Laxer Brings Banned Testimony to Toronto
It’s hard to imagine a better of way of getting people to want information than by trying to keep it from them. That’s why the federal government probably shot itself in the foot last month when, according to the CanWest News Service, Conservative MPs “abruptly shut down parliamentary hearings on a controversial plan to further integrate Canada and the U.S.” Apparently (and this is still in the words of the news report), the Conservative committee chair Leon Benoit “threw down his pen, declaring, ‘This meeting is adjourned,’ and stormed out [of the room]” just moments after the committee’s witness predicted that the government’s plan to further integrate U.S. and Canadian energy supplies would mean that, “Canadians will be left ‘to freeze in the dark.'”
That witness was Gordon Laxer from Alberta’s Parkland Institute. Now, he’s coming to Toronto to “discuss energy security in Canada and Ontario, and why the Conservatives tried to shut him up.” And, since we assume most of our readers are opposed to freezing in the dark, we thought you might be interested in what he has to say.
So, what’s the big deal? Event organizers point to three main facts:
- Ontario imports almost half its oil from the world market, and Quebec imports over 90%
- Canada has no oil reserve and the National Energy Board has no emergency plan
- Canada’s energy cannot go to Canadians first in times of scarcity [due to the proportionality clause of NAFTA]
Since most people aren’t even aware that the government of Canada is currently negotiating deep integration with the United States as part of something called the Security and Prosperity Partnership (not surprising since the meetings are held in secret), this may all seem to be coming out of left field. Laxer’s piece in the Globe and Mail [PDF] may help with some background.
This free event takes place on Tuesday June 19, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. in Toronto City Hall, Committee Room #2. It’s presented by the Coalition for a Green Economy, Post Carbon Toronto, Green Enterprise Toronto, Grassroots, and the Parkland Institute.
Photo by Raise My Voice.