JOIN US

Cameron: Should the Canadian government spy on economic targets abroad and share that intelligence with Canadian corporations?

By: /
11 October, 2013

In his 2011 trip to Brazil, Prime Minister Harper said “competition has to be between businesses, not governments.” So much for high-minded rhetoric. It is no coincidence that Brazil has been targeted for espionage just as it auctions off-shore oil rights and rewrites its mining legislation. The influence of oil and gas and mining companies in the Harper government is well known.

The editorializing in our major business papers oscillates between “there is no hard evidence that Canada has spied or shared intelligence with companies,” and “everybody does it anyway.” But you can’t have it both ways. Perhaps our media should devote less time to puffery and start investigating the hard questions: what kind of information was gathered, was information was shared with private companies, and was it shared with other government agencies?

Government should not be treated like a committee for the management of the affairs of the business community, much less a fraction of it. It should aim at a higher good.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter