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.

Thinking big...with small minds

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

On Saturday March 20, Calgary will take its turn to host a conference touted by the organizer as "the political event of 2010."

The 'Think Big Conference: Inspiring The Leaders Of Tomorrow' is presented by the Société Macdonald-Cartier Society (SMCS), an organization founded by Immanuel Giulea that describes itself as "non partisan and independent." However, it turns out that Giulea is, in fact, an extremely partisan individual with strong Conservative ties.

Giulea is a product of the Young Conservatives, and is currently active in the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). He attended the 2008 CPC convention in Winnipeg, happily posing for pictures with every high level Conservative at the event, as well as the 2009 CPC Training Conference held in Ottawa. These events are reserved for Conservatives only, are tightly guarded, and are not open to the public.

A quick look at Giulea's Facebook profile provides some insight into his political motivations.

Among his 'favourite quotes', Giulea lists the following:

"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan
"Government is not the doctor. It is the disease."- Milton Friedman
"A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims." - Ayn Rand

A snapshot of the Facebook groups Giulea belongs to reveals his ideology: The Conservative Party of Canada, The Tea Party Movement Of Canada, The Maple Tea Party, Fox News Canada, and Wildrose Alliance Party - Official Group.

This 'non-partisan' nature continues with the obligatory 'Obama as a Joker' picture used by the Right Wingers in the United States.

Knowing these facts about the founder and executive director of the SMCS, it's worth taking a closer look at the Think Big Conference Giulea is hosting.

The Calgary Beacon presents a very exciting look at the event in an article entitled 'Big Thinkers Proposing Big Ideas At Saturday Conference'. Here you'll find a friendly summary of the two keynote (and very Conservative) speakers; Tom Flanagan, former chief of staff and long time advisor to Stephen Harper, and Dr. Roger Gibbins, the president of Canada West Foundation. (Take note that the author of this article, Calgary Beacon editor and publisher Markham Hislop, will be moderating the event.)

What the Beacon fails to describe are the additional speakers at this event who, upon closer examination, raise a few eyebrows:

-John Carpay, Executive Director - Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF)
The CCF describes itself as "a registered charity, independent and non-partisan. We act as a voice for freedom in Canada's courtrooms and law schools." It also happens to be the group who represented Shona Holmes, the Ontario woman who starred in the Americans For Prosperity (AFP) anti health reform ad in the United States. Holmes, it was later revealed, misrepresented her medical condition in order to fit the ideology of the anti health reform movement. The ad, filled with lies and falsehoods, succeeded to smear the Canadian health care system and inject fear into the American people. For the AFP, it was mission accomplished.

-Joseph K. Woodard, Founding Member and Director - Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC)
The CFAC calls itself a 'grassroots organization', but in reality is a part of the Christian Coalition, an extension of the ultra Right Evangelical organization Focus On The Family. Among its board of directors is Charles McVety, the anti-choice, anti same sex marriage, anti evolution, host of Word.ca on CTS and The Miracle Channel.

The CFAC lists the following articles on its site:
-Sex Education a Danger - and a Failure
-Gardasil A Dangerous Poison
-Pedophile Promotion By Public Education System
-Human Rights Actions Dangerous -- Even Illegal

-Joseph Quesnel, Policy Analyst - Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP)
The FCPP is a right-wing think tank closely tied to 'Friends of Science', the Calgary based astroturf anti climate change group. The FCPP and Friends of Science collaborated in bringing the king of the deniers, Lord Christopher Monckton, to Canada for a cross country speaking tour.
A senior Fellow at the FCPP is Tim Bell, a long time scientific advisor to Friends of Science.

Among FCPP's publications, are articles such as:
Denial Not Just For The Deniers
Wheels Fall Off Global Warming Hysteria
Climate Cools But Arctic Ice Scares Continue
The Mini Ice Age Starts Here

Other conservative contributors at the conference include Tory defector Rob Anderson, MLA for Airdrie-Chestermere - Wildrose Alliance, Todd Hirsch, Senior Economist at ATB Financial, Marcel Latouche and President and CEO of The Institute For Public Sector Accountability, and Richard Truscott, Director of Provincial Affairs at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
One contributor who is definitively non partisan is the very respectable Janet Keeping, President of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership.

In essence, the Think Big Conference is a gathering of anti-government, anti-environmentalism, anti-choice, homophobic Right Wing ideologues; a forum where they are free to push their agenda and twist information to fit their beliefs. It seems to me that the Think Big Conference is suited for small minds only.

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, while striving to make it sustainable as well. 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 main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

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:

Do

  • 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.

Don't

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