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Harper Conservatives spend on Keystone XL ads, while cutting environment funding

By: Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of CanadaPress Release:

CEP LOGOOTTAWA, May 27, 2013 – “Canadians should be outraged that the federal government is shoving millions of taxpayer dollars into American advertising to  promote Keystone XL,”  says Dave Coles, President of Canada’s largest energy workers’ union.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada has learned that since 2010-11 Natural Resources Canada has increased its advertising budget by 7000%.

“After slashing its spending on environmental regulation enforcement, Natural Resources Canada has found millions of dollars to push a pipeline that will export Canadian jobs, trample First Nations rights and is bad for the environment,” says Coles.

Last week Prime Minister Harper flew to New York to push for approval of the pipeline and since July 2011 there have been at least 25 other pipeline promotion trips to the U.S. by Canadian ministers, deputy ministers and provincial premiers. Each trip reportedly costs up to $45,000.

“The Conservatives claim to support free markets, yet over the past couple of years they’ve spent tens of millions of dollars of public money in support of a private corporation’s international lobbying efforts,” says Coles.

“Last year Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver denounced environmental groups that receive international funding as a threat to the Canadian regulatory system, and now he’s allocating millions of dollars in public money to intervene in US politics. The hypocrisy is astounding.”

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May 2013
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