BY: MICHAEL LYONS
Canadian press and environmental groups are reporting that a leaked 2014 report by the federal and national police body, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) describes the national security threat of an “anti-petroleum movement.”
In the face of the new terrorism bill, the RCMP report dated January 24, 2014, recently obtained by French-language publication La Presse and environmental group Greenpeace Canada, describes how, “There is a growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels.”
The RCMP document casts climate change activists as outside mainstream Canadian public opinion, and points to criminal acts that took place between 2006 and 2013, particularly the anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick that turned violent, as its straw man.
NGOs such as Greenpeace, Tides Canada and Sierra Club Canada, to name a few, assert climate change is now the most serious global threat, and that climate change is a direct consequence of elevated anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions which, they believe, are directly linked to the continued use of fossil fuels…
Research and analysis done in support of ongoing RCMP criminal investigations shows that those involved in the anti-Canadian petroleum movement have an interest in drawing public attention to, and building recognition of, the perceived environmental threat from the continued use of fossil fuels.
The publicizing of these concerns has led to significant, and often negative, media coverage surrounding the Canadian petroleum industry. The use of social media, including the use of live-streaming, provides the anti-petroleum movement the ability to by-pass the traditional news networks, to control and craft its message, and to promote a one-sided version of the actual events, leading to broadly based anti-petroleum opposition.
Here is the first page of the document:
The government-tabled “anti-terrorism” Bill C-51, which Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said will be supported by his party, seeks to give Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) unprecedented policing powers, and will be the largest restructuring of Canada’s national security powers since 2001. So far the only voice in Parliament to raise concrete objections to the bill is Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who called C-51 an “act to create a new secret police.”
Greenpeace notes that this is not the first time in recent environmental activism that activists have been attacked as radicals or as extremists threatening national security.
Will peaceful protesters fall under the RCMP’s label of “Anti-petroleum Extremist” ?
In 2012, Conservative MP and Minister of Finance Joe Oliver, then acting as the Minister of Natural Resources, said in an open letter that the goal of “environmental and other radical groups … is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydroelectric dams. These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”
“Not to be outdone,” Greenpeace climate & energy campaigner Keith Stewart writes, “then-Environment minister Peter Kent equated questioning tar sands expansion with treason and said certain environmental charities were ‘money laundering’ – an accusation that drew a sharp response from the umbrella group representing Canadian charities demanding that he bring forward proof or retract.”
Are not peaceful protesting and political dissent necessary in order to maintain a democracy?
On top of racial and cultural concerns, Bill C-51 and the RCMP targeting anyone who cares about the effect of Canada’s industries on the environment as anti-petroleum extremist sits in the federal government’s long-standing, antagonistic behavior silencing public interest science. A previous report commissioned by The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, which represents scientists and other professionals in Canada, found that “[seven] out of 10 federal scientists believe Canada’s ability to develop policy, law and programs based on scientific evidence has been compromised by political interference.”
“I feel that climate change scientists and oil sands scientists are the most muzzled groups, restricted by the current government in what information they can share,” said one respondent to the Institute’s report. “And if the current government does not like the results of their research, the solution is to reduce staffing.”
In Canada’s current political environment, the real terror is coming from the top down. The real radicals to watch out for are the ones in power.