The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’s about page contradictorily describes itself as “an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice” that since has become “one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates”. The page explains how the CCPA works with “with top-notch researchers to shed light on the key issues facing Canada”. Projects include researching income inequality, “climate justice”, and their annual Alternative Federal Budget “that reflects the values of the large majority of Canadians”.
Harsha Walia is a Vancouver based anarchist whose work promoting and enabling Black Bloc tactics has made her a global icon for violent protest. Wallia leads No One Is Illegal Vancouver, a contradictory organization that both sells the ideology Canada should dissolve all border controls while promoting itself as a “settler ally” helping indigenous communities protect their treaty rights. Wallia was organizing at the front-lines during the violence at the 2010 Toronto G20 and the recent clash with police at the Burnaby Mountain protests, and is one of the many pro-violence activists seen organizing at the RCMP monitored extremists at the Unist’ot’en Camp in Northern BC.
So, what does this tax-exempt charity have in common with Canada’s most visible icon of violent revolution? Disturbingly, it appears the CCPA has become one of Harsha Walia’s most unabashed institutional promoters…
Besides organizing David Suzuki’s family through their staged arrests at Burnaby Mountain last month, one of Harsha Walia’s most recent achievements was her new book titled Beyond Border Imperialism. The first half of the book discusses some of her unorthodox views on immigration, the book’s second half describes “resistance” movements Walia is connected to- including the RCMP monitored extremists at the Unist’ot’en Camp.
Last week Wallia travelled to Saskatchewan where she was scheduled to speak about her book at both a Saskatoon high school and the Health Sciences building at the University of Saskatchewan. As can be seen from the poster at the top of this article, Canada’s most iconic supporter of violence’s appearance at a high school was “made possible with the support of” the tax-exempt CCPA!
When the Canadian Revenue Agency announced that the CCPA was being audited for political activities, their allies cried out that Prime Minister Harper himself was instructing the CRA to “target” Canadian charities in order to attack their right to free speech. Walia has an interesting view on free speech, thinking it’s her god given right to “shut down” people whose speech she disagrees with- the CCPA uses tax-exempt resources to help Walia push her special brand of censorship and violence.
So, why would a supposedly respectable organization work with an extremist whose values are the exact opposite of the vast majority of Canadians? The answer may likely be in her personal connections. Walia is close friends with champaign revolutionary Naomi Klein, whose brother Seth Klein leads the CCPA’s BC offices. Naomi called Walia’s book “a tremendous gift to us all”.
As we discussed in the last article about the Quebec charity Équiterre’s support for the violent activists at the Unist’ot’en Camp, the CCPA’s support for Harsha Walia is yet another example of why the CRA needs rules restricting charities from supporting saboteurs, revolutionaries and other violent lawbreakers. Because, the more we learn about the dirty details of the organizations being audited by the CRA. the more it appears some of them are a danger to our democracy.