Thursday, May 03, 2012

Why Minister Kent Should Cool his Jets about Alleged ENGO Money Laundering

Environment Minister Peter Kent's repeated allegations that Canadian environmental charitable agencies, such as Tides Canada, are engaging in money laundering of foreign funds that are subsequently used by other ENGOs ( such as Forest Ethics and other 'enemies of the state', as one leaked email apparently phrased it ) to support causes that are not in Canada's interest, is so preposterous that it is almost beneath contempt.

However, let's just suspend belief for a minute and pretend that he's on to something here- that, indeed, 'foreign, champagne socialist billionaire-funded groups', such as Tides Canada, have in fact been engaged in a form of criminal activity- just like the drug cartels, for quite some time. If this were true, why on earth would John Baird, who was Harper's Environment Minister back in 2007, have approved $30 million in counterpart funding for the Great Bear Initiative, which was initially bankrolled to the tune of $60 million by- you guessed it, 'radical' groups such as Tides Canada? In agreeing federal funding for the Great Bear Rainforest, was the Government of Canada not, in effect, aiding and abetting a cause championed by a money launderer? And if not, by what mysterious process or turn of events did Tides Canada morph from being a worthy partner in 2007 to a vilified money launderer a scant five years later? Put another way, what is it doing now that it was not doing then, if not supporting other worthwhile, legitimate environmental projects, such as PNCIMA, for which funding is sorely needed, whatever the source? But of course last year Harper went and virtually shut down that worthy initiative, because the funding for the scientific component of PNCIMA was pledged by Tides Canada.

If you think I'm making this up, then read these two press releases, one from Baird's office, and the other from Tides Canada. Read them and then judge for yourself. And for good measure, here's a newspaper story touting the federal announcement, with John Baird's photo prominently displayed, in front of a prop labeled "Conservation Investments and Incentives Initiatives Fund" which, in the light of Kent's revelations, we should perhaps now be calling the "Aiding and Abetting Foreign Money Laundering Initiative".


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