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After a month of escalating rhetoric from the Harper government and oil industry front groups and confirmation today from internal government documents that the government explicitly identified environmental and aboriginal groups as "adversaries" in its strategy to increase tar sands exports, ForestEthics has launched a petition calling on Canadians to tell the Prime Minister that they won't be bullied into silence on issues that effect their communities, coast, province or environment. 

"Canadian civil society is under threat from the intimidation tactics coming out of the Prime Minister's office, and Canadians are insulted by insinuations from the Minister of Natural Resources that they are merely 'bodies' being 'stacked' by foreign interests" said Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics. "We are no one's puppets and as Canadians will not take threats to democracy lying down."

Today's petition comes after weeks of threatening signals from the Prime Minister's office, including an unusual open letter by Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver calling opponents of the Enbridge pipeline and tankers 'radicals' out "to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda." This letter coincided with the onset of public hearings on the controversial proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Earlier this week, the Globe & Mail reported that a representative of the Prime Minister's office had indicated that it considered ForestEthics -- an organization founded in Canada and a part of several long-term partnerships with government and industry -- to be "acting against the government of Canada and the people of Canada."

"No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, the issue of silencing the voices of our citizens - and our democracy - should raise alarm for every Canadian," said Valerie Langer of ForestEthics. "This is bigger than any one issue, it's about our society as a whole." 

ForestEthics, a nonprofit with staff in Canada and the United States, recognizes that individual people can be mobilized to create positive environmental change—and so can corporations. Armed with this unique philosophy, ForestEthics has secured agreements to protect more than 65 million acres of Endangered Forests. Visit forestethics.org, for more information.

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Extpub | by Dr. Radut