Given the climate in much of Canada, Canadians have to be clever about such things as growing grass. Think about it, you have a long winter, and short spring/summer/fall, so if you want grass, you have to strike while the weather is, well, at least warm. Ish. But the federal government is on the job! Canadians can rest easy knowing its liberal federal government has made recent strides in promoting the growth of AstroTurf in Canada!

AstroTurf™ is artificial grass, but it’s also a term for fake propaganda campaigns that pay people to come out in support of some kind of governmental policy. See, the idea is that some supposedly grassroots movements (movements that support particular policy positions) can be fake, paid for by people who stand to profit from that particular government policy.

Normally, the term AstroTurf is thrown at right-leaning causes, such as promoting demonstrations for free markets, against gun control, against tax hikes or in general objecting to various forms of left-leaning. So, demonstrations in support of fossil fuels? AstroTurf. Objections to higher taxes? AstroTurf. But! Demonstrations in support of higher taxes, more controls on business, more criminalization of thoughts…those are all grassroots movements. See the difference?

Recently, as Canada is battling on the front lines in World War Fossil Fuels (WWFF™), it has been discovered that the government has been playing fast and loose with the public purse in order to build support for eco-centric governance.

Exhibit one: after loudly proclaiming that the Canadian federal government had not given support to Canada’s anti-fossil fuel Pembina Institute, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan had to tell the press that he was “deeply sorry,” for not admitting that, well, his government had actually given nearly $2 million Canadian dollars to the Pembina Institute in 2017-2019. Oops. A simple error. One of a kind, surely, except for…

Exhibit two: The federal government was also spotted fertilizing the AstroTurf by funneling governmental support to a Canadian aboriginal group that is opposing (and physically blockading) the development of a large LNG project in British Columbia. Without getting into arcane aboriginal politics, one can still follow the money: Canada’s federal government gave CAD $10,000 (small change, but it’s the principle of the thing) to Canada Tides Foundation, an organization that is bankrolling aboriginal opposition to oil and gas projects across Canada. And finally…

Exhibit three: In Parliament, the Trudeau government was pilloried by conservatives for supporting student interns working for the Dogwood Initiative, who, as the Initiative says, will “help our organizing network stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project.” The Kinder Morgan project is a major Canadian pipeline initiative to transport oil from the landlocked province of Alberta to west-coast ports for export to foreign markets where it could command higher prices.

Of course, all this could just be chalked up to bureaucratic bungling, where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. But as arch-villain Auric Goldfinger observes in the eponymous James Bond movie, “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”

There is a silver lining in all this, however. There is no grass (real or fake) involved in Ice Hockey.

Author

  • Kenneth Green has studied energy and environmental policy at free-market think tanks in North America for over 20 years. He holds a Doctoral degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA, and has over 850 publications to his credit.