Wolves Fall Prey to Canada’s Rapacious Tar Sands Business September 18, 2011Posted by rogerhollander in Animal Protection, Canada, Energy, Environment.
Tags: alberta tar sands, animal rights, Canada, caribou, conservation, ecology, environment, keystone xl, oil industry, paul paquet, peter kent, pipeline, roger hollander, tar sands, wolves
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On the pretext of protecting caribou, wolves are threatened with a cull. But the real ‘conservation’ is of oil industry profits
Wolves are routinely, baselessly and contemptuously blamed for the demise of everything from marmots to mountain caribou in western Canada. Given that attitude, we at Raincoast Conservation Foundation are appalled, though not surprised, by Canada’s proposed strategy to “recover” dwindling populations of boreal forest caribou in northern Alberta’s tar sands territory. Essentially, the plan favours the destruction of wolves over any consequential protection, enhancement or expansion of caribou habitat.
Clearly, the caribou recovery strategy is not based on ecological principles or available science. Rather, it represents an ideology on the part of advocates for industrial exploitation of our environment, which subsumes all other principles to economic growth, always at the expense of ecological integrity. Owing to the breadth of the human niche, which continues to expand via technological progress, the human economy grows at the competitive exclusion of nonhuman species in the aggregate. The real cost of Alberta’s tar sands development, which includes the potential transport of oil by Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines is being borne by wolves, caribou and other wild species.
Consistent with Canada’s now well-deserved reputation as an environmental laggard, the caribou recovery strategy evolved over several years and many politicised iterations, carefully massaged by government pen pushers and elected officials who did their very best to ignore and obscure the advice of consulting biologists and ecologists. So, the government should quit implying that the consultation approach provides a scientifically credible basis for decisions. Apparently, scientists can lead federal Environment Minister Peter Kent to information, but they cannot make him think.
Egged on by a rapacious oil industry, the federal government has chosen to scapegoat wolves for the decline of boreal caribou in a morally and scientifically bankrupt attempt to protect Canada’s industrial sacred cow: the tar sands. Yet, the ultimate reason why the caribou are on the way out is because multiple human disturbances – most pressingly, the tar sands development – have altered their habitat into a landscape that can no longer provide the food, cover and security they need.
The relentless destruction of boreal forest wilderness via tar sands development has conspired to deprive caribou of their life requisites while exposing them to levels of predation they did not evolve with and are incapable of adapting to. Consequently, caribou are on a long-term slide to extinction; not because of what wolves and other predators are doing but because of what humans have already done.
Controlling wolves by killing them or by the use of non-lethal sterilisation techniques is biologically unsound as a long-term method for reducing wolf populations and protecting hoofed animals (ungulates) from predation. Lethal control has a well documented failed record of success as a means of depressing numbers of wolves over time. Killing wolves indiscriminately at levels sufficient to suppress populations disrupts pack social structure and upsets the stability of established territories, allowing more wolves to breed while promoting the immigration of wolves from nearby populations.
At the broadest level, the caribou strategy favours human selfishness at the expense of other species. Implicit is the idea that commercial enterprise is being purchased by the subversion of the natural world, with one set of ethical principles being applied to humans and another to the rest of nature. The strategy panders to the ecologically destructive wants of society by sacrificing the most basic needs of caribou. In doing so, it blatantly contradicts the lesson Aldo Leopold taught us so well: the basis of sound conservation is not merely pragmatic it; is also ethical.
Simply, the caribou strategy is not commensurate with the threats to the species’ survival. What is desperately needed is a caribou strategy designed to solve the problem faster than it is being created. Protecting limited habitat for caribou while killing thousands of wolves as the exploitation of the tar sands continues to expand will not accomplish this goal. Against scientific counsel otherwise, though, politicians have decided that industrial activities have primacy over the conservation needs of endangered caribou (and frankly, all things living).
Tar sands cheerleaders try hard to convince Canadians that we can become an “energy superpower” while maintaining our country’s environment. They are, of course, wrong. Thousands of wolves will be just some of the causalities along the way. Minister Kent and his successors will find more opportunity to feign empathy as Canadians also bid farewell to populations of birds, amphibians and other mammals, including caribou, that will be lost as collateral damage from tar sands development. How much of our country’s irreplaceable natural legacy will Canadians allow to be sacrificed at the altar of oil industry greed?
Paul Paquet is senior scientist with Raincoast Conservation Foundation. An international consultant and lecturer, with numerous university affiliations, he is an internationally recognised authority on mammalian carnivores, especially wolves.
Tags: baruch goldstein, Canada Conservatives, canada tory government, earl krugel, gaza, george galloway, hamas, irv rubin, israeli gaza massacre, jason kenney, jdl, jdl terrorism, jewish defense league, kach, kahane chai, meir kahane, meir weinstein, peter kent, roger hollander, scott weinstein, Stephen Harper, terrorist organization, warren kinsella
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The JDL’s request was positively received by the Conservative government
By Scott Weinstein
An organization the FBI, the U.S. State Department and U.S. courts have branded a ‘terrorist organization’ has given advice to the Harper government that led Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to barring a British MP from Canada.
A Kenney spokesman said Kenney first heard about British MP George Galloway’s visit from a Jewish Defense League letter, and contacted departmental communications staff at Citizenship and Immigration to prepare media lines.
The Jewish Defense League, categorized by the FBI as a “right-wing Jewish terrorist group”, was founded by US ultra-Zionist Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1968. The Jewish Defense League (JDL) wrote to the Canadian government March 16 asking it to ban Galloway. Mr. Galloway is scheduled to speak in four Canadian cities from March 30 to April 2 on “Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar”.
In the late 1960s, Kahane also founded the Kach political party in Israel, which along with Kahane Chai (Kahane Lives) were declared terrorist organizations in 1994 by the Israeli Cabinet. Kahane was shot dead in a New York City hotel in 1990.
The US State Department designated the JDL’s Israeli affiliates, the Kahane Chai and the Kach as “foreign terrorist organizations” – a decision upheld by a US Appeals Court. (http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82738.htm )
Kach member Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians praying in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The JDL is still active with Hebron’s Jewish settlers, most visibly remarkable for its hate graffiti such as: “Arabs to the Gas Chambers”. (see http://www.cpt.org/gallery/slideshow.php?set_albumName=album03 )
In a 1986 study of domestic terrorism, the US Department of Energy concluded: “For more than a decade, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) has been one of the most active terrorist groups in the United States….Since 1968, JDL operations have killed 7 persons and wounded at least 22.”
In 2001, the JDL’s leader, Canadian Irv Rubin and member Earl Krugel were convicted of planning a terror attack in California against an Arab American congressman. Rubin was also accused of planning bombing attacks on Concordia University and California mosques. Krugel was murdered in prison, and Rubin died in prison allegedly by suicide. This effectively was the end of the JDL in North America.
According to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs there exists a network of radical Zionist leaders in North America who currently serve as primary fundraisers for the outlawed Israeli terrorist group Kahane Chai. Some tried unsuccessfully to revive the JDL in the US. (http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0799/9907081.html )
The JDL resurfaces in fertile Canada
It is significant that the Conservative government for “national security” reasons bans outspoken anti-war critic and Palestinian supporter British MP George Galloway, while giving a known terrorist organization a free pass to operate in Canada and advise their policies. The Harper government is too connected to the security apparatus to be unaware of the Jewish Defense League’s terrorism designation. Perhaps the Conservative government is testing whether Canadians still care about their rights, or Canada’s policies in Afghanistan, the Middle East and inside Canadian boarders.
Canadian Jewish critics of Israel have noted the Harper government’s numerous unholy alliances to contain opponents of its Israel and Afghanistan policies. Certainly, the Conservatives have provided a political terrain that is now fertile for the JDL to operate.
The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and its Canadian Jewish News (CJN) has positively received the JDL and reports on some of its activities. The CJN wrote March 20, 2009 “CJC commends government for denying George Galloway entry to Canada”. Last year CJC leader Bernie Farber’s opinion on the JDL was “they have the right to exist.”
The right wing Jewish organization the B’nai Brith and the JDL both targeted the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) in 2007 to prevent them from debating a motion critical of Israel. Liberal aide Warren Kinsella appeared this week at a meeting organized by the JDL as a surprise guest. Other major news media fail to note the Jewish Defense League’s terrorist designation in their reports, but that is more likely due to ignorance.
In an interview this week on British Channel 4 TV with George Galloway, JDL leader Meir Weinstein threatened any Canadian who attended or supported Galloway’s presentation would be “monitored” by the Canadian government. (See: http://www.wikio.com/video/944540 )
For more information on the George Galloway Canadian tour:
(Ottawa) http://ottawapeace.blogspot.com/ ;
(Toronto) http://www.nowar.ca/ ;
To individually or have your organization endorse a statement for Galloway to speak in Canada and denounce the attacks by the Conservative government against it’s critics, email : Galloway.Canada@gmail.com
To sign an online petition to let Galloway speak in Canada : http://www.petitiononline.com/galcan09/petition.html
This article may be distributed and reprinted without permission.
Scott Weinstein is a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada
He can be reached at : email@example.com
Below is a report by the Canadian Press on the JDL advising Minister Kinney to ban Galloway:
Jewish group proud of role in barring Galloway
Updated Thu. Mar. 26 2009 8:00 AM ET
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The Jewish Defence League of Canada is taking credit for lighting the spark that ultimately burned a British politician’s plans to enter the country.
The organization advised the federal government early last week about the impending speaking tour of George Galloway, the controversial British MP who has been a bitter critic of Israel.
A letter – sent March 16 to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, his cabinet colleague Peter Kent and opposition MPs – asked the government to keep that “hater” out of Canada.
“We asked that he not be allowed in,” said Meir Weinstein, national director of the Jewish Defence League of Canada.
“Whether or not that had an effect on anyone – well, he’s not in.”
Weinstein said the letter “lit a fire” under other Jewish community leaders to protest the visit, to contact Canadian politicians, and write to newspapers about Galloway.
Four days later, Kenney’s office confirmed the British MP would not be allowed into the country.
The government’s opponents have accused it of political interference and launched two cases in Federal Court over a ban they say has no legal justification.
Kenney’s office swatted away suggestions it was directly involved.
A spokesman said he first heard about Galloway’s visit from the Defence League letter, and contacted departmental communications staff at Citizenship and Immigration to prepare media lines.
Kenney stressed that his political staff never contacted the Canada Border Services Agency – which made the call that the veteran politician was inadmissible under national-security grounds.
“Neither I nor my office have been in direct touch with CBSA officials about it,” Kenney said in an interview.
“But the public servants in both ministries do correspond on a daily basis – on hundreds of files like this.”
Officials in various departments did liaise with each other over the course of the week.
Kenney was informed March 17 of the CBSA decision. He decided he wouldn’t use his extraordinary powers to overturn the ban. Finally, Canadian diplomats in London sent the five-time MP a letter late March 20 declaring him inadmissible.
British media were already on to the story. The previous day, Galloway’s office had received a verbal warning of the Canadian government’s decision.
Kenney spokesman Alykhan Velshi – who had begun preparing media lines on Galloway with departmental staff several days earlier – was suddenly fielding phone calls from the British press.
He sent them scurrying to their dictionaries with a memorable slag on Galloway as an “infandous street-corner Cromwell.”
Galloway’s supporters say the ban has no legal justification and is a politically motivated attack on free speech.
They say the Conservative government concocted an allegation that Galloway supports terrorism simply because they disagree with his pro-Palestinian views.
Lawyers for the Scottish-born MP are filing two separate motions in Federal Court: a request for a judicial review of the government’s decision; and a demand for an immediate injunction overturning it.
They say the full judicial review could take months, while the injunction would allow Galloway to enter Canada next week for a four-day speaking tour in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
One of his lawyers told a Parliament Hill news conference that the government has distorted the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to suit its political purposes.
“The act is being interpreted to restrict certain opinions and voices,” said Jamie Liew. “This is a dangerous precedent in terms of how we grant access.
“The decision by the government is rare and unprecedented. It’s stretching the interpretation to include humanitarian aid – or activities including humanitarian aid – being described as terrorist activity.
“The legal team is challenging that notion.”
The government says Galloway supported the terrorist group Hamas when he led a convoy to help Palestinians following the recent Israeli bombing of Gaza.
Galloway’s supporters say the convoy included clothing, diapers, medical supplies, and $45,000 in relief money that he handed to the elected Hamas government.
Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization in Canada.
The Canadian government says the move to bar Galloway was based on the law – not politics.
Velshi said the CBSA informed Kenney’s office that – according to Section 34.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act – Galloway’s material support for Hamas rendered him inadmissible.
That legislation bars entry to anyone “engaging in terrorism,” or “being a member of a (terrorist) organization”
Galloway’s supporters call that absurd.
One of the organizers of his speaking tour said Galloway has never expressed support for terrorism and merely wanted to help Gaza’s suffering civilians.
“He was very clear that this is not about supporting Hamas,” said James Clark, who has been planning Galloway’s visit.
“This is about providing humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza. Canada . . . remains the only country in the world that is interpreting this gesture as a terrorist act.
“There are grounds for us to challenge this legally and politically.”
Kenney said he occasionally uses his power to overrule CBSA security assessments but will not do so in this case.
Galloway is currently on a speaking tour in the U.S. and has suggested he’ll still try entering Canada. His supporters plan to meet him at the border.
Amazingly, the final decision in a case that has involved several government offices, two national Parliaments, and drawn media attention on both sides of the Atlantic, will belong to one person.
A uniformed border guard.
“(People trying to enter) have an interview with a CBSA officer,” Kenney said.
“Someone who has been flagged with a preliminary assessment of inadmissibility is obviously going to get bigger scrutiny.
“But that border officer . . . makes what’s called a fresh decision. That border officer looks at all the information and makes a decision on admissibility.”