|Cute little fellow isn't he?|
Now recently Senator Eaton has taken up another cause, one that I hope she is successful in and which has put her in my good books, although I still harbor a little resentment about her vicious attack on the beloved beaver. Why do I personally like the beaver? Simple, he is a hard working guy that contributes to the country, looks after his family, keeps his nose clean, and doesn't ask for a nickel of government money. In other worlds the ideal Canadian citizen! Sorry, I got a little off track there, so let's get back the the issue at hand, Senator Eaton's latest mission.
Eaton is now going toe to toe with what some would consider another Canadian icon. the David Suzuki Foundation. The foundation which enjoys the tax perks of having "charitable status" sure appears to spend a lot of time and financial resources (donations) on political environmental issues. So Eaton has started a debate in the Senate regarding foreign funding for environmental activists operating under the guise of charitable foundations and enjoying all the tax benefits that such status provides. Now if Nicole thought she had a fight on her hands trying to dethrone the beaver, little did she know the battle she would face by opening the charitable status "can of worms".
Environmental groups tend to be very secretive about their funding, and do not like to admit that it may be coming from special interest groups, foreign entities, or worse yet big business, the very guys they are generally painting to be evil and the destroyers of our planet. Here's a great example from a few years back of some artful dodging by the man himself, David Suziki. This is taken from an interview with John Oakley;
"I'm not getting any money from my foundation. I'm getting my money, the foundation gets its money, from ordinary people. We don't take government money, corporations have not been interested in funding us. We get it from ordinary Canadians across the country. 40,000 thousand of them and we get some foundations in both Canada and the United States. So that's my agenda. We speak on behalf of the people that fund us." David Suzuki
Sure sounds good , but does it hold up when the facts are checked?
First off, on the surface it is easy to believe that corporations in general would steer away from funding David and his foundation, after all based on current environmentalist rhetoric these corporations are the problem, not part of the solution. Right?
Wrong, apparently they are part of the solution, or at least according to the David Suzuki Foundation’s own annual report for 2005/2006 (around the same period as the interview) which lists at least 52 corporate donors including: Bell Canada, Toyota, IBM, Microsoft, Warner Brothers, RBC, Canon, and Bank of Montreal. Now it gets even more interesting when you continue thru the list of names
EnCana Corporation - A world leader in natural gas production and oil sands development. (Ouch, really David Oil sands money?)
ATCO Gas - Alberta’s principle distributor of natural gas. (hey David, don't these guys operate pipelines?)
OPG (Ontario Power Generation) Employees’ and Pensioners’ Charity Trust - OPG is one of the largest suppliers of electricity in the world operating 5 fossil fuel-burning generation plants and 3 nuclear plants. (Wow David, a double whammy on this one fossil fuels contributing CO2 and nuclear waste!)
Did I miss something? Are the last three not exactly the kind of corporations that Lord Suzuki and his environmental storm troopers hate so much? This is confusing to say the least.
Now just recently Vivian Krause, an independent researcher discovered more than $300-million of eco-laundering, which has been used to campaign directly against B.C. fish farming and undermine the Canadian forest industry. As well both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver accused foreign funding for choking up the regulatory process on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, the latest battle undertaken by environmental groups against the oil sands (yep, the same oil sands that provides En Cana with the revenue to make a donation to The David Suzuki Foundation....go figure)
So on this one I have to agree with our Senate (I will never live that comment down) , why not ask the question where the money comes from and does an organization like the David Suzuki Foundation truly qualify for "charitable status". Simple question and if they are truly playing by the rules, one that they should be open about answering. Right?
Wrong again. The Suzuki crowd went into immediate attack mode by creating a Robo-Mail campaign on its own website to bury the Senate under a sea of junk emails. Each email created is sent to the submitters own Member of Parliament (MP) and to Senator Eaton, as well it is copied to all other Canadian senators. The submission page features a running count of emails sent (currently at over 10,000) with the next "goal level" set out (currently at 15,000), obviously this is a numbers game. It also features pre-written body text, I suppose because the foundation is acutely aware that many of their followers probably can not compose a sentence much less an entire email. On reviewing the submission page what I found very interesting and telling was the request for the users postal code( used to determine their MP, from the looks of the form) and more importantly the button right beside it for submitters "Not in Canada"
Please can someone provide me with a reasonable explanation as to why Canadians would want individuals from across the planet contacting our Senate with instructions on how they should proceed with Canadian government policy regarding "tax-free" status for foundations within our own borders. Don't bother, I know why, its simple its adds to the number of junk emails. This campaign has nothing to do with content.and everything to do harassment. The environment groups are masters at guerrilla warfare. I imagine that at their own round table meetings they probably even toyed with the idea of Robo-calls to all of the offices of Senators and MP's, I suspect what probably scared them off was current fiasco involving these tactics in the last federal election.
So on this one Senator Eaton you have my full full support, you go girl!