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Canadians have no clue when the exhortations coming from Sierra Club, Greenpeace or the David Suzuki Foundation are financed by U.S. interests
We don’t allow foreigners to vote in our political campaigns for the obvious reason that our political leaders should court, and be accountable to, Canadians alone. We don’t allow foreigners to donate to political parties for a similar reason – we don’t want our politics to be unduly influenced by a foreign agenda. But we do allow foreigners to pursue their agenda in another way – by funding willing Canadian NGOs to make their case for them. Is this funding desirable in a free and democratic nation and if not, are there any remedies?
These questions have become acute due to the investigative work of Vivian Krause, an independent researcher whose articles on this page have in voluminous detail exposed the extent to which U.S. foundations fund activities in Canada, most notably to influence Canadians and Canadian policy over our tar sands, the chief target of global warming activists. Without some $100-million that U.S. foundations have spent swaying us to their point of view, tar sands development and the shipment of tar sands oil would be far less contentious a public issue.
Imagine Canada, a group that represents Canadian charities, argues that there’s nothing untoward about foreigners influencing our policies. “Issues such as energy, forest and ocean conservation, and climate change are global in nature and attract international philanthropy,” it states. “The support that flows into Canada is a testament to the perceived value and uniqueness of Canada’s ecosystems to the global community.” Moreover, Imagine Canada adds, allowing foreigners to donate to Canadian causes is a two-way street since “Canadians are allowed to donate to causes they support in other countries.”
Sweet words but they belie a sour asymmetry. For one thing, the U.S. foundations include multi-billion dollar activist organizations, built of fortunes from the Fords and Rockefellers, the Hewletts and Packards, that dwarf anything that exists in Canada. As if that didn’t provide them enough advantage, the U.S. foundations act in concert, deciding among themselves what the priorities for the nation and beyond should be, the better to concentrate pressure.
There is no two-way street – U.S. foundations can and do routinely influence Canadian policy; Canadian foundations can’t and don’t influence U.S. policy. The U.S. influence, moreover, is all the more powerful because most Canadians have no clue when the exhortations coming from Sierra Club, Greenpeace or the David Suzuki Foundation are financed by U.S. interests, to further a U.S. agenda.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/12/12/lawrence-solomon-environmentalists-for-a-foreign-agenda/