Tell the Senate to stop silencing environmental groups

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Photo credit: Intiaz Rahim via Flickr.

Thanks to you we reached our goal of 5,000 letters in less than one day, and have met our second goal of 10,000!

With their insulting and uninformed statements during an inquiry into international funding for Canadian charitable organizations that are standing up for our country’s rich natural environment, senators are doing a disservice to all Canadians. The government has already labelled Canadians who question the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal as "radicals" and potential terrorists, but its appointed senators recently kicked things up a notch. Senator Don Plett, former president of the federal Conservative Party, asked his fellow senators during the inquiry, "If environmentalists are willing to accept money from Martians, where would they draw the line on where they receive money from? Would they take money from Al Qaeda, the Hamas or the Taliban?" Senator Percy Mockler referred to the David Suzuki Foundation and others as "qualified bad, not to mention ugly, foundations."

Such statements from senators are an affront to the democratic principles of this country. We expect more from our government and Senate leaders. We expect rational discussion of issues of national and global importance.

Environmental organizations have often stepped in where government and industry have failed to protect the air, water, and land that we all depend on – from raising the issue of acid rain, which led to a successful treaty to address the problem, to protecting valuable habitat and natural areas. The issue of relatively small amounts of international funding is a distraction and effort to silence environmental organizations. Trying to stifle those who don’t agree with the government's positions is undemocratic and goes against the values and traditions that Canadians of all political stripes have worked for many years to establish.

The David Suzuki Foundation is transparent about its funding. We received 94 per cent of our funding from Canadians last year and six per cent from international sources. We're proud of all our donors, wherever they are from. After all, we share one biosphere.

If you support our work and the work of other environmental organizations, please send the government and the senators a message. Tell them that democracy requires listening to what all Canadians have to say and not trying to demonize or silence those with differing points of view.

So far 11347 messages have been sent. Help us get to 15000!

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Senator Nicole Eaton <eatonn@sen.parl.gc.ca>
Sen. James Cowan - Leader of the Opposition in the Senate <cowanj@sen.parl.gc.ca>
Sen. Grant Mitchell - Senate Liberal Environment Critic <mitchg@sen.parl.gc.ca>
Sen. Marjory LeBreton - Leader of the Government in the Senate <lebrem@sen.parl.gc.ca>
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