Steeling the show

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."


Tzeporah and related groups have been very successful in the past because they appeared to be taking the moral high ground when it came to environmental issues affecting BC. Many of us supported them financially because of this strong focus. They avoided becoming mired in purely political public debates. With Tzeporah and Merran Smith's entre into cheap political manoeuvring they have slipped into the same opportunistic mud slinging as any political entity. It is now hard to differentiate them from the political hacks. They have lost their focus and hence, my support.

Give me a break! The moment these key environmentalists take a principled stand against the NDP's opportunistic opposition to the carbon tax, they are branded political hacks.

Let's step back a minute: when the Gordon Campbell Liberals introduced the carbon tax, Carole Jame's NDP thought they could make cheap political gain by opposing it.

They are now paying the price of their shameless opportunism. In desperation, they are now launching dirty attacks on erstwhile environmental allies.

Here, here Gordon McLeod! You're absolutely correct. Unions pretend to be progressive on many issues until the moment it comes into conflict with their antiquated traditional ties to the left wing, or until it requires some kind of concession in wages or benefits. The Steelworkers union is a sad and tired union, and I for one, am glad they've pulled their support for PowerUp. It serves to increase PowerUp's credibility as far as I'm concerned.

The NDP in 1997 issues a water license in perpetuity to Alcan, which produces three times more power than all the real IPPs combined.

And then the NDP tries to dupe voters by claiming the current 25 to 40 year limit does not exist?

Shame on this party of liars.

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