'We'll look to eliminate it' - Macleans.ca

‘We’ll look to eliminate it’


The Prime Minister’s response yesterday to a question about a Sun report that various environmental groups have received government funding.

I think what most Canadians believe and understand is that you have to put a priority both on growth and economic development, and also on environmental protection. This government and most Canadians understand that if you act prudently and appropriately, you can serve both of those interests. There are obviously some organizations that oppose development on principle, and I think that is way out of the Canadian mainstream. You’re asking me if, and I don’t know all of the facts, we’re certainly trying to comb through our spending to make sure it’s all appropriate. If it’s the case that we’re spending on organizations that are doing things contrary to government policy, I think that is an inappropriate use of taxpayers’ money and we’ll look to eliminate it.


‘We’ll look to eliminate it’

  1. So, does he mean that since the Conservative Party formed the government, the government is now the Conservative Party and will be forever? That is a pretty arrogant attitude for one and pretty short sighted.

    • It is his dream. I’m surprised that being a card-carrying member of any other party is still legal.

    • Franky, the way things are going, do you expect Canada to still have elections by the time Harpers Mandate is up? I don’t.

      He is the government, and will be forever, and we’ve given it to him.

  2. Of all the statements from this government that tend toward authoritarianism, and are anti democratic, this sounds by far the most dangerous. These groups are not opposing or contradicting the Government of Canada, but the policy which really means the Conservative Party policy. It may be a fine distinction, but the message has been sent. Anyone who is not in agreement with Conservative Party policy is an enemy of the State of Canada.

    • So by you’re logic, anybody who doesn’t receive government funding is an enemy of the State of Canada? Was the government of Canada funding gun clubs while it was passing the Gun Registry?

      • Nothing clear about your reasoning.

        As W.B. points out, the rule is now that you toe the party line if you want funding. Nothing is arms-length anymore; everything has direct ties to the PMO and you’d better dance when your string is pulled.

        That, my friend, is not democracy in action; that’s the hobnailed boot of totalitarianism.

      • Government spending or funding is only the surface. They will use the CRA, Kinda Keen style “show trials”, the jingoistic spectacle of the “mission accomplished” Libya victory photo op, charges of treason as in “Taliban Jack”, and even threats to organize demonstrations against the Governor General.

  3. This is clearly an attack on the environment and democracy. Government funding for anything should never be cut, especially not groups who want to stop Canadian economic development. Economic development is damaging to the environment.

    • Ok, Mr Sarcastic. What Harper is saying is “Do what we tell you to do, say what we tell you to say, or find your funding elsewhere.” No freedom of thought or freedom of expression allowed in Canada anymore.

      Between this, C-38 and the internet spying bill, this government is daily moving closer and closer to a totalitarian regime. 2015 can’t come fast enough (assuming we still have the right to vote by then).

      • You’re equating freedom with funding, which is completely wrong. It’s completely reasonable for the government to not fund activities that are against Canadian interests. Nobody’s telling these groups what they can or can’t say, or do. If you were running a business, would you be giving money to a company that plans on setting up shop across the street and becoming a direct competitor? Of course not.

        • Given that the Government of Canada is funded by *all* Canadians and not just those who vote for Mr. Harper, it pretty much follows that a diversity of voices should be allowed to receive government funding. In other words, winning an election doesn’t give you the right to highjack the public treasury for the benefit of your ideological and political buddies.

          • I agree with you’re main point. But *cutting* funding to a few activist organizations isn’t “highjacking the public treasury”, it’s fiscally prudent.

          • Not if the cuts are done based on the ideology of the groups being cut… or funded. That’s using taxpayer money as a personal slush fund.

            Harper & Co have a very hard time separating party and state. Historically, that’s been the root of totalitarian regimes.

        • “Against Canadians’ interests” and “against the governing party’s interests” are two completely different things, but you are conflating the two. The CPC is not Canada; Big Oil is not Canada. Taken in context with the other actions of this government, this is clearly an attempt to stifle free speech to whatever degree possible. Subject: [macleansca] Re: ‘We’ll look to eliminate it’

          • Newsflash: Big Oil is a part of Canada. The CPC is a part of Canada. The government shouldn’t be funding any organizations that are trying to do harm to any Canadian interests. Would you be okay with the government funding an organization that was trying to shutdown the auto industry in Canada? Or an organization that wanted to shutdown all mining operations in Quebec? Of course not. There’d be outrage!

          • As per Senator Eaton’s appearance on As It Happens, what about tax-exempt status for religions that advocate political positions opposite official government policy?

          • Yes they are – but they are not the whole of Canada – despite what you think. They seem pretty intent on behaving as if they are, though. Anyone trying to insist on putting environmental concerns ahead of naked profit-taking is being excoriated by them.

            I happen to think we can find a middle ground that protects the environment while allowing development. The government is doing its best to eliminate all environmental regulation, though, so of course they attract the attention of the hard-core environmentalists.

            Do I agree with the greenies? I think they make some valid points, yes – and in opposing the free-for-all this government seems intent on creating, they do, to a limited extent, speak for me. The CPC and their cronies most definitely do not.

        • What about the funding cut to those who want to take cases to the Supreme Court under the Charter? Is that “against Canadian interests”?

          • Yes, it would be against Canadian interests. We fund the counts already. Why in the world should we be funding people who want to challenge our laws?! Should we fund corporations’ legal defence funds? Should we pay for criminals’ defense lawyers (more than we already do)? Are you a lawyer who just wants to see more lawyers making more money?

          • That big tent of yours called “enemies of Canada” is getting to be big enough to hold us all!!

          • By suggesting that they’re not worthy of government funding, I’m saying they’re an enemy of Canada?! Is that the way you lefties think, that anybody who doesn’t receive government funding is an enemy of the state? That does explain a lot about the Far Left’s views on business. I’ll expect you to fully support my new not-for-profit that aim’s to eliminate Unions in Canada. And I’ll expect you to support government funding for it too. Thanks.

          • No; this government s saying that, by opposing CPC policies, these organizations are enemies of the state and therefore undeserving of funding. It’s the right who are tossing around that rhetoric – not the left.

          • Oh – and you don’i need a
            not-for-profit that aims to eliminate Unions in Canada. We already have a federal government fully engaged in that battle.

  4. This is intervenor funding so that groups can participate in the process established to review projects and it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what either the government departments themselves or the proponents for the project are spending (and deducting from their income taxes) on their own representation at the hearings. The hearings are by their nature skewed against citizen participation just by their quasi-legal nature.
    If the mock-horrified Sun and the prime minister don’t want environmental groups represented by lawyers in the hearings and participating in an organized and coherent fashion, then all we will have is the beating on drums, occupying parks, etc. that everyone seems to think is incoherent. It’s the decision making that will be the poorer for it, because there will be no independendent voices for the environment, representing the actual public vs. self-interest in the hearings.