Lauren Krugel of the Canadian Press says, in a report published by Global News, that “Amnesty International has warned Alberta Premier Jason Kenney that his government’s fight against oil and gas industry foes puts human rights at risk … [and, Alex Neve, Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada] … outlined his concerns in an open letter Tuesday that highlighted Alberta’s public inquiry into foreign funding of environmental groups and its $30-million war room to combat critics through social media, advertising and the press … [saying that] … “Amnesty International is deeply concerned that these initiatives undermine and violate a range of Alberta’s human rights obligations, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, the rights of Indigenous peoples and gender equality.”“
The problem, for Amnesty International, seems to be, Ms Krugel says, that “The United Conservative government has launched a multi-pronged attack on groups Kenney has accused of mounting a “campaign of lies and defamation.” He has blamed Canada’s inability to build new market-opening pipelines — and the associated economic woes in Alberta — on deep-pocketed U.S. charities that have unfairly maligned Canadian energy.” But, Mr Neve says that while “Alberta has enacted no laws stopping environmentalists from expressing their views, the government has created a toxic environment by labelling them liars and enemies … [and, he said] … “That really stands to cast an incredible chill amongst environmental groups and others in the province, some of whom will nonetheless push through … [and] … Others will become cautious and fearful, will feel that it’s not worth speaking out, that there may be repercussions, that they don’t want to expose themselves to danger.”” Well, maybe people should not tell lies. Maybe people who tell lies about, say, Canadian energy production, really are enemies. This harks back to the idea that Conrad Black engaged in “libel chill” when he, almost always successfully, sued many Canadian media outlets for libel and defamation. Some Canadians, including too many Canadian journalists, seem to believe that it is wrong to insist that what is reported in the media ought to be true or, at the very least, not knowingly false.
The Canadian Press article says that “Neve said threats — many of a sexually violent nature — tend to be aimed at women and Indigenous people who speak out … [and] … The government’s promise to crack down on foreign funding of environmental organizations runs afoul of the right to free association, he added … [because] … Under international law, groups have the right to work together on important social and environmental issues such as climate change — and that includes seeking and receiving funding to do so, Neve said.“
But many people, including e.g. former Conservative MP (Calgary Centre) Joan Crockatt and writer and commentator Vivian Krause, have raised very serious concerns about foreign money being funnelled through Canadian charities and social policy groups in order to either specifically defeat Conservative candidates or to land-lock Alberta oil. It seems pretty clear, to me, that the interests being served by such campaigns are those of e.g. Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the USA … never of Canada. Maybe Canada realy does have enemies.
Premier Kenney has answered Amnesty International in a speech at Fort McMurray …
… in which he said that the demand for oil continues to grow and the only question is who will supply the fuel to meet that demand: Canada or countries with deplorable human right records? The latter he says, not Alberta, ought to be Amnesty International‘s concern.
Global climate change is happening. No one, not Brian Mulroney, not Jean Chrétien, not Paul Martin, not Stephen Harper and not Justin Trudeau ever claimed otherwise. Many experts say that coal, which is the primary source of (much needed) electrical power in China and India, is the main culprit. I continue to maintain that the very best way for Canada to help combat global climate change is to ship (ethical) Canadian oil and gas to Asia to help to replace dirty coal. To do that we need to build pipelines (the plural matters a lot) to get (relatively) clean Canadian oil and gas to refineries near Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, where most Canadians have homes to heat and cars to drive and to seaports for export to the world. We want to stop tankers carrying foreign oil to Canadian markets from fouling our waters and endangering marine life habitat and we want to get that oil to world markets, too.
To do that we must, first, get rid of the anti-pipeline Trudeau Liberals and replace them with a Conservative Party of Canada government in Ottawa.