Another Conservative attack on the environment
October 20, 2011
Ottawa (20 Oct. 2011) - The Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) received notice last week that it would not receive $547,000 in core funding that the government had previously said it intended to provide.
The RCEN has existed for more than three decades and includes more than 600 member organizations from across Canada. It provides valuable networking opportunities for grassroots organizations to share knowledge and strategies across this vast country.
Olivier Kolmel, the chairman of the organization's board of directors, said Ottawa did not give any warning that it would cut off its funding next year.
RCEN helps groups move their issues forward and to the attention of lawmakers at all levels of government.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) stands with others in the environment and other social movements denouncing Ottawa's move to pull funding is part of a systematic Conservative campaign to weaken environmentally concerned citizens' participation in the democratic process.
"Turning off the funding tap for civil society organizations is becoming a insidious pattern of silencing carried out by the Harper government. It is everyones' responsibility to stand up for social justice and the environment. These are non-partisan issues that need advocates," says James Clancy, Nation Union president.
"Don't be fooled. This isn't about austerity. It's vindictive petty politics -- part of a systematic campaign by right-wing extremists to marginalize voices of the environment," John Bennett, the executive director of Sierra Club Canada, said in a statement.
"The government has told RCEN that this decision is part of a cost-efficiency plan, but given the important role this organization plays, cancelling their funding will likely have expensive, long-term consequences," Megan Leslie, the environment critic for the New Democrats said in a statement.
In a shocking announcement this summer, it was announced that Environment Canada would be laying off a number of employees, with about 700 jobs to be eliminated.
Sign the Petition to reinstate RCEN Funding
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good.