rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Peter Kent, pants on fire!

This week Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent has made repeated allegations that environmental groups are “laundering money”. This is a serious charge because according to the federal government’s own website: Money laundering is the process used to disguise the source of money or assets derived from criminal activity.

This is beyond anything in my experience and is absolutely irresponsible. A cabinet minister is going around spouting serious allegations without proof and the media is repeating them without doing anything to investigate the validity of his statements.

This is McCarthyism. Period. Back in the late 40s and early 50s Senator Joe McCarthy made a career out of unfounded accusations of communism against innocent people who he didn’t like (back then the media also scrambled to report the unfounded accusations). Careers and lives were destroyed -- remember, people were being told Communist bombs could fall on them any day!

The whole point of this kind of campaign is to create an atmosphere of fear and apprehension for the targets (me and you), but more importantly for the general public --thereby justifying all sorts of government trampling on human rights.

There are no impeding bombs today, but fear of unemployment and recession is a good replacement and “radicals,” “foreign interests” and “money launderers” are great replacements for communists. Mix them together and you get a justification for a 400 page federal budget containing 150 pages of changes to environmental laws and protections!

So what is the defense? In the 50s it was: duck and cover, testify or go to jail. But how do you hide from climate change or an oil spill? How do you keep your children safe?

I chose to fight fire with fire (or rhetoric with rhetoric). Peter Kent is big fat liar. If he has evidence of “money laundering” as defined by his own government, I’ll apologize and donate $100 to his favorite environmental charity. Until he has evidence he should do the honourable thing: Shut his mouth because he’s a big fat liar!

John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada
John on Twitter
More from the Bennett Blog

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.