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The demonization of dissent – Canadian style
By Patrick Johnston, Alliance Magazine, 10 April 2012
[…] In a post-budget analysis, a prominent Canadian law firm concluded by saying: ‘given the political climate and these new rules, foreign charities funding advocacy in Canada and Canadian charities funding or doing advocacy (particularly environmental advocacy) should be very careful.’ […]
In it, the government announced its intention to restrict the political activities of charities. In particular, it telegraphed its opposition to such activities being ‘funded by foreign sources’. […]
The government’s position also reeks of hypocrisy. There are numerous examples of the government gladly accepting U.S. foundation funding. In fact, Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted a 2007 media conference with Bill Gates to praise the Gates Foundation for its $28 million commitment to Canada’s HIV/AIDS vaccine initiative.
The most troubling aspect of the budget is that it reflects a consistent pattern of behaviour by this government. It has adopted a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to critics and never misses an opportunity to demonize those who don’t share its views. And, where it can, it will stifle and silence criticism.
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