Responses to Environmental Issues Letter

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”

-Theodore Roosevelt-

I received the following 2 responses to the letter (posted here) I sent through the David Suzuki Foundation  website regarding Senatorial disregard for climate change initiatives and derogatory remarks about environmental organizations.  Both are good, clearly stated and informative responses with referral sites well worth looking into for background information.


Thank you for your email regarding Senator Eaton’s inquiry in the Senate about the funding of environmental organizations.

I have always prioritized climate change issues in my work as a senator and spoke out against this unfair demonization of environmental charities. You can read the speech I delivered to the Senate by clicking here and I encourage you to track this inquiry as other senators contribute their thoughts. Senator James Cowan, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, delivered a tremendous speech last week and it can be read by clicking here.

Conservative senators like Senator Nancy Greene Raine and Senator Bert Brown have recently delivered speeches that question the legitimacy of the science behind climate change. In his own speech about this inquiry, Senator Don Plett (former Conservative Party president) suggested that environmental charities wouldn’t be opposed to taking money from al-Qaeda.

These types of speeches serve only to detract attention from the real issue: this Conservative government is not interested in addressing the effects of climate change and seeks to silence those who have opposing opinions. This much was made clear when this year’s budget included a provision that would grant the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) more money to investigate the source of funding and political involvement of charities, something that was already being done and reported online.

The budget implementation bill is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons by the government when parliament resumes the week of April 23rd. I urge you to contact the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, your Member of Parliament and any members of the Finance Committee, who will be studying this bill, including the provision that will give CRA an additional $8 million to investigate the advocacy work of charities.

Thank you for taking the time to write and getting involved on this issue. We need your help in holding this government to account.


Grant Mitchell

Senator – Alberta

Tel. 613-995-4254 ~ Fax. 613-995-4265

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Thank you for your email about the Inquiry launched by Senator Eaton and other Conservative senators on, in her words, “the involvement of foreign foundations in Canada’s domestic affairs.”

I agree with you.  I am deeply concerned when anyone tries to silence and demonize anyone simply because they disagree with their views.  When it is a campaign apparently orchestrated by members of the Government of Canada, then the concerns are raised to a new, very disturbing level.  And as we learned in the recent Budget, these concerns are evidently well-founded.

Environmental issues are serious.  Like you, I am very proud of the work of Canadian organizations like the Suzuki Foundation and Tides Canada (two of the organizations singled out by Conservative senators). As parliamentarians we should welcome the contributions these organizations make to public policy debates.  I was personally shocked to hear Conservative senators attack them simply because the government disagrees with their conclusions. 

What has been said during the course of this Inquiry and what we then learned of the government’s plans in the Budget concern me greatly, and consequently I spoke to Senator Eaton’s Inquiry last week.  A copy of my speech can be found at the following link:

I appreciated having your email as I prepared my remarks, and indeed referred in my speech to the thousands of emails I had received.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write to me and to others about this very important matter. 

Yours very truly,

James S. Cowan

             Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Today’s “stone” is  Day 105  validation




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