« U.S. Money to "Demarket" Alberta Oil, B.C. Salmon, and to Sway B.C. Politics: An Interview with Michael Campbell on CKNW Radio | Main | OpenMedia.ca, a Tides Canada Project to Get Government Over-Rule the CRTC: Charity or Lobbying? »

02/11/2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Richard Robertson

Vivian,
I would like to know which candidate(s) for the Liberal Party leadership are being supported by Tides-funded ngos.
Dick Robertson

Randal

Thought you might appreciate this link Vivian. Keep up the great work.


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014280379_gatesmedia.html

Vivian Krause

Dick,

That's the big question. Stay tuned!

Cheers,
Vivian

Vivian Krause

Randal,

Thanks for sending the link.

I worked for UNICEF in Guatemala and Indonesia, all through the 1990s so I have seen some of the dilemmas first hand. On the one hand, I agree that its troubling when one single organization or individual becomes incredibly powerful. On the other hand, the Gates' generous philanthropy really does have the potential to make a huge difference.

One of my posts reports that U.S. charitable foundations have, combined, about $625 BILLION dollars in assets - more than half a trillion. With that kind of money, they really can change the world.

One of the key things, I believe, is disclosure so that people can consider the source of information and keep track of who's saying what. Especially for scientific research, disclosure of the original funding sources is really important.

Thanks again for the link!

Cheers,
Vivian

Dani Rubin

Dear Ms. Krause,

I posted the following in a listserve/discussion group - best that you have the opportunity to glance at it.

"One would think that Elections BC would look into this attempt by an American foundation to meddle in B.C. politics. Surprisingly, Elections BC has said that there is "nothing for Elections BC to investigate." The Election Act does not restrict the activities of foreign groups in B.C. political matters. It should."

This is the core of Krause's argument. Instead of assuming that she is a shill for industry, singly focussed on discrediting Tides, perhaps we should consider her general position.

For example, if a state run organization from North Korea, Iran, or Mainland China was attempting to influence our electoral process then how would we view it?

Or what if the US National Lumber Manufacturers Association ran support ads for either of BC's major parties in the next election?

If our electoral system is to work (e.i., produce suitable leaders from their immediate geographic constituency) then we should prohibit all foreign-based (extra-district) campaign funding.

Personally, I would love to see all corporate, union, NGO and religious campaign funding excluded as well - and a reasonable limit, say $1000, placed on individual contributions from eligible district voters.

As I understand it, the object of the whole process is to have each electoral community select the best suited, most accountable representatives to stand for them in the Legislature. The way things work now, cash rules.

The people are aware that they have lost their democratic franchise to a plague of special interests, so they just don't vote. Voter turnout continues to plummet here in BC and across Canada.

If Vivian Krause is complaining that our evermore dysfunctional democratic institutions are infested with carpetbaggers then I couldn't agree more.

But then one has to ask, "Why just focus on Tides?"

Vivian Krause

Dani,

You are right that one of the issues that I am trying to raise is foreign funding in the political process in B.C., and more broadly, in Canada.

Another point that I would like to make is that charities should do charity. U.S. foundations have $625 billion in assets, according to the U.S. Foundation Center. With that kind of money, they really can change the world.

One of the reasons that I have focused on Tides is because of its leadership role within the charitable sector. If I was aware of any other non-profit whose spending was as egregiously questionable as that of Tides Canada, I might ask fair questions about it too. But in Canada, the only charity like Tides that I have seen, is Tides.

Tides Canada says that it is one of the leading non-profits in Canada. Only 12 percent of its activity is environmental protection, 88 percent is support to the charitable sector, according to Canadian tax returns. As such, Tides is setting a precedent for the charitable sector.

Sincerely,
Vivian

Jasmine

So if there is lots of money involved there is usually a central banking organization used to handle the transactions required to in-out, wash about the money.

Who does the banking for TIDES/Endswell/Hollyhock ?

Just curious.

Vivian Krause

Jasmine,

Thanks for taking time to write.

I've been trying to ask Tides Canada questions that I believe are fair but so far, I'm not getting answers. Maybe if you ask Tides Canada, you'll have better luck!?

Keep in touch!

Cheers,
Vivian

Red Jeff

Thank you thank you thank you thank you... no really thank you. Your words are reaching ears you cannot imagine.... and, people are listening!

When I learned Power Corporation of Canada donated $1,000,000 to the David Suzuki Foundation http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/downloads/2009/DSF_AR-08-09.pdf and that James Hoggan was the Foundation Chair and at the same time runs DeSmogBlog I began to seriously question 'the message' being sent.

Thank you, yet again.... Jeff

TrueNorthist

I saw your interview on Sun News and am very much hoping they will follow through and have you back -- often! The money trail is where all of these groups are most vulnerable, but media in general seems not very interested in following the trail of bread crumbs. I am particularly interested in how many of these environmental groups are actually funded by the very industries they claim to oppose. Suzuki was among the first to say that the best way to go after corporations is to sit in their board rooms. What boards is he a member of and is he getting paid by them? What other companies are people like Suzuki shaking down for "donations" or grants?

Sorry, Once I get get started... I sure hope we hear more from you. You are doing excellent work. Have you thought about contacting Donna Laframboise to see where you two might be able to help each other? http://www.noconsensus.org/ She must be your long lost twin sister or something. If you two were to work together the results would be earthshaking!

Cheers!
Dave

Farmsalmon4ever

Hi Vivian,

You deserve to be voted Person of the Year by the BC Salmon Farmers Association. I have nominated you a couple times based on your previous work. But you are getting better and better and deserve even wider recognition.
I was spellbound when I heard you on CKNW back in early February and I knew of you! Keep up the great work. We need the light cast in the shadows. Thousands of hard working British Columbians presnt and future could depend on your work to keep their jobs. Until you, no one could answer the question about Morton and Suzuki, the question being "Why would they lie?"

Now we know, and its more sinister than we ever thought.

Rob Chipman

Vivian:

Any comment on National Geographic's cover this month?
"Wildest Place in America" is on BC's coast. Companion piece is anti-pipeline. Curious. I wrote about it at my blog, http://www.robchipman.net

Any thoughts?

Vivian Krause

Rob,

RE: The National Geographic cover story - yes, I'm going to write about it. Gotta do the homework first. Still working on that.

V.

Korie Marshall

Hi Vivian,

I heard part of your interview on CBC the other night, and I've just started to read through your posts and some of your links. I am from Nova Scotia, and am now trying to make a living in a small town in BC, and I haven't yet formed an opinion on the issue of oil tanker traffic in Northern BC, but my gut feeling has been that it seems to be a case of "not in my back yard"... if it is dangerous there, it's dangerous anywhere. Although I may not trust oil/mining companies to do the right thing, we do have a resource here, and I, like many Canadians, need a job. I'd like to say we should keep it for ourselves, but the reality is that big business is going to want to export some of it, and it doesnt' make sense for us to tie ourselves to the US.

It reminds me of Quebec's attempt to interfere in the creation of a transmission line from the Churchill Power station in Labrador to Nova Scotia, which I see as an attempt to monopolize Newfoundland's power production. Except this is on a grander scale, and more covert.

I fully believe the "super rich" in the US will do immoral and unethical things to keep their position, and my first year Psych professor taught me to always consider my sources.

All this to say "Thank you for your work, and your information. You are opening my eyes."

Korie

dave

Hi Vivian,

I've appreciated your work for a while, in particular the depth of your research.

However, I'm unsure this particular vein of inquiry has any 'legs'. You ask 'why' US foundations are funding BC environmental orgs. The answer, I think, is simple, and unrelated to more nefarious policy reasons: enviro. groups think in terms of bioregions and ecosystems (which they often arbitraily define), and less in terms of national boundaries. Declare a region of mixed forest the "Great Bear Rainforest" and the emotional appeal of both bears and rainforests pushes the funding hot-button. Oil tankers? Simply the local branch-plant of a green preoccupation with ending the age of oil, and making it difficult wherever it is convenient to do so.

Yes, the anti-fish farm movement benefits the Alaskan industry by default, and AK fisheries groups doubtless see the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage at relatively low cost, but this is simply opportunism piggy-backing on a local protest. After all, they fund things in their own country and a host of others as well.

I don't think there's much about this that is murky or sinister: funding local 'environmental initiatives' and groups has been the modus operandi of enviro. orgs. forever: they take a planetary view, remember....

Interview Questions

The answer to the question who funds environmentalist is who concerned about nature.

Peter Dejong

Dumb question: what percentage of the Enbridge capital in favor of the pipeline originates abroad?

Matt

Hi Vivian,

I wonder why you do not spend any time talking about how much american capital goes into supporting the expansion of the Canadian tar sands industry. I expect this would dwarf the amount invested in opposing it.

In this sense, your questions are not 'fair' because they unfairly exaggerate the importance of the anti-tar-sands lobby.

I am nonetheless a supporter of reasonable scrutiny of charities.

Ian

I'd like to take this line of argument seriously, Vivian, but you'd have to work harder to put it in context. If you want to voice concern about the influence of US entities on Canadian economic policy decisions, fair enough, but at least acknowledge that the impact in this case (cross-border funding of ngos!) pales beside the impact on Canadian economic sovereignty of, say, NAFTA. Canadians can't have it both ways - the steady trend toward North American integration will mean more, not less, influence for American environmental groups north of the border - and that's all for the better. Ecosystems don't recognize national borders.

And don't forget, those jobs in the oilsands that the Harper gov't are calling "our jobs" are really their jobs - by "they" I mean the predominately globalized companies and interests that control global petroleum markets.

Rupertboy

How about a discussion of the foreign money funding the PRO pipeline forces?
How many corporate millions are supporting this egregious project. Plenty! We see the results every day in the Vancouver Sun and the National Post, the oil industry's best friends. A similar oil super port was proposed in the 70's and it was defeated. This one will be too. You do not appreciate how much North Coasters, Native and Non-Native alike love their home. If this project goes through, it won't be a matter of "if" a spill occurs but "when". Even the proponents admit this.

Patrick MacKinnon

Dear Vivian:

A conspiracy of dunces?

Just read your essay in today's NP ( I also see it here on the website) on the
'Oil Sands money trail'.
Excellent research on the subject of environmentalist support
network. At one time I thought, isn't it weird that so many otherwise sane,
'scientists' seem to jump on the same bandwagon since a conspiracy seems
highly unlikely.
Now I see that apparent conspiracies can be manufactured by a central motivator - Money - without any contact between the members. If I had
some scientific qualifications and my sons Harvard student fees were bankrupting me it just might occur to me to write a strong opinion on
anthropogenic global warming dangers in the expectation that it could draw
the attention of the manager of these funds and result in a no strings
research grant appearing in the mail one day.

Davidhbrett

Hi Vivian, great talk today at AMEBC. You answered a question about the "why" in all the environmental activism, and you answered well, saying they are passionate about the land. I agree with that, but i think there's something more. Particulalry here on the Coast, there's quasi-religious world-view guiding much of the thinking and action. I call it Environtology. I wrote about it on my blog. You might find it interesting.

http://davidbrett.blog.ca/2007/10/23/environtology_sacred_earth_profane_peopl~3180235/

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Basic Info

    Blog powered by Typepad

    Visitors


    Google

    • Google