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A government agency responsible for tracking financial transactions to ensure they aren’t used for illicit purposes has identified animal rights activists and “environmental extremists” as terrorist groups on a website rife with references to al-Qaida.
The government established FINTRAC in 2000 to detect and prevent money laundering and other illegal financial transactions by terrorists and organized crime groups.
Three of the questions specifically reference al-Qaida, while one reads: “Under which terrorist group do animal rights activists and environmental extremists fall?” The correct answer is single-issue terrorists, the website says.
“But the idea of a blanket statement about people who advocate for animals and who advocate for the protection of Planet Earth being terrorists is obviously absurd,” said Michelle Cliffe, a spokeswoman at the International Federation of Animal Welfare.
Mike Hudema, a spokesman for Greenpeace Canada, noted Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver used the term “extremists” to describe more than 100 protesters from First Nations communities, social justice groups and environmental organizations crossed a police line and peacefully allowed themselves to be arrested on Parliament Hill last month.