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Allan inquiry admits right-wing orgs receive millions in foreign funding
The inquiry into anti-Albertan activities attempted to redact the names of conservative groups who received nearly $27 million in foreign funds, but their names appear in a separate document
The results were a far cry from the shadowy cabal of foreign-funded interests aimed at singling out the tar sands — and only the tar sands — for opprobrium to the benefit of U.S. oil interests Premier Jason Kenney had insinuated.
The report found 37 organizations working on environmental issues in Alberta received $54 million from outside Canada over a period of 17 years — an average of $3.3 million per year, or 10% of the yearly budget for the province’s farcical energy war room.
By contrast , as PressProgress reports, a supplementary report prepared by accounting firm Deloitte admits in passing that five of the top 11 conservative, “market-oriented” organizations have received “significant foreign funding” to the tune of about $26.7 million to promote oil and gas interests in Alberta, while six have received $39.3 million in government largesse.
Although the names of these 11 right-wing groups were redacted in the supplementary report itself, they do appear in an appendix on the Alberta government’s website.
The Fraser Institute
The MacKenzie Institute
C.D. Howe Institute
Institute for Research on Public Policy
Canada West Foundation
Montreal Economic Institute
Centre for Civic Engagement
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute
The Manning Foundation
Due to the redactions, we don’t know specifically which five have received foreign funding, but one of them is almost certainly the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute says it promotes “liberty” and “markets.” It is partnered with the Atlas Network, a global network of right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups largely funded by conservative mega-donors, including billionaires Charles and David Koch.
We also know that the Fraser Institute received $4.3 million in foreign funding from 2000-2010, including $500,000 from the Koch brothers, according to reporting in the Vancouver Observer from 2012.
In the inquiry report, Allan says he redacted these names because he “determined the details of this funding are outside my terms of reference,” which were to determine “the role of foreign funding, if any, in anti-Alberta energy campaigns.”
This tells you what the inquiry’s true purpose was — to drag environmental NGOs through the mud, singling them out for opprobrium.
As I wrote in Passage when the draft inquiry report was leaked this summer:
The inquiry’s conclusions were never the point; casting a cloud of suspicion over those who are attempting to protect the planet was always its purpose. It was a drawn out “fear and smear” campaign, to use a favourite phrase of Kenney’s, sending a clear message to dissenters, on climate or any other policy, that if you step out of line, you will be personally vilified by the state.
Calgary city council voted 9-6 to prohibit scandal-plagued Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu from being formally appointed to any committees for the next year — although as a member of council, he will still be able to attend those meetings.
In response, Chu, who is accused of taking a 16-year-old girl home, pulling a gun on her and sexually assaulting her in 1997, said: “I believe that taking me out of any standing policy committee is improper; that basically, we are slapping the electors on the face in Ward 4.”
In addition to Chu, councillors Sonya Sharp, Terry Wong, Dan McLean, Peter Demong and Andre Chabot voted against formally removing him from committee assignments.
This falls well short of the 10% goal of the Alberta government and is a product of widespread rejection of the curriculum, which 56 of 61 school boards in the province have refused to pilot.
From the CBC: No francophone school board would agree to test the curriculum, which has been panned by education experts as developmentally inappropriate, Eurocentric, and unsupported by current research.
The education ministry won’t say which schools are piloting the curriculum, which subjects and grades are being reviewed, nor whether any public schools are participating.
Mental health advocates in the Wood Buffalo area, where the Athabasca tar sands are located, say they’ve been vindicated by a University of Alberta report that found commuter workers have worse mental health and experience more anxiety than the general population.
The survey, conducted prior to the COVID pandemic, included 72 participants who live across Alberta and Canada, who worked 10-to-12 hour shifts in rotations that lasted anywhere from six to 21 days.
“Mental health prevention needs to be built into safety culture. Everyone’s proud of the safety culture in the oilsands [sic] industry, but the industry has not done nearly enough around psychosocial safety,” says sociologist Sara Dorow.
Edited by Ximena González
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