PowerUp Canada executive director Tzeporah Berman said yesterday, "It's not a surprise" the United Steelworkers have pulled their support for her group. "They're a partisan organization," she told Public Eye. "They're supporting the NDP. They're running NDP candidates in this election. So we have a difference of opinion over the NDP and whether the NDP is really supporting green jobs or not in this election. I don't think they are."
The Steelworkers pulled their support after Ms. Berman vocally opposed the New Democrats' climate change plank, notably telling The Globe and Mail's Justine Hunter that environmentalists "should be punishing the NDP..."
Nevertheless, despite the Steelworkers' decision, Ms. Berman said she still has a "strong admiration" for the union - "especially the leadership of Ken Neumann and Ken Delaney. And I support their work to ensure green jobs in Canada. And we have a difference of opinion over support of the NDP in this election."
Asked whether she expected any other organizations to quit backing PowerUp Canada, Ms. Berman said, ""It's possible. But there's also a lot of groups and individuals who are approaching us and wanting to have a relationship with PowerUp. So things may shift. And we're a very new organization. And so that's not really surprising. I definitely have received more calls, letters of support and donations then angry calls - which is nice. So it feels like we have an enormous amount of support. But we're new. We're young. And we launched in September."
In fact, Ms. Berman said - as a result of campaigning against the New Democrats' opposition to the carbon tax - "We are getting an enormous amount of support - you can see our blog, you can see what people are saying. I think these are difficult issues for everyone and an important time for people to take a stand. And there's a lot of people who are appreciating me speaking out on the issue. And there are others who are partisan and pro-NDP who are not. So I'm definitely receiving calls in both ways."