The demonization of dissent – Canadian style

Patrick Johnston

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.

To read the full article, click on the link below. 

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