Pipeline Protestors Partner to Launch Campaign to Fight Oil-Friendly National Budget

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Pipeline Protestors Partner to Launch Campaign to Fight Oil-Friendly National Budget

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"Welcome to the new #Canada: rich in oil, poor in public discourse." http://bit.ly/JVIxgr. #environment @Justmeans
Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 1:15pm

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For Canadians that keep up with news-specifically, the federal budget-it should come as no surprise that a coalition made of the country's largest environmental groups is mounting a campaign. Since the Conservative party has won a majority government a year ago, cuts to environmental research, groups and federal departments have been plentiful. In March, the budget proposed sweeping changes to environmental laws that typically would garner public consultation-but not this time. The response? Increased media attention and growing online communication from environmental groups about being targeted as enemies of the state. It doesn't help that at the same time applications for new projects to expand oil sands production are also on the rise. Welcome to the new Canada: rich in oil, poor in public discourse.

That may all change very soon. The oil is not going anywhere. When it does it'll be in the form of crude being pumped south to the US or east to Ontario, for the time being. If the Northern Gateway project goes through oil will also move west - as far as Asia. Public discourse, however, will hopefully change and for the better. A healthy debate is a good thing and in Canada we do not voice our opinion en masse very often. A new campaign, Black Out Speak Out, launched this week, hopes to change that. Tired of being labelled "radicals" and accused of "money laundering," environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Équiterre and others, have come together. Black Out Speak Out is a joint initiative "to preserve two core Canadian values: nature and democracy" reads the mostly dark website. [1]

The Official Opposition - The New Democratic Party (NDP) - has also voiced its disappointment with the inability to discuss budget items that warrant public debate. "We can't have a Parliament that's not open to the public that elected it," said NDP Thomas Mulcair, in an interview for CBC radio. [2]

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Meirav Even-Har is a Justmeans staff blogger. She reports on Canadian CSR issues. Meirav is an independent sustainability consultant and writer working in Toronto, Canada.

Keywords: Environment | BlackOutSpeakOut | Black Out Speak Out | CBC News | Environmental Defence | Equiterre | Greenpeace | Keystone XL | New Democratic Party (NDP) | Northern Gateway Pipeline | Sierra Club

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