Friends of Science Elections Canada Investigation: Update

“The federal Liberals are calling for an investigation to determine who paid for a radio ad campaign in Ontario that attacked the federal government's action to fight climate change in the 2006 election,” CanWest Global's Mike de Souza reports here.

Further to our story of yesterday (see post below) about an Elections Canada investigation into potentially illegal interference by the Friends of Science (FOS), federal Liberal Mark Holland, inset, is now suggesting that a Parliamentary hearing may be necessary to find out who funnelled money into Barry Cooper's University of Calgary FOS slush fund .

The oily origin of that money has been well-documented, by the Globe and Mail, but it would still be fun to see the cancelled cheques - and to have Cooper and the FOS organizers called to account.


It’ll be great fun, though I doubt it’ll be useful. I think what the FOS (and other denialists over here) are arguing now is that their ad campaign isn’t a “political” campaign.

Frank Bi,

FoS has made two basic arguments to counter the characterization of the ads as “third party election advertising”:

1) The ad campaign was planned and started before the election call.

2) The ads were “educational outreach.”

The first argument is not a valid exception under the Elections Act and does not excuse FoS’s failure to register. The second is manifestly ludicrous, as the ads not only present dubious science, but referred to specific Liberal policies and were clearly intended to have a political effect, according to FoS’s own statements.

Check out:

If anyone wants to see the old F.O.S. websites back to 2002, complete with all their fake graphs, goofy claims, and plans to affect government policy, you can find them here:*/