Monday, January 22, 2007

A wolf disguised as sheep?

Bourque quoted the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association on Jan 22, 2007:

Telecaster Canada, the group that regulates television ad content on behalf of Canadian broadcasters, has blocked a television ad reminding Canadians about Prime Minister Harper¹s campaign commitment to require 5% renewable content in fuel and promoting the benefits of ethanol and biodiesel, which was set to air today. The advertisement in question contained a brief clip from the last election campaign of Stephen Harper speaking to a group of farmers outside Chatham, Ontario on December 21, 2005. Telecaster is requiring the CRFA to get approval from the Prime Minister to use his image in the ad, despite the clip being taken from a public event during an election campaign. "The Telecaster decision oversteps its authority, muzzles freedom of speech and limits public debate on important issues," said Kory Teneycke, Executive Director of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association [CRFA]. "Public commitments made by politicians during political campaigns have historically been treated as matters of public record, not as copyrighted material owned by the politician in question."
About the censorship Stephen Taylor, who headlines his blog with Stephen Taylor - Conservative Party of Canada Pundit had this to say:
"You might be thinking that opinion has never really been subject to censorship in Canada unless it crosses the line of hateful speech, decency or the promotion of unlawful activity. Of course, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association is doing nothing of the sort in these spots."

“This is a radical move on the part of Telecaster, and has important implications on public debate in Canada. No politician should be put in the position of having to give permission to use a commitment made during an election campaign,” concluded Teneycke, Executive Director of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.

It also shows the sheep's clothing of a man who denied the existence of gloabal warming not long ago: Stephen Harper.

An attack on free speech should be resisted by all Canadians. But we should be wary of the recent "greening of the Conservatives". I think it's a charade.

I also have misgivings about using food as fuel for transportation in a world where nearly six million children die of hunger each year. Moreover, even in the rich countries there are negative implications: The price of margarine and cooking oil will rise the more vegetable oil is diverted towards car engines.

Watch this BBC report