Looks like US charities are not happy with the media attention in Canada
CityCaucus.com welcomes back Vivian Krause with yet another bizarre twist in her explorations of US charities pouring millions into Canada in aid of several political and environmental causes. As she explains below, since her research has hit the headlines in Canada, these organizations are quietly revising or removing info from their websites, seemingly in an effort to disguise what they're doing here. For more information on this and other related matters, visit www.Fair-Questions.com.
"The growing role of private foundations on the global scene raises a(n) important governance question: to whom are these independent and increasingly powerful organizations accountable?"
- The Global Role of U.S. Foundations, The Foundation Center, page 37.
Since December, three U.S. foundations have re-written or removed substantial information about the funding that they have provided to Canadian environmental organizations for campaigns that would thwart the Alberta oil industry or block Canadian oil exports to Asia. These foundations are the Bullitt Foundation, the Wilburforce Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc. - All three fund Tides Canada and the Dogwood Initiative, which runs the "NO TANKERS" campaign.
Also, a few years back, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation quietly re-wrote four grants for $3.6 million for "demarketing" campaigns against B.C. farmed salmon.
1. The Wilburforce Foundation
Last week, the National Post published an op-ed of mine titled, Who is Organizing for Change? In that op-ed, I reported that through Tides Canada, the Wilburforce Foundation has been funding a project called Organizing for Change. One of the activities of this project has been to get people to temporarily join the provincial Liberal Party in order to be able to participate in the vote on Feb. 27, which will determine the next Premier of British Columbia.
Days after my op-ed in the National Post, the Wilburforce Foundation removed a substantial amount of on-line information about the purposes for which it has provided money. In some cases, what's now missing is telling. For example:
- In a $50,000 grant to Tides USA, Wilburforce removed the words which state that this grant for the Headwaters Initiative was “to support and organize the First nations communities impacted by potential tanker traffic associated with the Enbridge pipeline project in the Great Bear Rainforest.”
- In a $25,000 grant to the Dogwood Initiative, the Wilburforce Foundation removed the words which said that this grant was “to protect the BC coast from the threat of proposed pipeline and tanker projects.” (note: click images below for larger versions)
2. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund removed information from its web-site which stated that it paid Tides Canada “... to educate American tourists and tour operators about the damage being done to Alberta by the unsustainable extraction of tar sands, and by doing so, to increase pressure on Alberta policymakers…”
In the National Post, Kevin Libin reports that this money was for a Greenpeace web-site which mocks Alberta tourism. The name on the web-site is Greenpeace but as I reported earlier, here at this blog, the money to pay for it came from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc., through Tides Canada. The names of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc. and Tides Canada are no where to be seen on the Greenpeace web-site.
To see how this grant now appears, click here.
3. The Bullitt Foundation
In December, I testified to a House of Commons Standing Committee that the Bullitt Foundation had paid the Dogwood Initiative "To expand an outreach campaign to mobilize urban voters for a federal ban on coastal tankers." Shortly after, the Bullitt Foundation simply re-wrote that grant saying that the grant description was "a careless mischaracterization." At the web-site of the Bullitt Foundation, it now says that this grant was "to engage and educate citizens on the potential risks of tankers on BC's inside passage and the Fraser River."
UPDATE: As a result of the research done by Vivian, Mayor of Port McNeil Gerry Furney has sent a letter to Prime Minister Harper requesting a review of the charitable status of these US-based groups challenging Canadian sovereignty on natural resources:
I believe that a review should be undertaken of all these organizations that claim to be “charitable,” to ensure that they meet the stringent “charitable” requirements of our Government. If they do not meet the charitable standard that we expect, then their tax-free status should be rescinded. Is this possible?