The 9/11 era of the green space industry
By William Gathercole
By William Gathercole
We are now living in the era of “9–11 of the green space industry.” The prohibition conspiracy against pest control products has now attained national proportions. The provinces are falling like dominoes. The professional lawn care industry is systematically being annihilated across Canada. Our adversaries in the environmental movement have virtually limitless funds to wreak their havoc, and they understand full well that there is no unity within the green space industry.
First municipal, then provincial, and finally national in scope, their first destructive attack will be complete within one or two years. And then. Soon after the environmental movement has tasted victory by obliterating the professional lawn care industry, the hated golf course industry will be targeted in the next attack. This time, the golf industry will be totally alone, and devoid of any allies to help defend itself. The golf industry, because of its attitude of denial and protectionism and mock–dismay at any form of criticism, is ignoring the supreme historic opportunity to join forces with the professional lawn care industry, and litigate against the forces of environmentalist evil.
A failure to do so will be lethal and final, and future generations will ask the question, “Why did you not act?” For the first time in all of our collective history, it can honestly be said that there is no longer a hopeful future for anyone in our industry, young or old. We must defend our industry, whatever the cost may be.
As a consequence, we have prepared a report card to enlighten our readers. The grading is based upon an association’s ability, or willingness, to adequately confront the issues of conspiracy to prohibit pest control products in Ontario.
Those who have failed the green space industry so far
A grade of “failure” must be assigned to the following groups: Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA), CropLife Canada, International Society of Arboriculture, Landscape Ontario, Royal Canadian Golf Association, and Urban Pest Management Council. Many believe that none of these groups have stepped up to the plate and adequately challenge the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. These groups have sadly become totally disinterested parties, preferring instead to hide behind their own rhetoric of “What? Me worry?” Some people believe it is time to reassess whether these groups deserve our support, since, in desperate times, they have utterly failed us. So far.
For example, Landscape Ontario (LO) has yet again disappointed us with its attitude of “laissez faire,” since it appears that it has decided to bow to the inevitable cataclysm of the prohibition. In the LO Annual Report 2008, it is written, “There is a great deal of concern about future viability. Our role is to assist in the transition (towards the pesticide prohibition).”
Another example is CropLife Canada, the group that represents the manufacturing sector. Here is one of its non–committal statements on the matter of the Ontario prohibition: “We support a focus on eliminating the improper or unnecessary use of pesticides.”
And one more example. Incredibly, the golf industry has declared itself satisfied with the Ontario prohibition, without regard for the much larger implications to the entire green space industry. It is unfortunate that the near–sightedness of this industry’s leaders will prevent it to ever join forces with the Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario (PLCAO). The same advocacy groups that once pressured the Government of Ontario to legislate the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act will soon set their sights on the elimination of the golf exception status.
Here is a protectionist statement from one of the golf industry leaders, issued in April 2008:
“(…) associations like the CGSA, Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) (…) applauded McGuinty and the governing Liberals for making this announcement (regarding the prohibition). (A) reason for the golf industry’s support of this provincial initiative stems from the fact we will be exempted.”
Those who have made a bit of an effort
A grade of “average” must be assigned to Ontario Parks Association (OPA) for their insightfully truthful response to the Ontario prohibition. However, this group should do more. Here is an excerpt from a letter written by OPA on Sept. 2, 2008: “While IPM programs and appropriate cultural practices are able to significantly reduce weed infestations in sports fields, in some instances, the use of pesticides is the only viable solution.”
Those who have served the green space industry with distinction
A grade of “high achiever” must be assigned to the following groups: Ontario Golf Superintendents Association, Ontario Vegetation Management Association, and Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario (PLCAO). They are the true heroes of the green space industry, and appear to have done what the other associations are apparently unable or unwilling to do. Successful petitions and lobbying. Good literature and commentary. Consistent and steady response to the issues. You are the defenders of the green space industry, and you have our thanks and our gratitude.
A personal honourary mention should be made in recognition of Jeffrey Lowes, who, with the blessing from PLCAO, has conducted himself immaculately. He truly embodies the critical concept that We must defend our industry, whatever the cost may be. We are lucky to have him. Please contact and give support to Lowes and PLCAO at 519–836–4906 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources of funding for the environmental movement
As we have described before, the Government of Ontario, in collaboration with their allies in the environmental movement, and the organizations that fund environmental advocacy, constitute “The Axis Of Environmental Evil,” which imminently threatens to annihilate the green space industry.
This article will focus on the sources of funding of the environmental movement. In many cases, it is very clear what the funding has been used for. In other cases, the money has clearly been detoured against the green space industry. It should not be unexpected that a portion of any funding would have helped build infrastructures that were used to promote the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. In other words, even if money was earmarked for other projects, it could still be used against the green space industry. Who knows for sure?
One of our friends in the green space industry, Grace Edwards, who operates Salmon Arm Property Maintenance Ltd., in British Columbia, made the following astute observation about funding the environmental movement: “I always assumed that funding went to research to cure the problems, and not the possible causes, and ruining people’s jobs.”
Throughout this article, some people will be named as culprits. This is not an accusation of any legal wrongdoing. All culprits are simply being held accountable for changes in public policy that have been detrimental to the green space industry.
Money and the environmental movement
The principal interests and agendas of the environmental movement can be summarized into the two following categories:
• One. The acquisition and retention of massive amounts of money from government grants, the private sector, and individuals, to operate environmental groups.
• Two. The acquisition and retention of fame, celebrity, and power for many who are narrow–minded, and who have led an otherwise obscure and unproductive life. Some feel compelled to make public appearances in laboratory coats and/or present themselves as medical doctors, or experts in the green space industry. When given some power and money, they may feel compelled to impose their personal life choices on society. They may do so by misrepresenting the existing facts and hence gleefully avoiding sound science in order to promote their cause.
In addition, there can be no doubt that being part of the environmental movement is profitable business. Environmental groups are classified as tax–free because of charitable or non–profit status.
We have determined from our research that too many people in the environmental movement do not care enough about the environment or public health. But they care about money. And they care about power. To be fair, there are some rare notable exceptions, such as the following groups: Audubon International, the David Suzuki Foundation, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Ecojustice Canada, Environmental Defence Canada, Friends of the Earth, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, the ultra–militant but efficient Pesticide Action Network North America, Pollution Probe, and Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment. We are still evaluating the activities of other groups.
A comment from the founder of Audubon International
Ronald G. Dodson is founder, president, and chief executive officer (CEO) of Audubon International, as well as founder and chairman of the board of the Audubon Society of New York State, Inc. He is the creator of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for golf courses. Remember this guy? He represents virtually the only bright spot in the environmental movement, and he single–handedly legitimized the name Audubon.
Dodson recently made comments about environmental groups, like National Audubon Society, a sister organization, and its infatuation for money:
“(…) they have to raise about $40 million a year to keep their bureaucracy funded. We don’t try to raise $40 million a year to keep a bureaucracy going. It basically comes down to that. It’s money.”
The deceptive practices of the Government of Ontario
It will dismay the reader to learn that some environmental groups are actually financed with our own government tax dollars, through agencies such as the Trillium Foundation. In other words, people who work and pay taxes in the green space industry are unknowingly contributing money to their eventual annihilation.
Furthermore, the Government of Ontario has allocated more than $10 million over four years in support of the prohibition. Can we guess which groups will benefit from this money?
For the remainder of this article, we will take a look at money and the environmental groups that have infested the Province of Ontario and conspired to prohibit pest control products.
Sources of funding and revenues
Most of the groups that compose the environmental movement can be described as tax–free organizations because of charitable or non–profit status. In other words, most of them do not pay taxes, just like churches.
Groups within the environmental movement are funded or financed by six major sources: corporate donations, government grants, individual donations, litigation fees, memberships, and non–government grants.
For many groups, 60 per cent, or more, of funding originates from government grants. Furthermore, they may be funded by one or several of the following sources: bequeathments or legacy gifts, books revenues, cash donations, environmental consultations, expert commentaries for the media, gifts in kind, government committee participation, investments, legal consultations, media sponsorships or partnerships, medical contract consultations, organic lawn care services, organic products, magazines, public affairs services, research, seed (that’s right, seed), signs for posting on lawns, speaking engagements, television appearances, turf and ornamental maintenance consultation, video DVD revenues, web page services, and writing articles.
Of all the sources of funding, the government grants are the most unethical, most unfair, and most insidious to the green space industry. Many groups are actually financed with our own government tax dollars, through agencies such as the Trillium Foundation, the financial shield used by the Government of Ontario to supply money to the environmental movement. This money, directly or indirectly, has paid for infrastructures and activities that are leading to the demise of the green space industry. This is worrisome. A group that is financed with government money, that seeks to change public policy concerning legally–registered pest control products, and that injures taxpaying businesses and workers in the green space industry, may be placing itself in a serious conflict of interest.
Operating budgets and funding
Documented research has provided evidence for the following statistics regarding those groups in the environmental movement that have conspired, directly or indirectly, to encourage a public policy prohibiting the use of pest control products in Ontario, and even Quebec, and more recently across Canada. Coincidentally, large sums of money were provided by government during the period of time (2001–2008) covering the public debates on the Toronto prohibition and the Ontario prohibition.
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) claims to have nearly 3,000 members. Its membership is not comprised exclusively of physicians only, but health care workers in general. The cost of a CAPE membership is $100 per year. Its operating budget appears to be less than $1 million per year, and it has about one dozen employees. CAPE has received at least $250,000 directly from the Government of Ontario for the period 2002–2007.
Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) is composed of 13 employees and five legal counsels. The operating budget has been estimated at well over $1 million per year. CELA has received at least $200,000 directly from the Government of Ontario for the period 2007–2008.
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) has an operating budget of $250,000 per year, and it is composed of four staff employees, three or four interns, and about 20 volunteers.
David Suzuki Foundation claims to be funded by more than 40,000 donors from around the world (including 18,000 in Ontario), as well as more than 50 corporations and foundations. With 50 employees, its operating budget is likely to be close to $5 million per year. Suzuki has very wisely gone out of its way to avoid the ethical pitfall of government grants. It has a policy not to accept any type of government grants, and prefers to remain as a non–profit, independent charity. There is no conflict of interest between the funding of Suzuki and its activities pertaining to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. From at least five of its principal private donors alone, Suzuki has obtained more than $5 million since its creation in 1991.
Ecojustice Canada claims to have 30,000 active supporters who donate money to its cause. It has an operating budget of about $4 million per year, and employs a contingent of 40 staff members. Like Suzuki, Ecojustice also has a policy of not accepting any government grants, and prefers to remain as a non–profit, independent charity. There is no conflict of interest between the funding of Ecojustice and its activities pertaining to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act.
Environmental Defence Canada (EDC) has an operating budget of more than $3 million per year, and employs almost 25 staff members. EDC can afford to have several lobbyist in Ottawa. In 2008, EDC received $500,000 from the Government of Ontario, and $85,000 from the Government of Canada. Additionally, EDC may have received a total of more than $1 million from the Government of Ontario for the period 2004–2009.
The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) claims to have more than 6,400 members. Its operating budget is between $500,000 to $1 million per year. OCFP may have received more than $3 million just from the Government of Canada alone, for the period 2004–2008.
Organic Landscape Alliance (OLA) has a mere 10 members which it refers to as service providers. They are simple lawn care companies that boast not to use pest control products. OLA has received almost $100,000 in grants, mostly from the Government of Ontario.
Sierra Club of Canada Foundation has an operating budget of more than $1.25 million per year. This group has received funding from the Government of Ontario.
World Wildlife Fund of Canada (WWF) has an operating budget of approximately $4 million per year. This group claims to have 150,000 supporters across Canada. In 2008, WWF has received hundreds of thousands of in grants from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.
Examples of major sources of funding
In the next five segments, we have listed the major sources of funding for those groups in the environmental movement which have conspired to encourage a public policy prohibiting the use of pest control products.
Environmental groups as a major source of funding
The following are environmental groups which have routinely provided money directly to other groups in the environmental movement: Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canadian Environmental Law Association, David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, Pollution Probe, World Wildlife Fund of Canada.
Private foundations as a major source of environmental funding
The following are private foundations that have repeatedly funded the activities and/or infrastructures of the environmental movement: George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Laidlaw Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co–op, Santa Barbara Foundation, the EJLB Foundation, the Ivey Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the MacLean Foundation, the Salamander Foundation, the Sir Joseph Flavelle Foundation, the United Way and various chapters, and Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation.
Banks and utilities as a major source of environmental funding
The following are Canadian banks and utilities that have funded the activities and/or infrastructures of the environmental movement: Bank of Montreal, BMO Employee Charitable Foundation, and BMO Fountain of Hope Ontario, Bank of Nova Scotia, Scotia Capital, and Scotia Bank, Bell Canada, CIBC and CIBC Corporate Communications, TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Foundation, the B.C. Hydro Employees Community, and Via Rail Canada.
Media, entertainment, and publishing sponsors
The following are media, entertainment, and publishing sponsors that have funded the activities and/or infrastructures of the environmental movement: CTV Toronto, Groupe Cirque du Soleil Inc., McGraw–Hill Ryerson, Newstalk 1010 CFRB, Now Magazine, Warner Brothers Entertainment Canada Inc., and Zoom Media.
Government agencies, ministries, and municipalities
The following are government agencies, ministries, and municipalities, that have funded the activities and/or infrastructures of the environmental movement: Agriculture and Agri–food Canada, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Canadian International Development Agency of the Government of Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, City of Toronto, Environment Canada with EcoAction Community Funding Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Human Resources and Development Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ministry of Natural Resources of the Government of Ontario, Industry Canada, Ontario Hydro, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF)
Trillium is a member of the Ontario Environment Network. It is also a financial shield agency created by the Government of Ontario to provide direct funding to organizations in the environmental movement. This situation represents one of the great deceptive practices of our society. Government money acquired from honest and hard–working people in the green space industry is refunnelled through Trillium to culprits that promote and plot for their annihilation.
For example, since 1999, World Wildlife Fund of Canada (WWF) alone has been provided with almost $250,000 by Trillium. Thanks to the generosity of Trillium, WWF had the means and/or the infrastructure to legally challenge the green space industry in the Hudson Supreme Court affair. As we all know, on June 28, 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada, unfortunately, upheld the bylaw enacted by the Town of Hudson, Que. which prohibited the use of pest control products for the professional lawn care industry and do–it–yourself homeowners. Agriculture and golf clubs were exempted.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is the largest funder of the environmental not–for–profit sector in Ontario. Between 2001 and 2006, Trillium funded more than 600 environmental projects across Ontario worth more than $47 million. These grants supported a wide range of community–based and province–wide initiatives in areas as diverse as public education, the restoration of wildlife habitat, environmental health, and energy conservation.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation annual funding was boosted to $105 million from $100 million in 2007, and will be further increased to $120 million in 2009–2010. This enhanced funding has resulted in an increase to the maximum amount available for capital grants and the creation of a $2-million Future Fund, which focused in 2007–2008 on strengthening the impact of organizations working on environmental issues (i.e. the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act). While the Government of Ontario was seemingly listening to all interested parties regarding the fate of cosmetic pesticides, it was ostensibly conspiring towards the demise of the green space industry by financing its environmental adversaries.
In 2007–2008 alone, almost $500,000 was provided by The Ontario Trillium Foundation to groups in the environmental movement dedicated to the destruction of the green space industry. During the period 1999–2009, more than $1.5 million. As we all know, the Province of Ontario introduced legislation for the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act on April 22, 2008. Thanks to Trillium funding, public affairs lobbying, and advertising campaigns orchestrated by the environmental movement were financially strong enough to guarantee the passage of the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. Trillium will likely claim that the money was never given for this purpose. But, hey!, Trillium did pay for some of the infrastructures of the environmental groups. Evidently, most of these groups used Trillium money, directly or indirectly, to change public policy concerning cosmetic pesticides. It may be a clear conflict of interest to use government money for the purpose of promoting a prohibition of pest control products.
Coincidentally, large sums of money were provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation during the period of time covering the public debates on the Toronto prohibition and the Ontario prohibition (2001–2008). As we all know, the Court of Appeal for Ontario concluded in 2004 that the City of Toronto did have the authority to pass its bylaw which restricted the use of pest control products. In 2008, the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act was legislated by the Government of Ontario. The success of these prohibitions were clearly financed by Trillium, as well as other sources.
Trillium funding of groups that advocated prohibition
Here is a review of where Trillium dollars were spent with those which supported the Ontario prohibition:
• Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, $255,000 (2002–2007).
• Canadian Environmental Law Association, $202,200 (2007–2008).
• Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, $25,000 (1999–2000).
• Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and the Environment, $264,500 (2006–2007).
• Environmental Defence Canada, $674,100 (2004–2009).
• Sierra Club of Canada, Trillium financing is definitive, but the amounts are unknown at this time.
• World Wildlife Fund of Canada, $224,000 (1999–2007).
Trillium response after we showed it this portion of the article
“(Trillium has) reviewed the draft article (…) and must advise you that the position it outlines is incorrect. The Ontario Trillium Foundation does not fund advocacy efforts that do not meet the guidelines for not–for–profit organizations under the Canadian Revenue Agency rules. This would include advocacy efforts which are politically motivated or supportive of a specific political party or viewpoint. Further to this we have an internal policy that reiterates this position. This policy was last reviewed in 2008. Therefore, to be clear, the OTF did not fund activities by the organizations listed below as you have implied in your article.” We thank Trillium for its response.
In the next five segments in this article, we have identified some of the groups of the environmental movement that have been financially supported by the Government of Ontario in their efforts to build the infrastructures that were evidently used to annihilate the green space industry.
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
The idea for this non–profit group was conceived in Ottawa in 1993, and the group was eventually established in Winnipeg in 1995. The CAPE headquarters are now in Toronto.
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment is a militant trade organization claiming to be “the national voice of physicians on issues of health and the environment.”
CAPE has mandated itself to educating health care professionals and the public in matters of politicized science and environmental public policy. Children’s environmental health is reportedly its priority issue.
CAPE, along with Canadian Cancer Society, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Nature–Action Quebec, the Sierra Club of Canada, and World Wildlife Fund of Canada, were among the prominent supporters of the prohibition on cosmetic pesticides in the Province of Quebec, which began in 2002.
In 2004, CAPE began a national project called Operation Pesticide ByLaw, using its video “Lawn and Garden Pesticides: Reducing Harm.” CAPE first targeted Peterborough, Ont., and Edmonton, Alta. It was later very instrumental in having a prohibition legislated in towns like Markham and Pickering, as well as cities like Toronto and London.
CAPE policy against the golf course industry
CAPE clearly and actively supports the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, and it has also publicly stated that it does not want any Ontario prohibition exceptions for the golf course industry.
Here is a portion of a 2008 press release from Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment concerning the golf course exception under the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act: “As the government prepares to release regulations under its new pesticide act, a poll has discovered most Ontarians want to end the use of pesticides on golf courses. (…) We hope Queen’s Park listens to the majority of Ontarians and includes a golf pesticide phase–out.”
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment boasts having nearly 3,000 members, not all of them physicians. The cost of a CAPE membership is $100 per year. Its operating budget appears to be less than $1 million per year, and it operates with about one dozen employees.
In 2001, CAPE created a financial shield in order to accept donations and grants. It is called Canadian Health and Environment Education and Research Foundation (CHEER).
Here are some of the culprits that have funded CAPE: Canadian Auto Workers, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees, George Lunan Foundation, Laidlaw Foundation, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Pilkington–Henninger Charitable Trust, the EJLB Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the McLean Foundation.
Coincidentally, CAPE was provided with large sums of money during the period of time covering the public debates on the Toronto prohibition and the Ontario prohibition (2001–2008). It is clear that the funds helped pay for infrastructures that were used to influence public policy concerning the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act.
Here are more details on two culprits that have financed Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment:
• Laidlaw Foundation has furnished CAPE/CHEER with the following sums of money : $46,575 (2002), $25,000 (2005), $5,000 (2007).
• The Ontario Trillium Foundation is the financial shield used by the Government of Ontario to supply money to the environmental movement. CAPE was massively funded by the government: $55,000 for the period 2002–2003. $200,000 over a three–year period (beginning in 2006–2007) to strengthen CAPE operations across Ontario, and to increase its membership and long–term sustainability. In other words, the government was supplying CAPE with the ammunition that it needed to conspire to prohibit pest control products.
CAPE funding by Trillium
Here’s more. According to the Trillium Province–Wide Program 2002-2003, Trillium funded CAPE for the following reasons: “$55,000 over three years to enable volunteers to contribute to policy development, public awareness initiatives and practical projects that will advance understanding and action in the field of children’s environmental health.”
Furthermore, according to the Trillium Province–Wide Program 2006-2007, Trillium funded CAPE for the following reasons: “$200,000 over three years to reduce human exposure to toxic chemicals by strengthening the organization’s operations across Ontario, increasing its membership and long–term sustainability.”
In essence, government money was funnelled by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to CAPE to provide the means to advance its agenda. For instance, in 2007, CAPE was vigorously involved with a campaign to prohibit pest control products in London, Ont. The CAPE campaign in London was lavish, with a series of advertisements in local newspapers. Here is an excerpt: “London’s pesticide debate isn’t about politics. It’s about our kids.”
CAPE supplying seed
Furthermore, CAPE, along with United Church of Canada, and other environmental groups, have endorsed a campaign that recommends White Dutch Clover as a substitute for turfgrass seed. CAPE is now a seed supplier as it evidently reaps some financial benefits from the sale of this product. The objective is clear. CAPE conspires to have pest control products prohibited. The professional lawn care industry is annihilated. CAPE moves in with its alternative product for lawns. Here are some excerpts from their advertising:
“Consider Clover. An eco–friendly Jubilee action to restore your earth. Spread Clover. Seed on your yard this summer. Enjoy a low– to no–maintenance, chemical–free lawn where kids and pets can safely roll in the clover!” This campaign is endorsed by the following: United Church of Canada, Church and Society, Co–ordinating Committee, Ecology Working Group, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.”
• Gideon Forman is executive director of CAPE. He can be reached at the following e–mail address: email@example.com. Forman has said, “We’re also concerned that any exemptions (i.e. the golf course industry) could permit the very cosmetic pesticides this law is supposed to prohibit.”
• Warren Bell is a co–founder of CAPE. He is now president of medical staff at Shuswap Lake General Hospital, and resides in Salmon Arm, B.C. Recently, he persists in promoting prohibitions in his local community. Warren Bell can be reached at the following e–mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CGEN)
In 2001–2002, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers' Network (CGEN) was provided $40,000 by The Ontario Trillium Foundation. The funding was supplied over a period of two years to support programs and activities aimed at increasing membership and enhancing the effectiveness of environmental organizations participating in the network’s organizational development initiative.
Furthermore, in 2004–2005, CGEN was given $55,000 by Trillium to support the organization’s research on environmental grant–making in Canada and the development of a model for sustainable operations.
In essence, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network is a support service for groups supplying money for the environmental movement. CEGN also acts as a financial shield for Trillium itself, again using government money to annihilate the green space industry.
The list of members of Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network includes many culprits whose names come up again and again as, themselves, financial supporters of the environmental movement: EcoAction Community Funding Program of Environment Canada, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Laidlaw Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co–op, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the EJLB Foundation, the Ivey Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Salamander Foundation, and Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.
Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
This non–profit group was established in 1970. It is an environmental law clinic within Legal Aid Ontario. CELA has developed expertise in providing free legal services to low income people and disadvantaged communities, and advancing the cause of strong environmental protection through advocacy and education of politicized science, and law reform. CELA is composed of 13 employees and five legal counsels. The operating budget has been estimated at more than $1 million per year. It is a member of the Ontario Environment Network. Its sister group is Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP).
CELA is an affiliated member with the ultra–militant but efficient Pesticide Action Network North America, along with Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Équiterre.
Campaign for Pesticide Reduction, now called Pesticide Free Ontario, started circa 2002 as a national shield coalition with a Steering Committee that originally included CELA.
CELA activities leading to the Toronto prohibition
In 2002, CELA forged a close alliance with Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) and the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) to create the public affairs shield Partnership for Pesticide Bylaws. This shield was created to ensure the passage of the Toronto prohibition of pest control products. This shield organization quickly encompassed child, health, and animal welfare groups, as well as environmental and labour groups, that all supported the prohibition.
CELA activities leading to the Ontario prohibition
CELA has used a public affairs shield organization which is called Coalition for Pesticide Reform Ontario. This shield was created to ensure the passage of the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, which CELA clearly supports. Here is an excerpt from a 2008 coalition advertisement: “We support the Ontario government’s plan to enact pesticide legislation (…).”
Coincidentally, vast sums of money were provided to CELA during the period of time covering the public debates on the Toronto prohibition and the Ontario prohibition (2001–2008). It is clear that the funds helped pay for infrastructures that were used to influence public policy that led to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. CELA has been funded by the following groups: Laidlaw Foundation $35,000 (2000–2002), the Ontario Trillium Foundation $202,200 (2007–2008), and the Salamander Foundation $10,000 (2008).
In 2002, Laidlaw funded CELA for Education and Public Policy for Children’s Health. According to the Laidlaw Annual Report 2002, funding was supplied for the following reasons: “This grant provides CELA with support to enable the Partnership for Pesticide Bylaws to educate key Toronto city councillors to support this regulation. The partnership is a collaborative community network that will guide current pesticide efforts into a common focused campaign to ensure passage of a pesticides bylaw in the City of Toronto.”
• Kathleen Cooper is a senior researcher for CELA. She is also web site editor and a member of the Secretariat at Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE). Cooper can be reached at the following e–mail address: email@example.com
Kathleen Cooper has said, “Lawn and garden pesticides are just not worth the risks, particularly to children. Pesticides are associated with cancer, impacts on brain development and hormone disruption that can further impair child development. There are too many risks associated with these chemicals to warrant their use for weed–free lawns. This proposed prohibition is precaution at its best; it will reduce the risks children face from exposure to pesticides.”
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP)
This group was established in 1970. It has developed expertise in the field of research and development of environmental law and policy that promotes the public interest and sustainability. It focuses on issues of politicized science that are emerging or neglected. It does not offer legal aid services. CIELAP headquarters are in Toronto, and its operating budget is $250,000 per year. It is composed of three staff employees, three or four interns, and about 20 volunteers. Forty to 60 per cent of its funding is obtained by governments for policy research. It is a member of the Ontario Environment Network.
Its sister group is Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA). It has a close alliance with Environmental Defence Canada. All three support the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act.
CIELAP has publicly stated that it does not see the need for any Ontario prohibition exceptions for the golf course industry. On Dec. 18, 2008, CIELAP issued its recomendations to the Government of Ontario. Here is an excerpt: “CIELAP did not believe that an exemption in the Act for the cosmetic use of pesticides on the golf course was necessary. Accordingly, CIELAP recommends that these sections of the regulation be strengthened to better protect the environment and human health by ensuring that golf courses comply quickly with the new requirements of the Act.”
It would not be unexpected that a portion of CIELAP funding would have helped build infrastructures that were used to change public policy and to impose lifestyle changes on society, such as the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. This may be seen as a conflict of interest when funding is obtained from government to the detriment of the green space industry.
Here are some of the groups that have funded CIELAP: Agriculture and Agri–food Canada, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Council of Churches, Canadian Environmental Law Association, City of Toronto, Dow Chemical Canada Inc., Environment Canada, Greenpeace Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Industry Canada, Laidlaw Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co–op, Ontario Hydro, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Pollution Probe, TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the McLean Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Salamander Foundation, the United Way, Vision TV, Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation, World Wildlife Fund of Canada, and York University.
• Karen Clark is a former staff member for CIELAP. In 2001, Clark moved on to work as supervisor, Environmental Health Assessment & Policy, Planning & Policy, Toronto Public Health at the City of Toronto. Documents show that Clark was highly instrumental in the promotion and implementation of the Toronto bylaw prohibiting pest control products.
CIELAP response to this portion of the article
This group was decent enough to respond to our request to comment on this portion of the article. It was suggested that we take another look at their last annual reports, and a letter, which we did. We think that the CIELAP response helped strengthen the contents of this segment.
Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE)
This group was provided $264,500 by the Ontario Trillium Foundation during the period 2006–2007. This group actively supported changes in public policy leading to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. This group uses staff which overlaps with Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), such as Kathleen Cooper and Kapil Khatter.
• Kapil Khatter is project manager for Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment. He is also president of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), another prohibition supporter. He has been pollution policy adviser and scientific adviser for Environmental Defence Canada, until September 2008. He is also board member with the following groups that also support the prohibition in Ontario: Canadian Environmental Law Association, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Environment Program Committee at Laidlaw Foundation (another major source of financing for environmental groups). He is well connected! Khatter can be reached at the following e–mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sept. 20, 2001, in an address to a joint session of Congress following the 9–11 attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush made the following statement: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
This is our concluding rant to all who work in the green space industry. We can assure everyone that the mistakes of the Hudson Supreme Court affair will not be repeated again. We will not lose in Ontario. In this article, we have shown you the money and the power that we are up against. Either you stand and fight against environmental terrorism, or you stand with the terrorists themselves. Stand up and be counted.
About the principal author
William H. Gathercole has been following the evolution of environmental terrorism for more than a quarter–century. He holds a degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, and another pure and applied science degree from McGill University. He has worked in virtually all aspects of the green space industry, including public relations and environmental safety. Mr. Gathercole has been a consultant and instructor for decades. He is a contributing columnist for Turf & Recreation.
Personal note and disclaimer
In sickness or in health, with the help of his entourage, we still hope to keep all of our readers entertained and informed. Bill continues to recover from his serious motor vehicle accident. In order to complete this particular article, it has been co–authored with Norah G. Well–wishers may send a personal note to Bill by way of this magazine, or at email@example.com. By the way, the opinions expressed in this article, even though from an independent perspective, may not reflect those of Turf & Recreation.