Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has been aided by external organizations in their effort to start the exploitation of the Alberta tar sands which is known to be the dirtiest oil source on the planet. With Harper’s tight message controls in Environment Canada, the RCMP, among other departments, it is no surprise that the government’s response on issues surrounding the Keystone project have been very well coordinated and outsourced as well.
A week before the first hearings on the Northern Gateway Pipelines, a PR campaign by EthicalOil.org and its allies hit the ground running. It was the first offensive against First Nations and Environmentalist groups who came out in staunch opposition to the plan.
The amigos launched OurDecision.ca which attempted to label the opposition groups as foreign interest groups as they had pointed to American funding to their causes.
After Sun News launched its first campaign, other national papers and media providers followed, slamming opponents as foreign interest groups. This rhetoric made it up to Parliament Hill where Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver wrote a letter to Canadians which denounced the foreign environmental organizations who had helped to fund Canadian opposition efforts. Harper, meanwhile, pointed to EthicalOil.org’s cause and started to claim that foreign interests were trying to overturn a Canadian project.
While the 3 efforts seem to be independent yet coordinated, there is evidence that links the Harper government, Sun Media and EthicalOil.org.
The Ethical Oil Echo Chamber is based off a book written by Ezra Levant which made its way to mainstream media as three prominent excerpts were commonly found in all of the Sun’s media. After a series of articles through Sun Media, the National Post and other right-wing outlets, the echo chamber started to amplify the tenants of ethical oil. Before long, Alykhan Velshi helped Levant turn his book into EthicalOil.org and it soon reached the mouths of politicians – notably from the Conservative party. As a small background on Ezra Levant, back in the days of the Reform Party, Ezra stepped aside in Harper’s riding so that he could first take it.
At the center of the Conservatives’ pro-oil dialogue we find gonewclearproductions.com which is part of a network of 50 websites which are connected to the Conservative Party, the Wildrose Alliance Party and EthicalOil.org among others from the right-wing.
Go New Clear’s President, Hamish Marshall, is the husband of Ethical Oil spokesperson Kathryn Marshall who has been a Conservative campaigner and former PMO strategist who is deeply connected to oil interests.
Several Principals of Go New Clear are also linked to the Conservative party. Brendan Jones administered the website when Harper was in official opposition in 2005. He is now part of Conservative Caucus Research Bureau which is tasked to marketing the messages from the PMO. Another Principal, Travis Freeman is listed in the CCRB.
Digital footprints provide the links of Sun Media – as if Ezra Levant wasn’t enough.
The Sun and other satellite sites have the same CSS Reset, written by the same person. The IP addresses from the servers were only different by two numbers and are likely sitting next to each other.
Linked Sites by CSS Reset
Go Newclear's Brendan Jones’ personal website.
The links are evident. The Conservatives try to say their opponents have a hidden agenda and interest groups. How do you explain this?
The Conservatives and Sun Media keep attacking the CBC as a Liberal propaganda engine, is that not hypocritical?
As for environmentalists being foreign interest group radicals, how do you explain that the Conservatives base all their decisions off the oil lobby?