(February 11, 2014) Riddle me this! What do the Cement Association of Canada, United Steelworkers, Xerox and Middlefields Resource Funds (investors in oil and gas exploration and development) and Environmental Defence have in common?
If you guessed that the first four names were the principal sponsors of the upcoming February 20 Environmental Defence 2014 gala you were right. Seems like a strange mix with oil and gas, cement, unions, copiers, printers, coming together to sponsor an event that touts Environmental Defence’s mission statement as: “We are Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.”
If you then said, wait a minute, isn’t this the outfit where the executive director, Tim Gray, recently said that, “his group thinks the complaints process about environmental charities is being driven by Ethical Oil,” in respect to the recently announced CRA audit of Environmental Defence and six other environmental charities? And then you said, and didn’t they just post on their blog on February 7, 2014, something about “Energy East”. Well, what they said about the latter was:
“This beast of a pipeline project would be larger than Keystone XL and would stretch 4,500 km from Alberta, east across Canada to tanker terminals on the shores of the St. Lawrence River and the Bay of Fundy. Capable of shipping 1.1 million barrels of dirty tar sands oil, mostly for export, Energy East would be a massive a carbon delivery machine.”
So here are senior officers of Environmental Defence condemning pipelines required to move oil and gas but one of the sponsors for this big event is in the business of investing in companies involved in exploring and extracting fossil fuels and another is involved in promoting cement usage. Sure sounds like at least two of the sponsors could be a couple of those “carbon delivery machine[s]” and one must wonder how does Environmental Defence square that up with their charitable donors?
Environmental Defence also issued a press release on February 10, 2014, announcing they would have “spokespeople” in Ottawa available to comment on the Federal Budget on February 11. They also posted the same press release on their website but that one carried the heading with a slightly different slant — it refers to “Environmental Experts” available to comment on the budget. Perhaps travelling from Toronto to Ottawa will change their status from “experts” to “spokespeople” as they will presumably be using a mode of transportation that entails the use of fossil fuels?
The hypocrisy of Environmental Defence’s “gala” sponsors, their claims about being picked on by the CRA, and reputedly singled out by Ethical Oil while pretending to be environmental do-gooders is a big stretch and worthy of an award as hypocrites of the year.
Why are they continuing to push that rope up the hill and why are they able to raise money from donors, Canadian and foreign foundations in addition to Federal, Provincial and municipal governments pretending they are out to save the planet for our children when they demonstrate a lack of common sense and simple ethics behind their charity?
It is past the time to pull the plug on Environment Defence’s charitable status!
Parker Gallant is a retired bank executive and a former director of Energy Probe Research Foundation. As with all independent bloggers on this site, Parker’s views do not necessarily reflect those of Energy Probe.