeable groups. Environmental groups that weren’t agreeable found themselves without funding.”

The result, he says, has been “the greatest environmental advocacy effort in history,” of which battles against the Northern Gateway, and the proposed U.S.-bound Keystone XL  pipeline, are just a start.

This is all, he points out, serving the agenda of powerful foreign interests. “As elsewhere, he who pays the piper calls the tunes.”

The more light we can shine on these lobbyists and their foreign funding, the more Canadians can at least understand where so much of the opposition to our resource development is coming from — and it isn’t from here at home. You can help: educate your friends, your family, your co-workers, your hockey team, whoever, about what’s really going on in the debate over our resources. You might just find that the more people realize that outsiders are trying to manipulate us, our regulatory processes, and our economy, the more polls we’ll see continuing to show the opposition to Northern Gateway, and other important potential infrastructure projects, falling.

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