Kinsman: Is the Ethical Oil campaign helping or hurting Canada’s international reputation?

By: /
26 September, 2011
Jeremy Kinsman
By: Jeremy Kinsman
CIC Distinguished Fellow

Hurting, for sure. The campaign is offensive. And it’s stupid. The oil sands industry will do better by advertising its determination to mitigate carbon impacts. But it’s not the only contribution to our growing reputation for being responsibility-deniers. Beyond climate change, there is the disgusting government support for exports to poor countries of asbestos products outlawed in Canada. We righteously denounce corruption abroad but Transparency International points out Canadian authorities hardly enforce the OECD anti-bribery convention on Canadian companies. As Olympic hosts we brayed about “owning the podium.” Internationally, the only gold medal we’re winning is the one at the WTO for most whining about perceived unfairness to us. Global citizenship has its responsibilities and its pay-offs. Selfishness has its costs. 


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