Turf & Rec

News
The 9/11 era of the green space industry (continued)


March 24, 2009
By William Gathercole

CAPE culprits

• Gideon Forman is executive director of CAPE. He can be reached at the following e–mail address: gideon@cape.ca. 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: cppbell@web.ca.

Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CGEN)

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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 (…).”

CELA funding

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.”

CELA culprit

• 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: editor@healthyenvironmentforkids.ca

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.”

CIELAP funding

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.

CIELAP culprit

• 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.

CPCHE culprit

• 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: kapil@cape.ca.

Conclusion

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 whg007@gmail.com. By the way, the opinions expressed in this article, even though from an independent perspective, may not reflect those of Turf & Recreation.