"British Columbia mining minster Bill Bennett is deriding those who want to turn the Flathead Valley into a national park as 'urban-based enviro's' (sic) and eco-fascists in an e-mail missive that urges his constituents to lobby Ottawa to turn down any request for such a park." This, according to The Globe and Mail's Patrick Brethour. Public Eye has also obtained a copy of that message, in which Mr. Bennett states he "reluctantly" agreed to support a ban on mining, as well as oil and gas development, in the valley because "I can see the writing on the wall. These 'protectors' of the earth will use whatever legal, political, dishonest means they can muster with their American Foundation money to expand their park kingdom." Speaking with Mr. Brethour, the minister said he regretted the use of the term eco-fascist, saying a staff member had inserted it into the email without his knowledge or agreement. The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned email.
From: Bennett.MLA, Bill
Sent: Mon Jul 12 13:41:27 2010
Subject: Matthaus wants government to show leadership on environmental issues
As you can see from the attached CKNW radio story, the environmentalists continue to demand a national park in the Flathead. Now why would I send this small radio clip to you? Well. It occurs to me that I should try to illustrate just how unrelenting these urban-based enviro's are. As you go about your daily business, in my role as a cabinet minister, I receive news clips almost every day on the Flathead. During the G20, the PM and the US President actually found time away from global economic issues to issue a joint communique on our Flathead Valley. Max Baucus was behind this. When I decided, reluctantly, to support the removal of mining and gas extraction from the Flathead, it was because I can see the writing on the wall. These "protectors" of the earth will use whatever legal, political, dishonest means they can muster with their American Foundation money to expand their park kingdom. They are like the colonizers of history. They love to add another chunk of their favourite colour to the map of the world. They are driven. They know they are right and they tolerate no other perspective.
For these reasons and many more, I urge you to write to Prime Minister Harper and tell him you want to keep your access for hunting, camping, trapping, guide outfitting and forestry. The line is drawn clearly. We either stand strong together against the loss of the Flathead Valley to the eco facists, or we will lose the Flathead. I am there, if you are there."
CKNW World Today Weekend
Lisa Matthaus says the group Organizing for Change is trying to shift its relationship with government.