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These questions were raised in a letter of 26 November 2010 to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. For the response from City Hall, please click here. For my correspondence with Martha Burton, the treasurer of Vision Vancouver, back in September, please click here.
In 24 Hours, Bob Mackin reports that money from Vancouver taxpayers was used to pay FD Element to do P.R. work for Mayor Gregor Robertson, in New York.
FD Element works for a number of clients, including Coca-Cola, Burger King, and the David Suzuki Foundation. FD Element also does P.R. for the Great Bear Rainforest Initiative and for the Boreal Forest Initiative.
As part of the $83 million that the Hewlett foundation and the Packard foundation have spent in British Columbia and Alberta, these two U.S. foundations have spent more than $41 million specifically on the Great Bear Rainforest and the Boreal Forest Initiative. Both of these initiatives date back to Mayor Gregor Robertson's tenure as a director of Tides Canada.
Another U.S. foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts has kicked in at least $44 million for the Boreal Forest Initiative. The Moore foundation, also based in California, has kicked in at least $18 million for PNCIMA. That's a total of $102 million from U.S. foundations specifically for those three initiatives alone (the Great Bear Rainforest Initiative, the Boreal Forest Initiative and the PNIMA Initiative).
- Of all the places in the world, why are these U.S. foundations spending so much in Canada? Why not Africa or Asia? Or in the U.S.? Its not as if there are no environmental problems in the U.S.
- Are these initiatives exclusively to protect the environment? Or are these U.S. initiatives also partially to block Canadian exports to Asia (eg. Alberta oil) ... all in the name of marine conservation?
- When FD Element does P.R. Mayor Gregor Robertson, is that strictly to promote Vancouver - or is this P.R. work also sort of 'part-and-parcel' of these U.S.-funded "conservation" initiatives?