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5 Signs Canada's Prime Minister & his Tar Sands Cronies Have Lost the Plot

by Will Craven, Director of Communications

1. Canada’s Glenn Beck to mid-level banana executive on national TV: “Chinga tu madre”

Whoa there! That’s a rather flagrante thing for the inspiration for Big Oil front group Ethical Oil to be shouting at 5:30 in the afternoon on national TV. We thought Ethical Oil’s whole thing was that Canadians were the nice ones, thus excusing them from any responsibility for their really dirty oil. What did this guy or his mother do to you, Ezra?

Oh right: Chiquita Banana decided to direct its fuel suppliers to avoid US refineries taking Tar Sands. In other words, they decided to buy a different product. You know, like customers sometimes do. In fact, exactly as 14 other companies have done in avoiding Tar Sands.

Hailed on his TV show's website as "Canada's no. 1 defender of free speech", Ezra Levant spent nearly an hour of national airtime the week before Christmas railing against Chiquita. He hated the company, he said, "because they're anti-Canadian bigots."

I guess that makes me an anti-American bigot, because I buy all my pens and lighters from the dreaded Frenchies at Bic. La merde!

2. Mr. Oliver's letter:

More government officials should use their websites and PR flacks to just get things off their chest. You know, more like Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver, who earlier this month showed that hater-ade is not just for internet comment sections. In what the New York Times called "an unusual open letter", the Minister posted an angry press statement railing against "environmental and other radical groups" just as hearings were set to begin on the Northern Gateway Tar Sands pipeline from Alberta to the BC Coast (where super tankers will navigate small channels to pick up the stuff and take it to East Asia).

Joe wrote that "there may be a need for legislation" to address "radicals" seeking to "hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda."  (And no, by ‘foreign radicals’ he was not referring to PetroChina's recent $2.5 billion purchase of Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.)

And there’s more: "They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects." This is when you know the resource curse has truly gone to a government’s head: They start referring to their own citizens—a record 4,000 of whom have signed up to speak out on the Northern Gateway pipeline—as limp bodies being stacked by foreign ‘others.’

The truth is that these folks are Canadian as Tim Horton’s. And so is this on-point slice of political satire:

3. Enemy of the State Part II: Does Will Smith work for ForestEthics, or what?

On January 24, Canadian flagship newspaper the Globe & Mail reports: “A [Prime Minister’s Office] official articulated the Harper government’s view of Canada’s national interest – which includes supporting Gateway – and pointed to ForestEthics as an example of a group acting against the government of Canada and the people of Canada.”

Yikes. And just be clear on what these guys mean when they talk about ‘radicals’ and ‘acting against the government of Canada’, here’s Joe Oliver on January 18 answering a question about the difference between foreign corporations with large investments in oil sands projects and the allegedly 'radical' environmental groups that receive some foreign donations: "In one case, they are supporting the development of resources in Canada, with all the important benefits, and in the other case, they are people trying to game the system and arrest development in Canada."

Got it. So in one case, they agree with you, and in other case, they don’t agree with you.


4. Allies & Adversaries: If an enemies list was good enough for Nixon…

Documents leaked on January 26 not only show the Federal government listing indigenous First Nations and Environmental groups as 'adversaries', but lists a supposedly impartial review panel as an 'ally.' Whoops: Never a good idea to include the referees in your team photo.

Setting aside enviros like ourselves at the moment, this is yet another insulting statement directed at Canadian citizens (see Canadian bodies, stacked). There are over 600 indigenous First Nations in Canada, but as far as these lists go, 'they’re all the same'.

You stay classy, Ottawa.

5. 'Radicals' conspire to keep Ryan Gosling from World's Sexiest Man title:

"Tens" of protesters were "stacked" outside People Magazine's New York City Headquarters to protest the celeb rag's decision to deny Canadian Ryan Gosling his rightful and ethical title of World's Sexiest Man. We're still awaiting word from Ethical Oil ("If you don't go with Gosling, you'll be forced to name some other white guy with 5 o'clock shadow!") and the Prime Minister's Office ("There may be a need for sexy legislation to maintain our rightful place as the sexiest of all petrostates.")