Audit of Tides Canada has been underway for past year

An influential environmental organization battles to save its reputation and charitable status

The charity that had its humble beginnings in Vancouver early last decade, with an organic farmer named Gregor Robertson as one of its founding board members, is now the focus of intense scrutiny by the Canada Revenue Agency, according to a report by the Globe and Mail. On the matter of Tides Canada being audited, the Globe labels the process as a "Tory attack", rather than a process to ensure that a well-funded public policy influencer lives by the rules set out for all charities. The national newspaper went even further last weekend, using the term "smear" three times in their editorial blasting Conservative Cabinet Ministers for publicly raising concerns about the funding of environmental charities.

The style of "donor-advised giving" used by Tides Canada is described by critics as a "pass-through funding vehicle [which] provides public-relations insulation for the money’s original donors". In other words, Tides is meant to shield the original donor by taking their money, applying the grants on the donors' behalf, and taking a ten per cent commission for managing the funds. In spite of their public boasts of 'transparency', it's not hard to see why Tides Canada is perceived as being opaque.

Tides' work has apparently been very profitable. According to a report by Canada's leading researcher and writer on the subject of environmental charities Vivian Krause, Tides Canada has ballooned from 37 up to 250 employees since 2005. The nearly seven-fold increase in size of the organization in as many years seems to conform with the increasing intensity of environmental activism in Canada. Increased scrutiny of Tides Canada's activities has also grown, mainly because of Krause herself. For years Tides' strategy was to ignore her 'fair questions'. Then when Krause began to get noticed by mainstream media, Tides thought they could slow her down using legal threats. Rather than stopping her, these tactics seemed to embolden Krause's work.

After the Conservative government won a majority last spring, Tides Canada decided to try a different approach by appointing Conservative Jodi White to their board, even making her Chair. White was former chief of staff to Prime Minister Kim Campbell. Tides Canada supposedly undertook intense lobbying efforts in the hallways of the House of Commons to counter the federal government's concerns, but it appears to have been to no avail. There could have been no clearer indication of that after Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the following during a holiday broadcast of GlobalTV News Hour.

Well, [Americans will] funnel money through environmental groups and others in order to try to slow it down but, as I say, we'll make sure that the best interests of Canada are protected.

Less than two weeks after the PM's comment, Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver released his now famous open letter referencing "radical and environmental groups". Oliver stated that standing up to these groups was "urgent matter of Canada’s national interest."

The Prime Minister's words and subsequent statements by members of his Cabinet reflect the growing influence of the work of Vivian Krause. We've once labeled Ms. Krause as Canada's most influential blogger, and given the scale of activity by both the federal government and the response from environmental groups, "influential" would be an understatement.

The reason for this is simple: what Krause has in spades that others do not is credibility. She even reveals who is paying her and how much on her blog. Despite the attempts to smear her reputation and question her motivations by groups and individuals directly linked to Tides Canada, Krause continues to confound her opponents with her earnestness and openness. Recently environmental activist Tzeporah Berman, perhaps out of her frustration, hashtagged a Twitter post with #krauseshillingforbigoil. It was a hurtful remark that Krause quickly responded back to:

Hey @Tzeporah, I'm kinda offended by your hashtag. I'm not shilling for anybody. I'm concerned for my country like you. Lets talk?

With this high stakes public relations war on environmentalism ongoing, you surely do not see these two sitting down for tea anytime soon, despite Krause's invitation.

Since ignoring Krause, sicking lawyers on her, appointing a Conservative to lead their cause, and attempting to smear the blogger all have not improved their fortunes, Tides Canada seems to be trying yet another strategy. They're playing the victim card trying to win in the court of public opinion. Tides Canada president Ross McMillan makes this surprising claim when speaking to Globe and Mail:

“It is really, really difficult to know where the audit came from.”

If McMillan spent even five minutes over the past three years on Vivian Krause's Fair-Questions.com website, he might have seen this train coming. Just one post alone titled The $11.4 MILLION QUESTION for Tides Canada should have tipped the Tides president off that his organization has some major transparency challenges. Add the fact that the ENGOs' efforts are colliding with tens of billions of economic development in Canada, and you can surmise why CCRA auditors have been encamped in their offices for months.

Canadians' bottom line: U.S. influence

The bottom line for this debate is whether American interests are driving an environmental campaign to stop or significantly delay energy and mining projects in Canada. Is the federal government correct to assert that they are, or is it true to say that environmentalists are only mounting a campaign to save the planet, regardless of US involvement? Neither side has entirely proved their case yet.

Nonetheless there are significant indicators that the increasing intensity of environmental activism has its roots in the USA. In June 2009 a nine-member Canadian environmental delegation visited Washington, DC to lobby for American support to end oil sands development. According to a Montreal Gazette report, after their visit with various members of the US government, these delegates met separately with representatives of the American environmental movement.

Tomorrow the Canadians will meet with the heads of more than 30 American environmental groups, where they will also discuss the upcoming climate-change conference in Copenhagen in December where a new global-warming treaty is to be negotiated.

US-based public affairs expert Robb Rice, who works with mining industry clients, described what he claims happened at this meeting in a recent Mining.com op-ed:

In June 2009, there was a monumental meeting in Virginia where powerful and extremely well-funded U.S. environmental groups met with their Canadian counterparts to discuss and plan how to defeat (or significantly delay) energy and mining projects they didn’t like. Reports indicated that U.S. environmental groups were willing to fund Canadian environmental groups on the condition that they would be able to dictate what projects to fight, and what projects would get funding.

This quietly arranged and historic meeting led to the exportation of the U.S. Environmental Movement’s grassroots and communication tactics to Canada.

Rice claims that several Canadian environmental groups are marching to an American drummer, providing tactics and support to campaigns north of the 49th parallel. The burden of proof is still on the writer, however, as he gives no direct evidence that this happened. Rice does describe a tactic that sounds familiar to anyone trying to get a mining permit or pipeline expansion underway:

One of environmentalists’ favorite mantras is that “a delay is as good as a denial.” Tie up a project long enough and the project developer will give up and go away. In the U.S., this tactic has been used successfully in all 50 states. Companies facing long delays are going to look to where the approval process is not long, arduous, and stacked against them.

The "delay is as good as a denial" strategy echoes the instructions of a Rockefeller Brothers Fund Vice-President who met with Vancouver political representatives in April 2010. A July 2008 PowerPoint presentation* authored by RFB's Michael Northrop explains how to stop the oil sands:

  1. Raise the Negatives
  2. Raise the Costs
  3. Slow Down and Stop Infrastructure
  4. Enroll Key Decision-Makers

Northrop's plan was to involve a group of "leading Canadian NGOs" in this campaign, which he budgeted at $7 million per year. It's a brilliant example of how for a relatively small sum, a website and a media strategy, you can set back corporations with billions in the pot.

It is a fascinating struggle, and it is a long way from being over.

+++

See the following links for some additional reading on this subject:

– post by Mike. *RBF PowerPoint revealed by Ezra Levant in January.


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About The Author

  • Richard Unger

    Dear Mike,

    Excellent commentary!
    Green-washing at its best with all these so called charities. That Terence Corcoran piece, really takes a bite out of the money-changing-hands pie!
    Think about it. Vancouver wouldn’t have a puppet as mayor, American super managers in City Hall, transplanted for God knows what corrupt American cities, if it wasn’t for the millions behind the Environmental financiers, and who knows how many others are involved, that we don’t know of?
    For more than 70 years I sang “Oh Canada” and I gave my pledge to the Queen not to some filthy American financiers, who’s only interest is their stock market, and their own wealth.
    Canada will always come first for me!
    People are smart enough to connect the dots of deception. They won’t like the picture.
    Great read, Mike.
    You must have put some time and research into it dear boy.
    Good job.

    Richard Unger MD (Ret)

    • Thanks, Richard. You’d be surprised how much of this is in my head after following it for a few years.

    • Steven Forth

      “Green Washing” Making superficial and well publicized gestures towards protecting the environment while continuing destructive activities. Sounds like ethical oil and the people pushing the bitumen sands to me. Sad that you struggle to understand that Vision won a democratic election. The value of Tides, its funders and of Vision are much closer to my own than those of the NPA and its funders. I am glad this audit is happening as it will clear the air. Of course it is a political act by a deeply paranoid political party, but the air needs to be cleared. Will other organizations that get foreign funding, engage in political activity, but support the CPC be audited? One can hope.

  • Richard. This post adds to what has been known for some time. And the “puppet mayor” was re-elected. Now they’re trying to make VAncouver a “tanker free zone”.

    If this going to change editorials such as the Globe’s will have to influence the mainstream audience. It isn’t going to happen on blogs alone.

  • Pat Johnstone

    Yet, the Environmental NGO recieving by far the most foreign funding, Ducks Unlimited, has so far escaped this scrutiny?

    Oh, right, Gun Registry…

      • Pat Johnstone

        Mike, I should have been clearer. I meant scrutiny from the Conservative Party of Canada, not scrutiny from Vivian Krause.

        • Max

          @Pat Johnstone:

          I fail to see what difference it makes that the ‘Conservatives’ are behind this audit.

          Would it make any difference if it was a party of another color?

          Newspapers typically lean one way or the other. Conrad Black used his (at the time) National Post to go gunning after Chretien. But I find it interestng that ‘greenies’ are so afronted that the current ruling government took notice of what could be a very legitimate concern and is looking into – as they should.

          Just as a side note: There are mayors on Vancouver Island that wrote to Prime Minster Harper (because he is the Prime Minster of the time) asking that he look into the TIDES issue – those that are invovled in the forestry industry and may see their community’s livelihoods negatively impacted somewhere along the way.

  • boohoo

    Ignoring the fact that the ‘environment’ doesn’t stop at arbitrary political boundaries, America has tentacles all over Canada, what makes tides so special?

    I mean I know why, I just don’t get why.

  • boohoo

    Also, Richard and others…what is the conspiracy? The ‘puppet’ mayor was fradulently elected with secret foreign money to….install bike lanes?

    On the one hand you guys all call gregor a do-nothing pretty boy yet on the other he’s part of some global conspiracy to….??? Or he’s just a pawn and the real secret cabal is twisting hin to…..?

    • Thought of The Midnight

      “As a sign of reconciliation, and as good faith move on his part, I’m asking The Mayor to fire The Ballem, The Johnston, The Chu, and then resign himself.”

      Now let’s check what the New Testament says.

      “The ‘puppet’ mayor was fradulently elected with secret foreign money to….install bike lanes?”

      Boohoo,
      Your argument is really cheap. Bike lanes?
      The “bike lanes’ is only the … gravy on Vision’s poutine.
      Common, you can do better than that.

      Let me put it down on paper for you:

      – Mayor – (salary/benefits/travel allowance/ expense account)
      – 8 x Councillors (approx the same routine)
      – Complete Senior Management wiping out
      (severance packages/ lawyer/ headhunter fees/ new hires enhanced salaries)
      – American/ Hollyhock/ Tides/ Solomon ties with all new hires = $$$
      – Incompetence on behalf of taxpayers money –>
      – Olympic Village Fiasco, bailing out developers and making happy… The Bankers
      – Vancouver Playhouse… 1$ Million Later … DOA (dead on arrival)
      Robertson Riot/ Police Investigation… 10$ Mill … DOA
      – Vancouver Foundation $1 Mill Seed Money for Pet Projects Hush-Hush on the QT part of the Vision Vancouver Plantation … (AAK) Alive And Kicking.
      – No Oil Tankers in The Hood, says who, the Agent Orange? See where I’m going with this?

      Excuse me now, but I have to breath in…
      There.
      You play the “bike lanes” violin on us?
      I’m not an accountant, but we may be talking tens of Millions of taxpayers dollars, they’ve been mismanaging since they took office.

      And now all they can come up with is … Extra! Extra! Francis misses deadline… something is Wong! $4,000 missing! NPA Conspiracy… LOL!

      Have a blast on your Vision plantation buddy:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9PLvFA2JSU

      We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

      • boohoo

        GR,

        Sorry, still doesn’t work for me.

        The conspiracy is to have a puppet mayor elected (don’t forget that inconvenient fact) come in to ‘mismanage’ let’s say 10 million dollars spread out over the puppet, councilors, bankers, developers, new employees, the Vancouver Foundation etc?

        This is just depressing.

  • Max

    Mining brings in huge dollars to government coffers.

    I applaud the government for taking notice of Vivian’s hard work.

    I see Vivian penned an article for the TLA’s (Truck Loggers Association) member publication – it hits rougly 10,000 forestry camps/offices and like-minded business throughout BC.

    I also understand the AME BC had her speak at one of their luncheons.

    Sounds like the resouce sectors are paying attention as well.

  • Richard

    Everyone should be really concerned about what the government is doing. It is pretty obvious that they are using such audits to intimidate and silence opposition for political reasons.

    Discussion, debate and other voices are critical for a healthy democracy.

    Groups like the Fraser Institute also have charitable status and do a lot of political work. What is the difference besides that you disagree with the positions Tides takes on issues.

    • Richard, the Fraser Institute is an interesting comparison I’m reading about a lot lately. The distinct difference between FI and TC is how they approach activism and the political process. For example, can anyone cite a single member of Fraser Institute’s staff or board of directors directly or indirectly involved in any political or advocacy campaign? You could argue that FI are championing changes in the education system by publishing their school ratings. However, what we see with Tides directors running companies raising money for council, park and school campaigns is a more blatant example of politicking.

      I wanted to know what Fraser Institute did when it came to political campaigns, so I called them. The answer to how many of their staff or directors are involved in political operations is zero. It would be a breach of their responsibility as a charitable organization, they told me.

      I keep hearing about how bad the Koch Brothers are — the right wingers who gave FI $500K. I’m sure they’re tough business people, not unlike the oil barons whose legacy created the Rockefeller Brothers empire, or the Pew Foundation who are now funding environmental groups in BC.

      If Fraser Institute was involved in as many political activities as individuals working out of the Tides/Renewal Centre are, it would be a scandal of epic proportions. We’d hear about it every day in various websites like Rabble or The Tyee, and MSM sources like CBC. Since I don’t hear any complaining, I gather that’s not happening.

      I don’t pay much attention to the Fraser Institute as their research doesn’t speak much to my interests. But I expect if they were involved in a high profile election campaign or bankrolled a huge pro-industry advocacy campaign somewhere, they would be slapped down hard.

      However, when it comes to Tides Canada, until now they’ve got a pass for doing just that.

      • Terry m

        Absolutely correct!
        But the Visionistas are doing, what they’ve been doing the past three years, are cutting the loose strings. The 500 year plan speech of that bozo from .Cortes farm comes to mind! A bunch of leeches getting charity money through American connections and palings themselves 6 figures salaries, bonuses..” charity, all right!

  • Terry m

    Oops, that was “paying themselves”! But you figured that one out! 🙂

  • gman

    “After the Conservative government won a majority last spring, Tides Canada decided to try a different approach by appointing Conservative Jodi White to their board, even making her Chair. White was former chief of staff to Prime Minister Kim Campbell.”

    Kim Campell is founding member of the Club de Madrid and very busy using NGOs to interfere with countries and elections all over the world. http://www.kimcampbell.com/node/10 and they make it sound so warm and caring,seems nothing is what it seems anymore.

    • I have to say I’m a Kim Campbell fan.

      • gman

        Mike so did I until she joined these groups.They wield a tremendous amount of power and control through compartmentalization thousands of different groups and ENGOs.If you go through the link in my next comment you would have to think there is something very very wrong.Some are really good people that think their serving a noble cause but I’m afraid they’ve been duped.
        When you start to connect the dolts it doesn’t look good.

        • I have to admit,

          gman you did your research well!
          I agree with you re. all these Clubs. They are nothing but the Green Berets in Suits. Politicians for Hire. They would sell their own mothers for a fistful of dollars. The problem is, the same crooks are behind this scheme for ages, wars were started in the past for the same reasons. The international universal recognized pawnbrokers in motion, again… Rockefeller’s suitcases of money are basically buying politicians, influences elections, lobby for power, corrupts administrations, appoints key people in positions with great clout. Their Modus Operandi.
          Just to give you some, inside info, you won’t read about in papers… this college friend of mine, same age, cca year 2000, big politician in Europe, NATO member, the whole shebang. In charge of selecting, great minds, younger generation politician wannabees, for one of Tony Blair’s pet projects at the time…named… Leaders for a New Millennium.( attendees- political leaders, army officers, journalists… young people how were still malleable, easy to form… and change) The big carrot was… money (mostly through sophisticated Soros NG “delivery systems”), Brussels office, per diem, car & driver, entertainment, whores… all they had to do was to lobby their governments, infiltrate and spread “green radical ideas” who btw had nothing to do with the environment but more to do with social brainwashing , making their methods more acceptable.
          My friend is now an elected EU Parlimentary. I can’t say more. He’s making 20,000 Euros/ month for minding the safe, trying hard not to fall asleep during interminable, sterile meetings.
          Look at Europe now. It’s in complete chaos. They brought them right where they wanted… unemployed, hungry, bankrupt, easy to succumb to populist trends. The Idiots! In their megalomaniac race for power they’ve got side blinded to such extent that they managed to bring back the Nazi sympathizers.
          Look at Greece. Watch France. In Spain the situation is not that rosy either. Germany is getting fed up with paying for the most of it. The British were not in it anyways. Somewhere the balloon will have to give. And when it blows… we’ll know!
          I’ll leave you with a 2 – 3 years old beaut!

          2009

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFXSj5WofYA&feature=related

          2010

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gm9q8uabTs

          GR-eetings!

          We live in… well the hell with it!

          • gman

            Hey GR,Nigel Nigel hes our man if he cant do it no one can YAAAAY….Nigel.
            We have to look under the rock that’s under the rock.

          • gman

            GR between me and you I dumped most of my property only two more to go and Im going to get another sailboat and move back to the ocean.I checked out three waterfront lots one commercial and two residential,get this,in Tonga,60 year lease under a 100k,sweet.Can you say beach bar Boogy.

  • gman

    The Club de Madrid is a spin off of the Club of Rome as is the Club of Budapest all started by Rockefeller.If you look at the members and their mission it is frightening.I think Vivian has a lot more digging to do. http://recyclewashington.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/unraveling-the-club-of-rome-part-1/

  • Michelle S of Mt Pleasant

    @ boohoo

    What’s there not to get? it’s about accountability to a situation that has had murmmerings for quite some time that something was not on the up and up.

    Anyone who believes that Gregor got voted in again due to a good job last term and popularity as a leading political figure is more delusional then Mayor Moonbeam himself and thats not saying much about that person.

    This is about accountability that has taken too long to come to fruition but I am glad it is finally seeing the light of day.

    • Steven Forth

      Perhaps you are the one in deep denial. Vision crushed the NPA because they have policies and values that resonate with more people than the NPA. The NPA was well funded and fought hard. But it lost. You may not like Vision and its goals for the future of Vancouver, but many people do.

      • Max

        Steven Forth:

        Vision ‘crushed’ the NPA: Let’s see, Robertson takes up with Critical Mass and promises bike lanes and all things bikes for all to that crowd. Vison cozies up to the developement community and well, now the poor MP people have to deal with RIZE – the $6.5 million dollar handshake and a big screw you to that neighborhood. Vision removes community pools in favor of skateboard parks – pandering to yet another group of young voters. Next up – leaglaizing pot, well as mentioned before rumor has long been swirling about Amy’s special ‘greenhouses’ on Cortez. Speaking of ‘well funded’ Vision spent a crap load more money on their campaign than the NPA.

        Vision hands one of their friendlies ‘EnerPro’ a contract to generate a paper bill for hydro use at the Oly residents – at a cost of $12.95 per invoice – charged to the client of course. What else Enerpro does – who knows.

        Yesterday I read about a new ‘offshoot’ of the bike delivery program ‘Shift’ funded by Vision or should I say, the tax payers – deliverying food, sandwiches, from one of Vision’s other pet projects in the DTES. I see city hall is listed as one of their main clients.

        Did I mention that Shift quickly became part of the VACC – some charity status nonsence, that vote paid for. Tick. (Guessing these new bike couriers will fall into that category as well)

        All these ‘green’ companies are intertwind in some way, they all recieve funding either via tax payer dollars courtesy of Vision or Endwell/Renewal .

        It is quite fascinating when you start connecting all the dots – it is a very TIDES like model.

        The projects come across as ‘small’ but once you look at how far reaching they are….well….

        Like a sign in my neighborhood states (an artpiece were people can pen their own thoughts)

        ‘Gregor Sucks’

        So you or one of the other Vision worshipers really need to explain to me what ‘policies and values’ Vision has. Cuz aside from fleecing the tax payer in order to fund ‘green’ I and many others, are missing it.

        Values….love it… LMAO!

        • Pat Johnstone

          Yet, with all the smear, suspicions if illegal drugs, silly names: “Mayor Moonbeam”, and constant riling about bike lanes, chickens and wheat fields, and with peiople standing at every SKyTrain Sation (his target demogrpahic?) handing out free daily “newspapers” saying he is combined the worst qualities of Stalin and Hitler, he got more votes than any other candidate. That’s deomcracy for ya.

          • Max

            @ Pat Johnstone:

            Yup, that is democracy.

            But then what do I know, I’m just one of those F**king NPA hacks….

            Democracy – cubed!

        • boohoo

          I laugh at this notion that cyclists and skateboarding kids won the election for gregor…lol.

          What a powerful lobby group those skateboarders are.

          And again, you guys go on and on about how cycling is fringe, doesn’t deserve lanes etc yet they are the supposed super group that wins elections? The ‘powerful cycling lobby’. lol.

          And vision in bed with developers? Of course the are! But what does that make the NPA–conjoined twins?! lol

          • Max

            @boohoo:

            You know not of what you speak.

            But, in many cases, ignorance is bliss.

          • Pat Johnstone

            To summarize: No-one rides bikes, but they want bike lanes, and are a more powerful political lobby than the 99% of people who are stuck every day on Hornby idling out front of empty businesses, all as part of grand conspiracy by foreign interests to prevent Northern Alberta from making enough money to buy a decent Hockey Team…

  • Richard

    Sadly, all this noise distracts from the real debate that all Canadians should be engaged in. Sadly, that seems to be the point as well. A case of if you don’t like the message and don’t have much of a case against it, attact the messenger.

    Looking at the economic health of nations, at least the GDP per capita, there seems to no correlation between oil production and GDP per capita. While some oil producing countries are doing fine, countries that don’t produce much at all are also doing fine. For example, economic basket case Greece has a significantly higher GDP per capita than Saudi Arabia. (GDP is probably not the best measure but still, it is a widely used sign of economic activity).

    As witnessed by the huge shortage of workers the oil industry is facing, it appears that pretty much all the Canadians who want to work in the oil industry seem to be doing that. I suspect many Canadians are and would rather be doing something else rather than working in the industry. It is a real concern that governments, especially the federal are so focused on the oil industry. All this attention on oil likely distracts energy and resources that could be spent helping other industries.

    • Birdy

      re: “It is a real concern that governments, especially the federal are so focused on the oil industry. All this attention on oil likely distracts energy and resources that could be spent helping other industries.”

      The energy and resources you’re talking about were in other industries, exactly where you and I both want them to be.

      Then came taxes and regulations for all those people and companies who wanted to direct their energy and resources wherever they themselves wanted, but now couldn’t. The people who campaigned for the taxes and regulations meant well, they really did, but they got the opposite of what they wanted.

      • Steven Forth

        Let’s remove al subsidies for business, make sure that all externalities are accounted for, and let the market decide. R&D spending should go to basic research. The government is not good at commercialization and should not be picing winners.

    • Max

      @Richard:

      I know people working in the ‘oil industry’ and they are far from upset at having to do so.

      They are making kick ass money – work X days on and then are flown home here to ‘green’ Vancouver to spend time with the families they support.

      Oil & gas and mining pay well. People jump to try to get these jobs.

      Not everybody wants to be a bike delivery person.

  • Richard

    Apologies, that would be attack, not attact.

  • Steven Forth

    Good. I hope you will support audits of all these groups, especially the Fraser Institute. Perhaps all individuals, groups and organizations should have the same tax status, including religious groups. Lets have a level playing field for all.

  • rf

    The audit should be about one thing: “Did tax deductible donations get routed to civil political campaigns?”

    Donations to civil political campaigns are not tax deductible.

    An audit of Tides will help determine if in fact, Visionistas were able to leverage their donating abilities by getting a tax deduction on what they gave. Instead of giving money directly to Vision candidates, did they make donations to Tides, get a tax deduction, and then magically have that money donated to Gregor and friends.

    Why does this matter? Simple, tax deductible funds going to a civil political campaign means that the federal government is basically subsidizing the campaign via the tax credit.

    To argue otherwise is to suggest that it’s ok for one side’s donations to be partially taxpayer funded while the other’s is not.

    • Pat Johnstone

      So, let’s slide the goalposts to further suit our political needs?

      Originally this was about charities illegally benefitting from CRA rules for being “too political”, then it was about foreign influence, now you want to make it about the Mayor…

      Every shift resulting from people pointing out the numerous “charities” that are political and receive foreign funding, from Ducks Unlimited to the Fraser Institute to Focus on the Family Canada. If half the scrutiny was put into the Campaign Life Coalition as was put into Tides, I wonder how far this story would go

    • Steven Forth

      No, the audit should be complete and cover all potential issues with Tides. And other organizations that get massive US funding should also be audited.

      If there is a question on electoral finance that should also be investigated and the investigation should cover the NPA and its supporters as well.

  • boohoo

    Then educate me Max. That is of course if you can and can without insulting me or using rumour and innuendo.

    • boohoo

      Guess not 🙂

      • rf

        Boohoo, I educated you on why this report is toilet paper. You went all crickets too.

        • boohoo

          @rf,

          And like I said, twice, my point was not the content of the report. It was that when presented with something vision does it’s all leap to conspiracies and insults. When something else is presented, it’s rational thinking, good questions, etc…

          My question is why do people here go all ignorant/conspiracy theory at the drop of a vision hat when clearly they are not that stupid.

  • boohoo

    Oh. my. Look at this surprise:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Majority+oilsands+ownership+profits+foreign+says+analysis/6599556/story.html

    I’m stunned. Just stunned. To think foreign influence could be taking place here, shocking!

    • gman

      Boo I’m not sure but because they are corporations does that mean that someone in the US who holds the stock in their 401k or an energy fund would be considered a foreign owner and considering the small population in Canada and the large amount of shares available that to me would make sense.And I wonder also how much of their profit do they reinvest in Canada.

      • boohoo

        Hey, those things could be true gman, but it’s curious how you think rationally about possible reasons when you want to, but when tides or vision is involved, well that’s a conspiracy!

        • gman

          Boo first you have to do some research and understand at least a little history before you mock someone,maybe if you made a small effort you might wake up too.Or you might be like so many others that delved in and were so horrified they slam the book shut halfway through and run from the room yelling “I don’t want to know I don’t want to know.”

          • Ned

            gman,
            you nailed it! Perfectly! It’s how some people I know, dealt with the problem.

          • boohoo

            No gman, not my point. When I posted the article you had totally plausible, rational reasons/explanations/questions. My point is, and it’s a backhanded compliment, that you’re probably not as knee-jerk reactionary as you come across whenever tides or vision come up. I just don’t know what it is about the blog world that brings it out.

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  • rf

    Boohoo,
    I have access to Bloomberg Professional. I just went and looked at the data that this guy compiled. I was very skeptical when reading the Sun article that you could actually calculate the jurisdiction of all shareholders. The shareholdings of these companies with Canadian Brokerages firms are just not available to the public. I can get what the top holdings in my firm are but I certainly can’t get those details from Bloomberg.

    What this monkey did was pull off the ownership stats that are available on Bloomberg.

    I’ll give you an example:
    On Canadian Oil Sands he claims 56% is held by “Canadians”. The stats on Bloomberg (or Thomson One) do have geographic details on Insitutional holders and Insiders.
    For Canadian Oil Sands it only compiles stats that encompass 29.55% of the outstanding shares!
    Low and behold, 16.54% are indicated as Canada for the “Location”.
    16.54% / 29.55% = Tada! 56%.

    The stats represent 3 of 10 shares outstanding.

    The study is total bunk for the Canadian Companies.
    Comprehensive data is just not available. It’s sloppy work at best and propaganda at worst.

  • rf

    The numbers for Petrobank are even more ridiculous.
    The top 10 Canadian Mutual funds holding the stock control 3.74% (check morningstar online for this). That’s out of 168 funds that hold it.

    The top 2 insiders (John Wright and Frances Louie) are Canadian and own 4.33% between them.

    1% is owned by BC Investment Management (BC Pension Corp).

    That’s 9% right there. But they claim 94.8% is foreign owned.

    That report is toilet paper.