Foreign money leveling environmental fight

If companies have the right to influence government, ordinary citizens should at least also have the right to voice their opinions.

There is widespread criticism lately that environmental organizations use funding from private foreign foundations to oppose projects in Canada. Are we ignoring the fact that industry is backed by powerful multinational companies? Charitable organizations have a clause that funding foundations can’t dictate the organizations’ policies, but it is well known that industry can lobby the government and spend millions of foreign money to influence government decisions.

We live in a democracy. If companies have the right to influence government, ordinary citizens should at least also have the right to voice their opinions, protest and oppose projects. Charitable environmental organizations are the only way by which ordinary citizens can voice their opinions and make a difference. These organizations don’t impose their views, they exist to represent the views of many Canadians who are concerned with the environmental impacts of certain projects, such as the Northern Gateway Pipeline. They help us get organized and fight for what we believe is right.

Our motivation is the preservation of a healthy environment for future generations. Our hope is to develop clean alternative energy.

Is that so radical?

Is it not more radical to build two pipelines across a thousand kilometers and rivers, over mountains and valleys?

Is it not more radical to allow tanker ships carrying oil to navigate the dangerous waters of the northern pacific coast, risking the contamination of our fish stocks and clean waters?

The health of the earth is a global matter and we welcome the interest and effort of foundations and organizations worldwide who engage in its preservation.

Nory Esteban

Invermere