West Coast Enviromental Law, the first target of the attack ads by the Ethical Oil activist group has responded in a statement from Executive Director and Senior Counsel, Jessica Clogg who said: “Our campaigns are not dictated by the sources of our funding. Rather, we seek funding to support the environmental initiatives we decide on as a British Columbia organisation with deep roots in communities around the province.”
The Alberta based pro bitumen sands lobby group Ethical Oil, using figures from Vancouver blogger Vivian Krause are attacking any group opposing the bitumen sands and pipelines who may receive backing from foundations or other groups based outside of Canada.
“Our funding to support ordinary Canadians in keeping our magnificent north Pacific Coast free from the threat of oil tankers and oil spills is dwarfed by that of oil producers and refiners, which put up $100 million to promote the Northern Gateway project and push it through the regulatory review,” Clogg said.
A statement on its website “Why West Coast is fighting Enbridge (it’s not the funding)” says in part:
Through our environmental legal aid services, citizens and community groups who could not otherwise afford it are able to participate meaningfully and democratically in decisions about resource development that have the potential to profoundly affect their lives.
Back in the ‘70s when a broad citizens’ coalition brought to a halt a proposed oil pipeline to an oil port at Kitimat, BC West Coast lawyers were there to support them. And we are there today for these northern communities as they once again face the threat of environmental devastation from oil pipelines and tankers….
Our belief remains strong today, as then, that our salmon-rich north Pacific coast and rivers should remain free from oil supertankers and the threat of oil spills….
This goal, like the other long-term strategic priorities of West Coast Environmental Law is set by our board and staff, informed by the deep connections we have forged over many decades with communities in every corner of the province. Without the generosity of our supporters, including dedicated individuals and foundations on both sides of the border, the work of our non-profit charity to protect the environment through law would not be possible. But we, not our funders, decide what issues we will focus on.