On June 4, diverse groups from around the world will black out their websites and post images in a symbolic protest of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government’s attack on transparent environmental reviews, land, water and democracy.
The attacks come in a sweeping budget legislation that, to prevent debate, touches on everything from environmental rules to immigration; pensions to student groups. Its unprecedented scope has been roundly condemned by voices from the left and right as fundamentally undemocratic. Parliamentary debate has also been shortened by Harper.
The Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin covers what is happening in Canada and the impacts of the extreme measures of the government.
A big reason why there’s such a rush is oil interests at play. Working in close coordination with oil company lobbyists and industry front groups, the Harper government is attempting to silence public interest groups – all the while working to rollback longstanding Canadian environmental protections, slash environmental enforcement, and eliminate independent oversight of the environmental decision-making process.
The Canadian government is also targeting civil society groups by allocating millions for onerous new tax audits. The target is clearly environmental organizations opposed the government’s plans to expand tar sands oil extraction operations. Sitting members of Harper’s Cabinet have called them “radicals”, accused them of “money laundering” and—ironically, given most tar sands oil companies are not Canadian-owned—being puppets of rich foreigners, especially Americans.
Groups like Sierra Club, 350.org, NRDC, NWF and others are all working together to make sure Americans know about this important day.
Protect our right to speak out for environmental justice, in Canada and beyond. http://www.blackoutspeakout.ca/ #blackoutspeakout