Big Brother watched me – A prominent skeptic’s Orwellian story

John Hurt in the movie ‘1984’

“BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.”

This slogan appeared on posters of the Party leader in the dystopian society of George Orwell’s 1984.

It was a constant reminder of omnipresent government surveillance for “thoughtcrime” — independent thinking.

In Orwell’s book, Winston Smith, a Ministry of Truth “history re-writer,” quietly rebelled against this oppression, secretly starting a diary expressing forbidden thoughts.

But government telescreens were everywhere.

Watched constantly, Smith’s every move was monitored.

In 1984, the consequences of being caught were dire; the stress on individuals enormous.

As head of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), I have been feeling a bit like Smith these days.

That’s because the ICSC has been under investigation by Canada’s Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that “has a legislated mandate to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.”

Here’s what happened.

In December 2015 while in Paris attending counter conferences to the United Nations’ climate meetings, I learned the environmental organization Ecojustice had registered a complaint with the Competition Bureau on behalf of six prominent Canadians against ICSC, Friends of Science, and the Heartland Institute.

Ecojustice claimed we presented “climate science misrepresentations” which “promote the denier groups’ own business interest” and “promote the business interests of deep-pocketed individuals and corporations that appear to fund the denier groups.”

Our own core principles — which we state online on our homepage — were presented as evidence against us.

Two of our allies assembled a 37-page response to the attack in which they presented peer-reviewed research in support of our positions.

They suggested I counterattack with this impressive rebuttal.

Others cautioned me to keep my powder dry since the complaint made no sense.

We were simply exercising our rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to express our opinions. That is what science is all about, the opinions of experts based on their interpretations of observations.

Further, the complainants had no idea who helps ICSC financially.

With the exception of Order of Canada recipient, the late Dr. Gerry G. Hatch, who openly supported us, the identities of our donors have been confidential since 2008.

Some of our scientists have had death threats for contesting climate alarmism.

We do not want to risk exposing our donors to such abuse.

So, I did nothing, hoping the Competition Bureau would dismiss the complaint as unfounded.

Yet, five months later, it did launch an investigation, referencing a complaint that we make “representations to the public in the promotion of a business interest that are false or misleading in a material respect regarding climate change.”

The bureau warned us, “If the results of an investigation disclose evidence that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, provides the basis for a criminal prosecution, the matter may be referred to the Attorney General of Canada, who determines whether a prosecution should be undertaken.”

Although I asked the bureau where they suspected ICSC may have made false or misleading statements, it refused to say, citing subsection 10(3) of the Competition Act which requires inquiries to be conducted privately.

Aside from a letter in November 2016 informing me that the investigation was “ongoing”, I heard essentially nothing until the beginning of July 2017.

I received a letter from the bureau informing me, “While the Commissioner has discontinued the inquiry, and no further steps are contemplated at this time, be advised that no binding determination has been made respecting the conduct of International Climate Science Coalition. The Commissioner continues to have the discretion to investigate and take enforcement action in respect of matters previously inquired into, including where additional information is discovered following the discontinuance of an inquiry.”

The National Observer reported they received an e-mail from a bureau spokesperson concerning this investigation stating, “We invite Canadians who believe they may have additional information to contact the Competition Bureau.”

So, after nearly 14 months, the investigation is “discontinued” but revivable if it receives “additional information.”

Is this the Canada my father and grandfathers defended against tyranny?

Harris is the executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition, which opposes the hypothesis carbon dioxide emissions from human activities are known to cause climate problems. 

Read more at Toronto Sun

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Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Eco-Justice just another group of enviromentalists wackos no diffrent t ehn Greenpeace,Center for Biological Diversity,EDF,NRDC and the rest of the militant Eck-Wackos like Earthfirst Friends of the Earth and PETA

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Canada’s politically correct Liberals are all for freedom of speech as long as it’s theirs . Attempts to silence dissenting views are increasing and the immigration policy is heavily biased towards one country China . While Trudeau and his finance minister attempt to gut small business they are quite happy to open the floodgates to laundered money from China and people who pay less than half what small businesses pay in Canada .
    Trudeau opened 7 new immigration offices in China . What happened to the other 195 countries . Crumbs !
    Ottawa does this because they are happy to take the money now while they sell out the people who pay most of the bills and hire people . Isn’t it comforting to have a Prime Minister with an astute financial brain that has conclude “budgets balance themselves ” .
    Canada’s NAFTA negotiators will trade politically correct fluff
    for jobs . Count on it . Auto workers good luck !

    Reply

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