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Karl Nerenberg has been reporting on federal politics from Parliament Hill for rabble.ca since September, 2011. In his long career, he has won numerous awards as a broadcaster and documentary filmmaker.
The Harper government's attack on "progressive" charities began as an effort to defend the Keystone XL pipeline proposal (and the oil sands, more generally).
In 2012, Joe Oliver, who was then Natural Resources Minister, wrote an open letter attacking environmental organizations opposed to the pipeline. He said they wanted to turn Canada into a "vast national park."
To nail home his point, the Minister added the accusation that some of those organizations were funded by foreign "billionaire socialists."
The Fair Elections Act received Royal Assent last June and is now the law of the land.
The hue and cry of protest from the opposition, the media, almost every reputable expert, and tens of thousands of Canadians had virtually no effect.
The Conservatives pushed their oxymoronically named legislation through with only a few amendments.
Now, it seems we have all moved on. There are other matters to excite and worry us: war in the Middle East, global warming and the Harper government's indifference to it, Ebola -- and let us not forget the latest opinion polls.