If a Billion-$ industry can be easily blockaded by the chump change of NGOs, perhaps oil and pipeline companies which can outspend them 100-1 need new CEOs?
The elephant in the room and the inconvenient truth for politicians who traffic in this tin-foil absurdity is that the majority of the oilsands is – or was before the downturn – foreign-owned. The Majors have no problem getting their product to market because they are integrated with refineries in Texas and because they have pipeline and rail contracts to move their product.
In my opinion, Vivian Krause is Canada’s Kellyanne Conway (Queen of Alternative Facts). Politicians like Jason Kenney use conspiracy theorists to achieve their own ends:
1) It’s a deflection from their failures. Northern Gateway failed in court because the Harper Government didn’t consult Indigenous groups. Mr Kenney was Harper’s lieutenant and after 10 yrs in his Government, he failed to get a pipeline to tidewater.
2) It’s a distraction to keep Albertans angry at the “other” and fixated on his promise that he alone will fix it. Where have we heard this before? Right … Trump!
3) Kenney’s 2019 election promise of setting up a $30 Million “war room” to crucify the pipeline opposition of our Charities/NGOs is a deflection from his previous Government’s failure with Vivian Krause as point person to do just that.
4) Harper’s Krause-inspired witch hunt against Charities for their political activities failed spectacularly when Charities won in court: CRA loses court challenge to its political-activity audits of charities
Legislation passed in December removes all limits on political activities of charities: “The Liberal government has withdrawn its appeal of a stunning 2018 court ruling that quashed a section of the Income Tax Act limiting the political activities of charities.”
5) Harper’s witch hunt failed spectacularly as it drove millions in donations to the NGOs/Charities: Environment charities may benefit from new Alberta premier’s vow to fight them
“How Vivian Krause Became the Poster Child for Canada’s Anti-Environment Crusade”
Krause took center stage as 3 parliamentary hearings and a Senate inquiry between Jan and Jun of 2012 and attempted to cast doubt on the integrity of Canadian environmental charities. Her claims critiquing foreign donations to environmental charities became the talking points of then PM Harper and cabinet. It prompted an $8 million witch hunt by the CRA of the “political activities” of charities – many of which oppose oil sands development. Krause took credit for initiating these CRA audits while she received speaking fees from the oil/mining industries for laundering her conspiracy theories.
Conveniently ignored by Krause was how much money the Federal government received from some of the wealthiest private organizations in the United States, including some of the same organizations that gave to Canadian environmental groups.
Excerpts: “Tax returns show the Canadian government has also been the beneficiary of millions of dollars in largesse from some of the wealthiest private organizations in the United States.
And some of that money came from the same U.S. groups that helped fund Canadian environmentalists.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver accused “environmental and other radical groups” of trying to use money from “foreign special-interest groups” to hijack hearings on a pipeline that would bring Alberta oilsands bitumen [Northern Gateway] to a port on the British Columbia coast.
“But the Canadian government seems to have no qualms accepting grant money from private U.S. foundations — including some of the same organizations that gave to Canadian environmental groups.”
Fast forward to Alberta’s 2019 election our Conspiracy Queen who lives in BC trolls Premier Notley. Is she auditioning for a job in Jason Kenney’s “war room”?
Some stellar articles below on Krause’s tinfoil conspiracy that foreign interests are blocking Alberta oil is by Markham Hislop in EnergiNews and Sandy Garossino for the Vancouver Observer .
Rise of the new Alberta energy populism: Is oil/gas industry weaponizing Vivian Krause’s conspiracy nonsense?
“The Vancouver blogger almost singlehandedly feeds Alberta’s victimhood complex, which is one of the principal characteristics of modern populism.”
“So, welcome to populist politics Alberta-style, folks, where facts are optional and indignation is a constant state of mind, thanks in part to Vivian Krause. Don’t say that you weren’t warned.
Excerpt: “What I am disputing is the conclusions she draws from that research — conclusions that she shared on Wednesday in Calgary at the Indigenous Energy Summit, as reported by Corbella in her Herald column today.
“Krause says at the end of 2012 the Rockefeller Brothers specified that its money was to be used to “bring about a cap on the production of oil from Alberta.”
“Your premier put a cap on the oilsands,” Krause reminded the attentive crowd. “That’s exactly what the Rockefeller Fund funded the activists to do, was to pressure the government to put that cap on.”
Read those four sentences carefully.
In the first one, Krause refers to a cap on Alberta oil production. In the third and fourth sentence, a production cap magically becomes the Alberta government’s 100 megatonne oil sands emissions cap.
Notice the conflation between the oil sands and all oil extraction and between emissions and production.
Krause’s remarks are even contradicted by the Financial Post story that’s linked in Corbella’s column.”
… [emphasis added]
Note Krause’s lack of logic: The Rockefellers divested from oil before Premier Notley was elected! Moreover, the Rockefellers’ fund doesn’t lobby people in other countries on how they should govern their Countries or their Provinces. She hasn’t a clue what philanthropy actually means!
“In Business in Vancouver’s December 13-19 edition, Vivian Krause continues to perpetuate conspiracy theories that make no sense and are deeply offensive to First Nations. (See “U.S. funding against Prosperity mine: $2 million for B.C. mining reform.”)
A former salmon farming industry executive, Krause has a number of theories that imply that First Nations do not speak for themselves. For example, she claims that opposition to salmon farming is a U.S.-funded plot to promote Alaskan wild salmon, when in fact it is driven by B.C. First Nations and non-aboriginal wild salmon fishermen seeking to preserve their resources and industries and by people from all walks of life who can see the overall reality and long-term impacts to wild salmon.
She also claims opposition to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is a plot by U.S. environmental foundations to secure tarsands oil for the U.S. by preventing its export to Asia.
Now, in her BIV column, she extends her conspiracy theories to support for mining reform in B.C. and specifically for the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s fight to protect its traditional lands and sacred Teztan Biny (Fish Lake), Yanah Biny (Little Fish Lake) and Nabas from one of B.C.’s worst-ever mine proposals – the Prosperity Mine project.
Krause implies that millions of dollars have poured into the Tsilhqot’in fight as a campaign from U.S. environmental funders to promote their country’s economic interests. This is laughable and deeply offensive.
Laughable because, in facing a company that has already spent $100 million on its mine campaign and a provincial government that spends taxpayer dollars to support this company, the Tsilhqot’in have worked on a shoestring to seek justice in this matter.
Deeply offensive because, as with all her conspiracy theories, Krause portrays us as pawns in some sinister plot to promote U.S. commercial interests. In doing so she demeans our sovereignty as First Nations and trivializes our serious issues, not to mention the honourable intentions of those who share our vision of a province that places respect for the environment and proven aboriginal rights above the interests of one mining company.
The facts are available to any trained researcher who genuinely seeks the truth. The campaigns Krause attacks as the commercial initiatives of foreign funders are all domestic issues that First Nations have long fought for. They are our issues.
Any funding we receive comes with no strings attached. Funders do not control or direct us. Any funding we can find is earned, in the sense that it is provided by those who believe that we deserve to be able to stand up for our rights and environment.
We are grateful to all funders, such as Victoria-based RavenTrust, one of the groups Krause singles out in her BIV article, for tirelessly seeking funds to help us. Much of the help we receive is time volunteered by Canadian groups and individuals, including many local residents.
If some of funding raised by RavenTrust comes from foreign sources, then what of it? This generosity is to support our story, not foreign interests.
Despite Krause’s insinuations, the Tsilhqot’in have not received millions of dollars, not even remotely close. We are constantly scrambling to find the resources to respond to the latest moves by the company and the province to press ahead with the discredited Prosperity Mine proposal.
We now face an environmental review for a Prosperity Mine proposal that the original review, based on studies by the company and Environment Canada, found to be worse than the plan rejected last year. This burden is a serious challenge for our people financially and from a community-health perspective as we struggle against a company, industry and provincial government that appear to have no shortage of funds or human resources.
We are proud that so many Canadians support us and that U.S. funders are willing to help based on the merits of our cases. We are also pleased that in the larger picture, we are not the only ones seeking to improve the archaic and unbalanced mining laws in B.C.
We are amazed any credence is given to the twisted logic that portrays our position as undemocratic and unpatriotic. Krause herself has admitted she has no evidence to support her claims, and experts such as the National Post’s Jonathan Kay, author of a book on conspiracy theories, dismiss her allegations.
Our proud Tsilhqot’in seek an honourable reconciliation of our aboriginal rights and title, beginning with respect for our deep cultural connection to Teztan Biny and the region surrounding it. We hope BIV readers will see through Krause’s sloppy research and disrespect for our autonomy and recognize that her article and this mine proposal should be dismissed.”
Excerpts: “When scientists become the enemy of government, the language shifts, and suddenly they are “environmentalists” and “radicals” “bad” and “anti-Canadian.”
“This is a very bizarre twist, and here’s why:
Five years ago, the Harper government was thrilled to do business on exactly the model that it now vilifies as anti-Canadian money laundering. It entered into a conservation agreement to protect the Great Bear Rainforest in partnership with several American foundations in an agreement negotiated by Tides Canada.”
Because it is here in Kitimat, and in BC’s protected forests and coastal waters, that the Enbridge pipeline proposal will meet its fiercest opposition.
Here’s a fair question. Does the location of the proposed Northern Gateway tanker route through the protected waters and coastline of the Great Bear Rainforest — funded by the Moore, Hewlett and Packard foundations in a Tides Canada deal — have anything to do with the fact that all of these organizations are now being pilloried by the very government that partnered with them?
Has the federal government decided to get out of the Great Bear Rainforest partnership, and calculated that the best way is to vilify and smear its own partners?
Meanwhile, it might be worth getting to know if we’ve really been palling around with terrorists.
With enemies like these, who needs friends?
Here then, are some of the American foundations which have been named and accused by our government of fraudulent money-laundering and “ugly” “anti-Canadian” conduct:”
…. See article for list of organizations.
Excerpts: “Charity is about reducing poverty. Its [sic] about advancing education and …its [sic] about advancing religion,” she wrote on her blog.
On the surface, this statement appears pretty benign and spot on, except that it’s false. And something else is going on. Krause’s real point is that political advocacy is illegitimate for Canadian charitable organizations.
As a factual statement, that’s flat wrong. As an opinion, it’s a dangerous fiction that should set off alarm bells, because this is precisely how to silence dissent.
On a per capita basis, Canada is second in the world — behind the Netherlands — in its charitable and volunteer activity.
No small potatoes, you might say.
And while it’s true that charities attract revenue from foreign sources — about $830 million annually, almost all of this revenue goes to aid, educational and religious causes.
Apart from Ducks Unlimited Canada, which drew a remarkable $33 million from foreign sources for wetlands preservation for hunters in 2010, Canadian environmental conservation charities as a whole garnered a mere 1.5 per cent of total foreign contributions to charities.
If this looks a lot more like a molehill than a mountain, never you mind. It’s still political gold to purveyors of inflammatory rhetoric.
Conservative government used public money on outreach campaign to counter criticism of controversial Alberta tar sands
Never mentioned by Krause are facts which contradict her narrative that Charities tried to blockade Alberta oil. NGOs & Charities couldn’t hope to outspend oil & pipeline industries or the Harper government.
” The outreach activities, which cost $4.5 million and were never publicly disclosed, included efforts to “advance energy literacy amongst BC First Nations communities.””
This supposed scandal has been hiding in plain sight for almost a decade, and almost none of the key facts holds up to scrutiny. A veritable cottage industry has grown up promoting one of the most politically convenient conspiracy theories in recent memory.
The Harper Gov spent over $50M on oilsands promotion. AB’s Prem Redford spent tens of thousands. The Oil Ind/Pipeline Companies also spent Millions in ads.
Rick Mercer’s take-down of a foreign nationalism talking point is hilarious
That Time a Foreign-Owned Newspaper Called Out Environmentalists for Taking Foreign Money to Fight a Foreign-Funded Pipeline
“… where’s the outrage over foreign ownership of Canadian natural resources?
There are plenty of really difficult conversations we need to have as Canadians about our energy future. How environmental non-profits are being funded frankly isn’t one of them. But hey, it’s an effective distraction technique.”
““Readers may find it difficult to believe that an industry which exported product worth $129 billion in 2014 — whose members include some of the biggest players in the national economy, players who could easily outspend American charities by a factor of a hundred — can feel like victims of the environmental movement, but they do,” Markham Hislop wrote.”
So it’s not okay for foreign charitable contributions to cross borders but it’s okay for an American-controlled Newspaper chain in Canada to collude with our oil industry?
“The ad proposal suggested “topics to be directed by CAPP and written by Postmedia,” with 12 single page “Joint Ventures” in the National Post, as well as 12 major newspapers including the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and The Times Colonist.“
Industry-Funded Vivian Krause Uses Classic Dirty PR Tactics to Distract from Canada’s Real Energy Debate
EXCERPT: “But as the blogger-turned-newspaper-columnist has run rampant with her conspiracy theory that American charitable foundations’ support of Canadian environmental groups is nefarious, she has continually avoided seeking a fair answer.
If Krause were seeking a fair answer, she’d quickly learn that both investment dollars and philanthropic dollars cross borders all the time. There isn’t anything special or surprising about environmental groups receiving funding from U.S. foundations that share their goals — especially when the increasingly global nature of environmental challenges, particularly climate change, is taken into consideration.
Despite this common-sense answer, Krause’s strategy has effectively diverted attention away from genuine debate of environmental issues, while simultaneously undermining the important role environmental groups play in Canadian society.
Creating Diversions a Trademark of Oil Industry Strategy
This diversion strategy is a well-known tactic of the oil industry. A strategy document leaked yesterday details how one of the world’s most powerful PR firms, Edelman, advised TransCanada to undermine opponents to the Energy East pipeline.
Edelman recommended TransCanada apply pressure to opponents by “distracting them from their mission and causing them to redirect their resources.” To achieve that, Edelman advises TransCanada to work with “supportive third parties who can in turn put the pressure on, particularly when TransCanada can’t.”
Convenient Conspiracy: How Vivian Krause Became the Poster Child for Canada’s Anti-Environment Crusade
EXCERPT: “An essential component of all public relations campaigns is having the right messenger— a credible, impassioned champion of your cause. While many PR pushes fail to get off the ground, those that really catch on — the ones that gain political attention and result in debates and senate inquiries — almost always have precisely the right poster child.
And in the federal government and oil industry’s plight to discredit environmental groups, the perfect poster child just so happens to be Vivian Krause. Krause describes herself as an “independent” researcher and a single mom asking “fair questions” about American funding of Canadian environmental groups. She blogged for many years in relative obscurity before becoming the federal Conservatives’ favourite attack dog.
Krause’s moment in the sun came in January 2012 when Joe Oliver, Canada’s then Natural Resources Minister, released his infamous letter decrying “foreign-funded radical” environmentalists for “hijacking” the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline review process.
Krause had primed the pump for the Conservatives to swoop in and achieve their goal — to discredit environmental groups by building a public narrative about them acting nefariously, thereby justifying spending millions of dollars on audits of charities’ political activities.
Never mind that philanthropic dollars cross international borders all the time. Never mind that the Northern Gateway proposal is sponsored by China’s state-owned oil company Sinopec, along with many other foreign oil companies. Never mind that there’s probably no more legitimate participation in a democracy than citizens signing up to speak at public hearings.
No, once you have a vendetta, inconvenient facts don’t matter. And Krause’s vendetta against environmental groups has been in the works for a long time — ever since she worked in public relations for the farmed salmon industry.”
Excerpt: “Vivian Krause, a resident of North Vancouver, British Columbia, is a controversial Canadian blogger who claims to investigate the funding of environmental organizations to expose foreign influence over Canadian nonprofits. She has been paid for speaking events by right-wing think tanks, business groups, the mining industry, and the oil and gas industry, mostly in Canada. In the year 2012, more than 90% of Krause’s income came from speaking honorariums from the mining and oil and gas industries.
Farmed Salmon Industry Employment
Between January 1, 2002 and October 13, 2003,Vivian Krause served as Corporate Development Manager (North America) for Nutreco Aquaculture, then the world’s largest salmon farming company.”
Excerpt: “Relationship between funders and fundees
“Indeed, when our Executive Director, Jessica Clogg, pointed out that we, and not our funders, set our priorities, Ethical Oil essentially accused her of lying on the basis that we had received money for a specific purpose.
Once we receive a grant from a foundation to carry out our work, we are obligated to use the money for the purposes for which we requested it, or to return it, but the workplan and deliverables are our own – we don’t take orders from the funders.
Krause and Ethical Oil accuse U.S. Foundations of ignoring their public purposes
The “foreign” interests that Krause and Ethical Oil are so incensed about are U.S. charities (unlike the U.S. and other foreign corporations that are investing so heavily in the tar sands). As such they are required by U.S. tax law to use their funds for purposes that are “public purposes”. And that is what they are doing by funding us (giving money to help protect the environment – a well recognized charitable purpose).
Ethical Oil alleges that these foundations are using their charitable funding in a direct attempt to enhance the position of U.S. energy interests by undermining Canadian oil interests.
[the elephant in the room is: why would U.S. corporations that are invested in the oilsands and integrated with refineries in Texas blockade their own interests?]
By all means, let’s have some fair questions.
Let’s ask who is funding Ethical Oil’s current attacks on Canadians who have signed up to express their opposition to the Enbridge Pipelines.
Let’s ask what influence big money – Canadian, U.S., Chinese or otherwise – is having on the Enbridge debate.”
Author: Markham Hislop.
Excerpt: “Stop thinking that the oil sands have some special dispensation that exempts them from criticism or opposition. They don’t.
Don’t demonize oil sands opponents – debate better, organize better, communicate better. The argument for oil sands development and the construction of pipelines is stronger, in my opinion, than the argument against.”
Excerpt: “North Vancouver researcher Vivian Krause – who has a history of working for the salmon farming industry and for Conservative MP John Duncan – claims that the ongoing campaign to stop the expansion of oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s coast is really a U.S. protectionist ploy to lock up the oil from the oilsands. In Krause’s conspiracy plot, the Big Bad Guys are U.S. charitable foundations, such as the Tides Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and any Canadians fighting to stop oil tankers and the risk of oil spills they bring are unwitting dupes of these Machiavellian deep-pocketed U.S. funders.
Krause’s theory that U.S. funders aren’t interested in protecting the coast from oil tankers, but rather in maximizing the flow of oilsands crude to the United States, ignores an important fact -these same American foundations are also the main funders of the growing international campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline that would increase the flow of oilsands crude into the U.S. by almost one million barrels a day. Funny how this important fact wasn’t acknowledged by Krause, who has drawn praise for her research skills – but then a conspiracy theorist never let a contrary fact get in the way of a good theory.”
But what is also overlooked by the conspiracy theorists of both extremes is the fundamental role the growing network of British Columbians from all walks of life has in funding and politically driving the No Tankers campaign. Our No Tankers campaign has more than 75,000 supporters who donate and take action to stop oil tankers on B.C.’s coast.
It is ironic that we are being accused of being driven by U.S. interests when Dogwood Initiative’s founding mission is to reform the way in which British Columbia’s lands, waters and natural resources are managed by transferring power and control over a place to the people who actually live there. The right to decide is the basic right Dogwood Initiative has been fighting for since 1999 and our No Tankers campaign is grounded in the premise of “Our Coast, Our Decision.”
In the face of mounting pressure from the largest pipeline company in Canada, an undisclosed consortium of international oil companies funding Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project, and a pro-oil sands, pro-Northern Gateway federal and provincial government, we have helped build a broad grassroots movement of working families, First Nations governments, businesses, chambers of commerce, municipal governments, tourism operators and fishermen willing to take action to prevent oil tankers from threatening our coast. We solicit support for these efforts from anyone who shares our vision for the future of B.C. and who is willing to donate (as long as there are no strings attached). Fortunately, some Canadian and American foundations, along with a growing number of businesses and individual donors, almost all of whom are British Columbians, share our vision.”
Excerpt: “Given the dismal reputation of the oilsands, the government had three options:
(a) clean them up by bringing in environmental legislation;
(b) discredit the people creating the negative image; or
(c) set up front groups to promote the industry, however dirty it may be.
In his discussion with Jacobson, Prentice suggested he would do
(a): “impose new rules on oil sands.” But he never did.
The federal government — which has promised to deliver oil and gas regulations since 2007 — offered no help.
Instead Prentice, along with the government of Alberta, got to work changing the oilsands’ image. The campaign began behind-the-scenes with intensive international lobbying focused on fighting the European Union’s proposed ‘dirty’ label for Albertan crude.
While those backroom meetings were taking place, another public strategy was being deployed to revive the image of the oilsands: demean those exposing the environmental disaster unfolding in Northern Alberta.”
The Conservative government dropped the old trope of George Soros funding opposition to Canada’s oilsands when they found their Poster child to carry their placard into battle: Vivian Krause.
““The Open Society Foundations are not funding environmental groups in Canada to oppose the Northern Gateway pipeline,” said foundation spokesperson Amy Weil.
When the Vancouver Observer reached Open Society to ask about their involvement, Weil said the organization was unaware of Oliver’s recent claims. According to Weil, their closest link to the pipeline debate is their support for groups working to achieve financial transparency in the oil industry.
“We do support some non-profit organizations working in Canada including Publish What You Pay, a global civil society coalition that campaigns for transparency in the payment, receipt and management of revenues from the oil, gas and mining industries,” said Weil.
She said, however, that the organization’s goal is related to fiscal transparency in the extractive sector—not to environmental issues.”
“Vivian Krause, whose “research” is primarily cited in claims of “foreign funding,” hasn’t disclosed her own financing since 2011 (up until 2015, her Twitter account made critical references to Soros, but in recent years has tried to distinguish herself from such connections). Climate denying group “Friends of Science”—a frequent peddler of the “foreign funded” line—received a $175,000 donation from Talisman Energy in 2004 and listed in US coal company Peabody Energy’s 2016 bankruptcy documents as a creditor. Other astroturf groups like Oil Sands Action and Suits and Boots refuse to disclose sources of money.
The Dark Money Krause claims blockades AB oil is reversed: untraceable American dark money was almost $200 Million in favor of Keystone.
Krause also glosses over the fact that dark money flows into Canada in favor of pipelines. The toxic Koch brothers donate to the Fraser Institute & that’s proof that “foreign involvement in Canada’s environmental policy is a two-way street.”
Majority of Western Canada’s crude oil exports to US not exposed to record high discount between WCS and WTI
Krause also glosses over the fact the Majors in AB’s oilsands are mysteriously not blocked & get their product out of Alberta without problem. Majority of Western Canada’s crude oil exports to US not exposed to record high discount between WCS and WTI