An investigation of climate change skeptics in Canada may have been halted but the threat to continue snooping still remains.
In 2016, the Competition Bureau of Canada opened an investigation of so-called climate denier groups, following a complaint registered by environmental organization Eco Justice on behalf of six Canadians. The complaint alleged denier groups have repeatedly violated the Competition Act by making materially false or misleading representations about climate science for the purpose of promoting business interests, such as fossil fuel development.
International Climate Science Coalition was among the groups being investigated, says executive director Tom Harris, who tells OneNewsNow the inquiry was discontinued.
"But they've said We invite Canadians who believe they have additional information to contact the Competition Bureau," he advises. "So it could be continued again, or opened again, if they receive additional information that they think warrants opening the case again."
It's a very "uncomfortable" position to be in, he adds, when the Canadian version of "Big Brother" is questioning your right to speak.
There is nothing wrong about being skeptical about climate change, in particular the belief that man is directly responsible, says Harris, a mechanical engineer by trade as well as a writer and lecturer.
"Different scientists have different opinions," he says. "Our points of view must be sufficiently compelling that people on the other side don't want us to speak, because we may have very well convinced people that a lot of the climate change issue is at least in doubt, but perhaps completely wrong."
Eco Justice is predictably not pleased with the decision by the Competition Bureau to drop its investigation, stating on its website that the Bureau is uniquely qualified to investigate "climate science misrepresentations."