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Tar sands funding pollutes snow exhibit at Museum of Civilization, says Frosty the Snowperson

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Snowpeople are now distancing themselves from controversial tar sands funding of the Museum of Civilization by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Friday morning Frosty the Snowperson protested the funding arrangement with a sign saying "CAPP pollutes snow." Photos are available here.

The Council of Canadians, Ecology Ottawa, and the Polaris Institute organized the action to raise concerns about the $1-million contribution to the museum from CAPP, and were on site sharing leaflets with museum visitors. CAPP includes tar sands producers that pollute snow, air and waterways in Alberta, and the organizations argue that increased corporate sponsorship threatens to pollute precious cultural institutions like the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

"We're concerned that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Polluters and their members are using this sponsorship to whitewash their dirty tar sands projects," said Ben Powless, a Pipeline Community Organizer with Ecology Ottawa. "Here in Ottawa we're opposed to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline, which threatens our waterways and health the same way CAPP's other activities are impacting communities in Alberta."

CAPP member Imperial Oil made headlines in 2011 when documents revealed it had exerted pressure to change an energy exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology that it felt treated the industry too negatively.

"Tar sands producers are desperately seeking the social license that partnerships with prestigious cultural institutions can bring," says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. "Frosty is a friendly reminder that money can't erase the destruction happening at the hands of CAPP members."

The Museum of Civilization is located on the shores of the Ottawa River, part of the Rideau River ecosystem under threat by TransCanada's Energy East pipeline.  

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