October 09, 2017

Time to question outside influence on Canada’s oil debate

Time to question outside influence on Canada’s oil debate

With the kids back to school and Thanksgiving now behind us, for Canadian households the fall season brings a few things back into sharp focus. We all have bills to pay, careers to foster, aging parents and extended family (sometimes on the other side of the world) to support.

And now there’s one more thing to add to the list of serious concerns. Canada’s future independence and success as a nation is facing some big challenges. We’re all familiar with the trials and tribulations of globalization. Love it or hate it, globalization means fierce competition for things that were once taken for granted.

An emerging challenge is the role of foreign groups in dampening a nation’s economic success. In Canada’s case, our trusting nature is leaving us vulnerable even in our democratic processes. According to a recent account in the Globe and Mail, a number of pressure groups out in force during the 2015 federal election campaign – the Dogwood Initiative, Leadnow, and Greenpeace among them – receive substantial funding from a U.S. advocacy group called Tides.

But it isn’t only green activists funding local environmentalist. As the Canadian Press recently reported, the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election is also probing Russian support for anti-oil campaigns in Canada. It is alleged by some U.S. lawmakers that a company with ties to Russian oil companies donated several millions of dollars to the California-based Tides Foundation. Tides calls the probe a witch hunt.