Harper's very political budget - 2012-03-29
Recall Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver's Jan. 9 open letter on the Northern Gateway pipeline project. He wrote that "environmental and other radical groups" use "funding from foreign special interest groups" to kill Canadian resource development. Stopping those groups, Oliver wrote, is "an urgent matter of Canada's national interest."
And now this measure. Who has raised concerns about political activities and foreign funding by charities? Ethical Oil and its affiliated Our Decision campaign, run by Conservatives with close ties to Harper's government. Now, Ethical Oil isn't a charity. Doesn't claim to be. Tides Canada does. It takes money from outside Canada (environmentalism being a global movement and all) and spends it on political advocacy to oppose oil sands and pipeline projects. This budget announces measures to make those activities harder.
This is not my theory. It was cheerfully explained to me by a government staffer in the budget lockup. The Kneecap Tides Canada Provision (my name, not Finance's), incidentally, is tucked away at the end of Chapter 4, "Sustainable Social Programs and a Secure Retirement."