Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Alexandra Morton puts Tzeporah Berman & David Suzuki in their places for supporting BC Liberals in election

Furious Rebuke to Suzuki, Berman

Salmon advocate Alexandra Morton enraged at support for BC Libs

[A shorter version of this column will be printed Wednesday April 22 in 24 hours newspaper]

View full article and comments here


By Bill Tieleman

Published: April 21, 2009


"As the living systems of this part of the world are under the final assault by the B.C. Liberal government, you make headlines. You seem to have no idea of what Gordon Campbell is bringing down on us."

-- Marine researcher/fish farm opponent Alexandra Morton to David Suzuki, Tzeporah Berman and others.

What kind of environmentalists would support B.C. Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell for imposing a 2.4 cent a litre gas tax when not one penny goes to public transit or expenditures that reduce pollution?

What kind of environmentalists support a B.C. Liberal government that radically expanded fish farms that are devastating wild salmon, promotes offshore oil and gas drilling, privatized rivers and streams for power projects, slashed wildlife protection, ended a ban on trophy hunting for grizzly bears and offers hundreds of millions in tax incentives for fossil fuel exploration?

Meet David Suzuki, Tzeporah Berman and friends.

In a well-timed attack as the election began last week, Suzuki and Berman blasted the New Democratic Party for rejecting the B.C. Liberals' unfair and ineffective carbon tax while ignoring the government's disastrous environmental record.

Neither Suzuki nor Berman have yet endorsed Campbell outright but they knew their assault would hurt the NDP and help the B.C. Liberals.

Statements don't add up

Berman even claimed she was a "long-time" NDP supporter who "quit" over the gas tax and had no connection to the B.C. Liberals -- two quickly disproved statements.

Berman's one-year NDP membership expired more than two years ago, said NDP campaign manager Gerry Scott, before the carbon tax was imposed.

As to B.C. Liberals, Berman told the Tyee: "I never talk to them. I have no ties to the Liberal Party, anyone can see that."

But in an April 15 e-mail obtained by the Tyee, Berman told a group called the "BC Energy and Climate Leaders": "I just spoke with the Minister who said that given our concerns that we have been raising etc they have committed... to creating a new green energy advisory task force..."

Berman continued: "I think this is a great step and a result of our work. He is open to recommendations on who should sit on it but names will not be announced until after the election."

Donors to the Suzuki Foundation, PowerUp, the Pembina Institute and ForestEthics might want to send those groups a clear message about what they think of charitable organizations working hard to re-elect a government with the worst environmental record in the province's history.

Morton's blast

And voters should heed Alexandra Morton's message on May 12.

That e-mail message in full was sent to Suzuki, Berman and Karen Campbell of the Pembina Institute, as well to several environmental list serves -- it reads as follows:

Subject: PUNISH CAROLE JAMES!!!!!!!!

To Karen Campbell, David Suzuki, Tzeporah Berman

You want to punish Carole James??? Do you think this is grade school we are in? IS this really the most brilliant thing you could do?

As the living systems of the part of the world are under the final assault by the BC Liberal Government, you make headlines.

Do you realize that without so much as a heads up to those of us in the trenches trying to keep this coast alive you just snuffed out decades of work?

I am disgusted with the environmentalism in BC. There is no respect for anyone, least of all your peers.

You seem to have no idea of what Gordon Campbell is bringing down on us, irreversible wild salmon extinctions.....what do the trees that pull carbon out of the atmosphere need to survive???? SALMON!!!!!!

Your love in with Campbell is a betrayal to all that are alive in BC. Campbell is selling BC's most vital resources....fresh running water...And that is OK with you? Because you sure did not get that into the headlines.

Yeah, you got big headlines....now what. If Campbell gets re-elected you can take the credit for all that follows.

I hope your funders are pleased with you because them and the Campbell government are the only ones.

Alexandra Morton

Question of priorities

Actually, only Tzeporah Berman has specifically called out Carole James and her NDP for punishment. At a press conference that Berman did not attend, representatives of the Suzuki Foundation and Pembina Institute declared their support of the carbon tax without attacking Carole James for her opposition to it.

But Morton's comments do raise the issue of why the environmental groups are taking such a strong and confrontational position over the carbon tax and private power producers, defending the B.C. Liberals.

Rumours continue to fly that environmental funders in the United States are pushing hard to ensure that B.C. becomes the first North America jurisdiction to implement a carbon tax.

Berman denied in a Georgia Straight interview that her organization PowerUp -- which advocates support for so-called "green power" independent power producers and their run-of-river projects -- is funded by the industry.

But it's not just Morton who is upset. A host of environmental leaders have taken umbrage with the Suzuki and friends attack.

Former Society Promoting Environment Conservation transportation campaigner David Fields is one of them, telling Public Eye Online that: "I would caution groups like The Pembina Institute and ForestEthics and campaigners like Tzeporah Berman to avoid making this mistake in the future," Fields said regarding their failure to consult other environmental organizations about that briefing. "It stands to alienate them from other environmental groups -- which it has already."

Meanwhile, if you do oppose the unfair B.C. gas tax, you can join more than 9,000 others on my "Axe The BC Gas Tax" Facebook protest group.

Related Tyee stories:

Activist who 'quit' NDP was no longer a member

BC's Clashing Shades of Green
How 'run of river' and global warming are splitting enviros this election.

In Canada, a Push for Obama-style Green Stimulus
PM to get plan backed by 850,000 group members.

NOTE - due to a technical problem a shorter version of this column was not printed in Tuesday's 24 hours newspaper but will appear in the Wednesday April 22 edition.


Anonymous said...

Is this the same Alexandra Mortan that was so insulted when most environmentalists disagreed with her extremism and her wrongheaded assessments? She then complained that she has been personally slighted because Tzeporah Berman did not agree with her.

Where does the NDP find such works of art?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:54 - take note Alexandra Morton almost single handedly and under great pressure from the fish-farm lobby has shown that fish-farms are destroying the local environment.

Where is Berman?

Where is Suzuki?

I'll tell you where; these 15 minute wonders are hob-nobbing with anyone they can, trying desperately to be important.

Their credibility is dwindling fast and become simple shills for the Liberals. Yesterdays people, fast becoming yesteryears people.

Anonymous said...

Hell hath no fury like a New Democrat scorned. The NDP knew that most major environmental groups in BC were strongly in favour of the imposition of a carbon tax when they came out swinging against it. In response, these same groups stood up for their principles and rightly criticized the NDP for their crassly political move.

I can also recall a few hundred times over the years that these same groups stood by these selfsame principles and rightly criticized the BC Liberals when their approach to environmental issues was found wanting.

That these selfsame groups would feel titch more betrayed by the NDP on this issue is not surprising. It wasn't very long ago that Carol James was espousing support for a carbon tax and NDP policy conventions were voting wholeheartedly in favour of it as well.

Hammering ENGOs for standing up for what they believe seems to demonstrate that the NDP feel exposed on this issue and maybe a little ashamed as well.

pip said...

Glad this appears on Earth Day. How appropriate. Good work Bill.

Anonymous said...

If the Libs are elected, foreign Olympic journalists will be reporting on unfinished office towers polluting Vancouver's skyline. But our Canwest Aspermaniacs say nothing. Suzuki is supporting the worst eyesore makers in the history of this province.

Fair reportage? Monday's Province tells me on it front page that there is a page 4 report on Opposition Leader, Carol James' Health Care policy. Flip to 4 and I see a pic of a dumped NDP candidate groping a pleased female. The headline, "Facebook Photos Tube NDP Candidate." Some packaging for party policy.

Carol should have complained of this sandbagging of a major campaign statement.

Again, are Canwest reporters - mindful of the Asper's $4,000,000,000 debt - using copy as a resume for PAB employment? BC Mary proves Convict-Campbell pays better than the Aspers.

Anonymous said...

fish-farms are destroying the local environment. Where is Berman? ...What is that supposed to mean? That fishfarms like any other farming impacts the environment?

Have you heard of grain farms? Fertilizers? Millions of hectares of man made farms? Do you know how bread and cereals are produced?

For NDP types who never produced anything meaningful in their lives, just whining with envy while getting impoverished (unless they belong to a freeloading union), farming must be an out of this world kind of activity.

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Tzeppy and Davey are megalomaniacal flakes, who are interested only in self-promotion.

The peddle lies about the environment and live only for the sound of their own voices.

End of story.

She left the NDP? Who cares??? What a blessing! Bye-bye baby, bye-bye...

Anonymous said...

The Carbon Tax is a fraud, a sham and is simply a tax grab by a tax and spend Premier.

What is shocking is how easily all those arm-chair, environmentalists were so easily bought off.

Suzuki is a self important fading TV type and Berman seems to have found her "30 pieces of silver". It is shocking that they are so blind to the reality of the Carbon/gas tax sham, my god, BC is indeed a ship of fools!

Anonymous said...

Liberals love recruiting Stars and Celebs to the GREED IS GOOD crusade and one can see a well paying government position for Ms. Berman in the Third Term of the Campbell Reich.

Imagine the CanWest/Global hype if after eight years of trying Team Campbell managed to bring Rick Hanson over to the Dark Side?!

Again, remember the Liberal motto . . . WE ONLY CHEAT WHEN WE CAN'T WIN !


Anonymous said...

Can these fools not see that Campbell is playing them for his and his Liberal party's gain? Same as with first nations' all over BC.

When the election is over, he will be the same old lying, cheating Campbell that we are all used to.

Anonymous said...

“Morton's comments do raise the issue of why the environmental groups are taking such a strong and confrontational position over the carbon tax and private power producers, defending the B.C. Liberals.”

Seems pretty simple to me…the carbon tax is not a popular thing to do…it is just the right thing to do.

Even Carole used to admit that climate change related measures are going to cost people:

“I can’t promise you that, if I were premier, reducing greenhouse gases won’t cost you. It will." 
– Carole James, Sun, Feb. 28/07


So, how about now? Is the price of fighting climate change now disappeared because Carole is so desperate to become Premier?

This kind of hypocrisy is why the enviros are angry…with good reason.

Anonymous said...

All that is missing from this Circus of the Campbell All Stars is Pamela Anderson with her fake breasts and closet full of bikinis, and she wants to save the earth too.


Anonymous said...

What isn't discussed enough is that the carbon tax is a regressive tax and obviously hurts people of low income the most.

The Liberals like to say that BC is number one, and it is when it comes to child poverty. Regressive taxes no matter for what reason hurt the poor more than the rich.

Not that Berman or Suzuki are thinking about those missing a meal in their support for this weak excuse for progressive environmentalism.

Unknown said...


Tell me how Carole can say this in 2007:

I can’t promise you that, if I were premier, reducing greenhouse gases won’t cost you. It will."
– Carole James, Sun, Feb. 28/07
and now claim that the Carbon tax is wrongheaded?

Tell me how that isn't pure political opportunism?

DPL said...

Alexandra sure got a few bottom feeders rising to the bait. I'll believe her over Berman.I figure Berman wanted to get some publicity by telling us all that she has left the NDP. Not long ago she was leaving the Green's. now she is a Gordo fan. Suzuki likes to appear as a guru of the environment and this time around his comments are hurting the party that actually cares about the environment, the NDP. The LIberals go where Gordon wants them to go, without too much thinking. Big on oil drilling but brings in a tax against fuel. I notice this week the world price of oil went down a few more dollars, but in Victoria the price of standard grade gas is 99.9 a litre. Slap on another tax Gordo, you need the money. Oh and maybe you will notice the big adds for small trucks with massive price deductions. Maybe some folks arn't filling up as often

Anonymous said...

I hope the preceived progressiveness of environmentalists has forever faded in BC....

I would rather see and end to war in Afghanistan than an end to oil tanker traffic in BC. I would rather see a liveable wage in BC rather than more parks that I can't afford to go to.

Citizen Oliver said...

This column in todays 24 hours and on this blogsite was absolutely excellent. Right on target. The stupidity of these so-called environmentalists is beyond belief.

Campbellwearsatutu said...

21 mayors today(all of them) have stated on the record that Gordon Campbell`s fuel tax is useless,it does nothing for the enviroment,it`s a joke,anyone who believes the Campbell tax is useful are lying to themselves....

If you are going to have a fuel tax then all monies must go to transit or light rail or green retrofits etc etc.....
You people who like paying the Campbell fuel tax,enjoy,but kiss your little tax cut goodbye

A. G. Tsakumis said...


I know Bill is busy and traveling, so I'm happy to oblige you...

It is NOT political opportunism when Carole James objects to a meaningless carbon tax, after having said any of her measures might cost the taxpayer.

We all know that there would be a cost involved. But to suggest that this particular tax by the Campbell govt is revenue neutral is either not to be able to do math or unable to understand the difference between hard costs and incentives (read: breaks)

If Carole suggests that a green measure would be costly, in order to rule her out of order on the issue of her carbon tax objection, you must first ascertain what the cost of her measure might be, in the short and long run, or, be able to explain away the entirety of the costs of the current tax, as being truly neutral.

In the absence of this, you have chosen the expedient route of trying to parse her words, taken out of a longer comment.

Rod Smelser said...

Why are there so many anonymous or fake name people? Do they all have something to hide?

Maybe the rule should be that you don't have to use your real name, provided that in your registration profile you explain what it is you're trying to hide (eg, past criminal convictions, current employment in the persuasion industry, current employment in the public teat industry, known heavy drinking or other addiction, etc.)

leadthewaybc said...

Two quotes for ya Bill:

“The NDP won’t repeal carbon tax if they run the province” - Bruce Ralston; CKNW 9:02 am – Feb 20, 2008

“ . . . you have to go to a carbon tax. …My sense is it’s the only way to go. …If we truly believe that the market is the way to change behaviour, both market behaviour and individual behaviour, it’s the way to do it.” - Bob Simpson, NDP MLA for Cariboo North, Voice of BC, Nov 01, 2007

Why the change of heart? Every day more and more party members are breaking the party line by saying "we don't want the bridge" (Carole wants that, right? Not sure anymore!) and saying "the carbon tax is a good thing". Seems like you're the only one with your mind made up!

jake from the lake said...

Hi Bill
Carole has the right to change her mind and so does Campbell In Campbells case he said he would not sell BC Rail. I think that's more serious to the taxpayers of BC that anything Carole has done .
We wouldn't eat anything coming out of a fish farm. We never did get a chance to debate TILMA. Run of river power? There are 21 Liberals that have got positions with these Companies. These people and Campbell are dedicated to destroying BC for personnal gain So is Suzuki and his staff who donate to the Liberals.They also got thousands of dollars from the Liberals.Money has a lot to do with loyalties. Mining co's have the right to dump toxic waste into our rivers and lakes . So what the run of river don't destroy the Mining co's will . There goes your wildlife. All by foreign co's Thanks Campell This is why we hope the NDP get in.
This has to be stopped

Jeff Barkley said...

Thanks for a great column, Bill. I thought I should try to fit a REAL comment in among the paid for anti-realenvironmentalist and anti-NDP propaganda added by our tax dollars in the name of Gordon Campbell by the low-life, I'll do anything for a buck, Public Affairs Bureau employees in the basement of the legislature. Its pretty amazing to compare the mainstream media's take on the PAB with the coverage of the older Dirty Tricks Affair by the BC Liberals before they changed their name from Social Credit. I guess even though the media was always in the pocket of the right wing, they never really pulled out all the stops until the Gordon Campbell so-called Liberals arrived on the scene (having disgraced themselves so badly with the lying and cheating that they felt they could never be elected again under the SOCRED banner).

Its really too bad that the younger BC voters don't know how bad things got in the past by letting the greedy corporate hacks have complete control over their lives. I'm afraid that this generation will now learn the same lesson older people learned two generations ago. The corporations have again gained complete control, via Gordon Campbell and others and have succeeded in totally destroying the entire worlds financial system. Remember the familiar slagging of "red tape" that presumably limited the prosperity of BC? You know, "red tape", otherwise known as regulation. It was "red tape" that stopped the banks from leveraging up to insane levels. It was "red tape" that stopped buildings from being built in BC that would leak and destroy a family's finances or hopes for retirement. It was "red tape" that prevented private companies from throwing up a dam on every creek and river in bc and destroying our fishing industry. It was "red tape" that prevented our tax dollars from funding private schools which sought to teach our children that science was a bad thing. I could go on, but i'm sure you see my point.

By the way, how many of you have had large bills for the repair of your condo in the last 20 years? Do you really believe that people just "forgot" how to build buildings that don't leak? Were you aware that this "problem" is NOT everywhere? I have spoken to individuals that recently lived in other parts of canada and had no idea what a "leaky condo" was! I guess the governments in those cities and provinces must still have some "red tape" to cut through so their citizens can "prosper" too...

The list of things done in the past that were NOT in the best interests of the majority of taxpayers is long and convoluted, but, now, with the rise of fake environmental groups created by corporate interests or subverted by the same, the deceit has been taken to a new level. They will also be all for "cutting red tape" that has protected taxpayers from having their Beautiful BC raped and pillaged by groups who don't give a damn about the environment.

Specifically, the carbon tax is such an underhanded web of distortion and lies. What the heck is the point of a tax on gas when no alternative is offered? It would be completely different if the money were used to provide clean alternatives for heating homes and getting to work but, no, the Liberals carbon tax does nothing at all to provide a method for people to reduce their carbon footprint.

The so-called environmental groups that have attacked the NDP and now support the BC Liberals have creatively over simplified the carbon tax dramatically. Lets see, tax cuts for the corporations that pollute, provided by the revenue gained by taxing fuel (and remember, that "fuel" includes home heating fuel). Poor people will freeze to death in the northern parts of BC while wealthy "environmentalists" like David Suzuki will maintain their wonderful lifestyles, all the while having a smug "i've done my part" attitude. I don't see Tzeporah Berman or David Suzuki shivering in their homes, hoping their children won't get sick again or alternately being warm but having their families go to bed hungry a few nights a week to pay for it.

The attack on Carol James for the comment "I can’t promise you that, if I were premier, reducing greenhouse gases won’t cost you. It will." is stunning. It's now wrong to tell the truth, is it? Environmentalists that believe that is an incorrect statement need to give their collective heads a shake. There is no EASY way to protect the environment and it should be self-evident that that protection will not be "free". Again, we are talking about "red tape". Regulations that will prevent environmental disasters such as the farming of Atlantic salmon in the oceans. The penned fish spread sea lice to the native salmon and are devastating the stocks, that much we know. The NDP want to move the fish farms to land based containment to protect the wild salmon and that will cost more than the cheap but environmentally unwise pens in the ocean. Do environmentalists not understand that? That is one of the costs of having a clean, and healthy world that Carol was likely speaking of. It seems strange the any REAL environmentalist would prefer a "revenue neutral" tax over a policy that may cost a bit but ACTUALLY does something positive. Since when did REAL environmental groups start looking for "cheap" (for corporations), "all talk, no action" plans? I guess the answer is, since they started snuggling up to the Campbell Liberals....

Anonymous said...

It is no surprise, given the following, that David Suzuki is slamming the NDP over the carbon tax, and therefore supporting the Liberals. A visit to the David Suzuki Foundation web site reveals that the corporate world, the traditional supporters of the BC Liberal Party, plays a huge role in funding and managing the Suzuki Foundation.

Look at the Suzuki Foundation 2007-2008 Annual Report, which lists Foundation donors. Power Corp. of Canada is listed as providing over $1 million in 2007 -- 2008. The Jim Pattison Foundation gave between $250,000 and $1 million. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce gave between $10,000 and $100,000. The total Foundation budget is about $7.5 million.

Five of the 13 directors on the Suzuki Foundation Board are from the corporate world.

Suzuki keeps these facts buried on the back spaces on his web site. These facts show that many of the supporters of his foundation are traditional B.C. Liberal supporters and give the Suzuki Foundation lots of money. Suzuki obviously knows which side his bread is buttered on.

And I thought charitable foundations were not allowed to be politically partisan if they wanted to maintain tneir tax exemptions.

HOlney said...

Good grief, yet another blog hailing the almighty Alex morton. At least ms. berman can take the trouble to look into climate change and global warming and attend conferences world wide that show El Nino is the main cause of all the huge storms and that carbon emmissions if left unchecked will destroy the world as we know it by 2050. All Ms morton ever does is rewind the ever repeated I'm published in science and her monotonous sea lice theory for which there is a host of papers discrediting that theory.