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Council of Canadians campaigner joins 350.org action vs CAPP funding for museum

Photo by Alex Tétreault

Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Daniel Cayley-Daoust joined a 350 Canada-organized action earlier this week.

The promotion for the action had highlighted, “The dirtiest oil lobby in the country is trying to cover up its dangerous work by sponsoring Canada’s most iconic museum. Decision makers at the museum will have a big meeting on Monday and we plan to show up with thousands of signatures calling on them to stand on the right side of history.”

This handimation video outlines the concerns about the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and its ties with the Museum of History.

After the action, 350 Canada reported, “On Monday, dozens of people came together in Gatineau at the Museum of History’s Annual General Meeting to put the museum’s decision makers on notice. We came with a simple yet powerful message: Big Oil has no place in the Canadian Museum of History.”

In this blog, Cayley-Daoust says, “I had a chance to address the CEO and board [of the Museum of History] on behalf of the Council of Canadians and question the role of the Museum in allowing CAPP to buy influence with its sponsorship of the museum. By allowing the industry lobby association’s logos to be featured prominently for some of the exposition and in some of the promotional materials, the Museum is in essence endorsing CAPP’s activities and mission, that would promote the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. CAPP has consistently taken action to block action on climate change, lobbied successfully to remove and dismantle environmental protections, and pushes an agenda that undermines and disregards indigenous rights.”

Our opposition to this funding relationship goes back to 2013.

In December 2013, The Council of Canadians, the Polaris Institute, and Ecology Ottawa were outside the museum (then named the Museum of Civilization) to protest CAPP’s sponsorship of their ‘Snow’ exhibit. Several weeks before that, the Canadian Press had reported, “CAPP, along with Canada’s Oil Sands Producers, will provide $200,000 annually for five years in return for which the museum will link a number of exhibits to the industry. …[CAPP] and Imperial Oil ran into controversy in 2011 when they sponsored exhibits at the federal Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. Documents later showed they had exerted pressure to alter exhibit content they felt treated the industry too harshly.”

Members of CAPP include Kinder Morgan (that wants to build the 890,000 barrel per day Trans Mountain pipeline), TransCanada (the company behind the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline and the 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL pipeline), and Enbridge (that wants to build the 760,000 barrel per day Line 3 pipeline).