Well worth seven minutes of your time: Ivan Thompson of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation appeared on CBC’s As It Happens last night to respond to ongoing misinformation about the role of charities in civil society, and why U.S. foundations are supporting Canadian conservation work.
Here is the link. The interview with Thompson begins at about 8:25. You may need to enable pop-ups to make it work.
Here’s a sample:
Jeff Douglas: Why do you think the government is focusing so much attention on environmental charities?
Ivan Thompson: “It is hard not to draw some conclusions when you look at the behaviour and background of oil industry front groups like Ethical Oil and those who echo their assertions….”
“The focus on international donations to environmental groups appears to be a diversionary tactic to silence voices that question key development decisions. In particular, decisions like, is it in the best interests of Canada to have supertankers throughout the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest? Pipelines through some of the world’s last functioning wild salmon watersheds? Or the degree to which our economy becomes more dependent on the oil industry that is influenced heavily by foreign interests, such as the Chinese government. These are legitimate questions and it appears that the interest appears to be in silencing voices that are trying to raise them.”
“The real casualty here, is the capacity of Canadians to have a say in how their natural resources are developed for the benefit of future generations.”
“The truth is, Charities can provide more than band-aids. They want to help solve the problems. Research, education, dealing with crises are important functions of charities, no question, but ultimately these groups want to see their efforts work their way into good public policy so the crises can be avoided in the first place.”