Did Vision Vancouver get $153,783 in campaign funds from a charity?

The $$ behind the throne – the ribbon gets cut at the launch of the Tides/Renewal Centre

Once again we present the words and research of Vivian Krause. Ms. Krause has recently been published in the Vancouver Sun & Financial Post newspapers, and is one of Canada’s leading experts on the funding of environmental activist groups. Her research takes her closer to home with this instalment concerning the payments from charitable foundations to individuals and companies associated with Vision Vancouver.

Charity is important. Food banks, shelters and other charities need all the help they can get.

No politician should stoop to taking money that should go to charity.

Fair questions need to be asked about whether Vision Vancouver indirectly got a substantial amount of campaign funding from the Endswell Foundation, a registered charity that is closely affiliated with Tides Canada and the U.S. Tides Foundation.

According to tax returns, the chair of Tides U.S. and the vice-chair of Tides Canada is the same person: Joel Solomon. U.S. tax returns show that since 1997, Joel Solomon has also been a paid employee of Endswell. Between 2006 and 2008 alone, he was paid $518,891, U.S. tax returns say.

The Vancouver Sun reports that Joel Solomon and his associates brought $330,000 to Vision Vancouver, including 1) $70,469 from Renewal Partners, an "investment firm" where Joel Solomon is president, and 2) $83,314 from Strategic Communications, a P.R. company which says that it is a "partner" of Renewal Partners. These two contributions alone came to $153,783 – a sum of money that could have made quite a difference in the 2008 election campaign.

Between 2004 and 2008, staff at Renewal Partners, were paid salaries by Endswell – to the tune of $1.9 million, according to U.S. tax returns. Would Renewal Partners and Strategic Communications have been able to afford to contribute $153,783 to Vision Vancouver if salaries and who knows what else weren’t paid by Endswell?

But if charity money had been used to fund Vision Vancouver, how would we know? That may be part of the problem. The sr. vice president of the Endswell Foundation, Martha Burton, is also the treasurer of Vision Vancouver and the Sr. Vice-President at Renewal Partners. U.S. tax returns show that between 2007 and 2008, Ms. Burton’s salary nearly doubled from $72,036 to $135,325.

One of the campaign finance contributions to Vision Vancouver was a total of $6,000 from Interdependent Investments Ltd: $5,000 in 2008, and $1,000 in June of 2010. The B.C. Company Summary says that the president of Interdependent Investments Ltd. is Joel Solomon and that the secretary is Martha Burton.

Calculations based on U.S. tax returns show that between 1997 and 2008, the Endswell Foundation paid $1,200,948 to Interdependent Investments. Why a charity paid $1.2 million to an "investment" company whose only two officers were also the two most senior employees of the charity, that’s another matter.

The Endswell Foundation is an integral part of the Tides network which is heavily funded by foreign interests – huge, U.S. foundations and a hedge fund billionaire. My research, published recently in The Financial Post and The Vancouver Sun, finds that Tides Canada and Tides U.S. have funded at least 36 organizations that campaign against Alberta oil.

U.S. tax returns and other public records indicate that since 2000, Tides Canada has been granted nearly $57 million by U.S. foundations. Four of these foundations alone have assets of about $22 billion. They give away about $1.2 billion every year. If they decide to thwart an industry or sway the course of a municipal election, they might be able to.

Recently, even President Obama expressed concern about foreign interests swaying the outcome of the mid-term elections in the U.S. "This is a threat to our democracy. The American people deserve to know who’s trying to sway their elections," he said. The same goes for Vancouver.

Without any delay, Mayor Gregor Robertson should investigate and clarify whether any Vision Vancouver campaign finance may have originated from a registered charity.


– post by Vivian Krause. Please read: Copyright Notice & Disclaimer. For more details and the open letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson on which this post is based, please click here. For more of Vivian’s research visit www.fair-questions.com.

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  • Max

    What an incestuous web the ‘Vision’ family does weave.

  • Cash Heed

    Just to add to your observation about Vision board member and treasurer Martha Burton donating to Vision, remember that Geoff Meggs was Vision’s Financial Agent in 2007. Meggs signed off on the party’s campaign funding disclosure for donations made after the 2005 election. The largest donations made to Vision were by the same people you’ve linked in this post (Renewal Partners, etc).
    Add that to your Vision family album.

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Thought of The Day
    “Only one of the following statements is TRUE. Circumcision is a Circus Act. Guns don’t Kill. BC Bud is the name of a buddy of mine from BC. People are Homeless by Choice. Vancouver Police always investigates Itself Fairly. ‘Olympic Village’ is a local Yogurt brand. Arsenic is good for drinking water. ‘Vision Vancouver’ is a covert American Registered Charity. ‘Kiss Mayas’ was a Yucatan High Priest known for his compassion and spirituality. Pre natal lice are more frequent in male babies born as a result of in vitro fertilization.”
    Vivian Krause ends her article with a ‘call to arms’ addressed to Gregor Robertson.
    “Without any delay, Mayor Gregor Robertson should investigate and clarify whether any Vision Vancouver campaign finance may have originated from a registered charity.”
    To me this is the funniest part of her reportage. My question to her is…‘Why bother?’
    Asking Gregor to go and ‘find out the truth about…’ is like housewife Angela asking Tony Sopranos to go look for her husband Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero.‘So, are you going to lift his feet or pick up his upper body?’.
    Vivian did a pretty good job on the subject. Vision Vancouver’s agents of change – not dimes, nickels and quarters though – are foaming at the mouth. Nothing is coincidental. Everything is on purpose. And they are not in it for you or me; they are in it for themselves.
    On a happier note, I’ll see if I can convince Glenn Beck to pay us a visit as a key note speaker for the next important public meeting at the City Hall. The Solomons and the ‘Tides’ peddlers hate his guts for he is getting to deep inside their fishy dealings and for exposing their complete bullshit, oh and for smoking them out of their hideouts in Canada as well. Me? I love the guy. He has a way of explaining things in plain English, you know, how everything is ‘Tied’ together…
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • gregory

    These bogus charities and organizations have to be controlled. To make matters even worse they are controlled by groups outside of the country who operate on the edge.
    Now we know why guys like Green and Robertson are actually Naked Americans. That’s who controls them with groups like this working the crowds.

  • “Without any delay, Mayor Gregor Robertson should investigate and clarify whether any Vision Vancouver campaign finance may have originated from a registered charity.”
    Uh, that’s Revenue Canada’s job…

  • Fred

    wow . . . a handful of Americans who have never had to work because they inherited money can but a city government for so little.
    Vancouver makes such a cute little American colony.

  • Julia

    they have taken the game of Sim City to a whole new level!