Strathmere Group Part 4

Collaboration Amongst the US and Canadian Eco-Warrior Charities

The prior article (Part 3) provided details on the Canadian environmental “leaders” who travelled to Washington in 2009 to sign the “Declaration” with the 21 U.S. environmental “leaders”.

Reviewing the Canadian “leaders” (the 10 leaders exclusive of Marlo Raynolds and Gerry Butts) current reported positions via principally their “Linkedin” profiles revealed the disclosure contained below under Appendix A.  Some of the leaders who travelled to Washington in 2009 are still reigning supreme and several have moved to other charities and two of them, Stephen Hazell and Graham Saul are now both with Nature Canada who opted to pull out of the Strathmere Group before the Washington meeting.

The two earlier parts of this series provided considerable information on Marlo Raynolds, Chief of Staff for the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and his current role in pushing the envelope for “climate change” action but said little about Gerald Butts.

Since Gerald Butts departure as Chief of Staff to PM Justin Trudeau during the investigations into the SNC-Lavalin scandal he has kept a relatively low profile. He has however recently reappeared on a few occasions. A very recent appearance has him in a  short promotional video pushing what is referred to as the GZERO Media 2020 event which occurred yesterday September 16, 2020, in conjunction with the 2020, 75th UN General Assembly. The promo linked to in the prior sentence, as one would expect, starts with short scary films of extreme heats, droughts, wildfires in California and Australia before Butts jumps in with the following: “The weather we’re experiencing, the effects were feeling around the world aren’t an accident, they are the consequences of decisions that we have made as a species over the past 25, 30 years.”  In addition to Butts, one of the featured speakers is; none other than the Bank of Canada’s former Governor, Mark Carney, currently the UN’s Special Envoy on Climate Change!

Butts also surfaced earlier in the year as one of the 15 members of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery (TFRR).  Examining the various qualifications of the members it is impossible to find an “expert” among them if one perceives fighting “climate change” should be reported on by scientists. Included in the group is Bruce Lourie, someone I have followed for years and who holds a doctorate in philosophy from York U; a hotbed of environmentalists. As the President of the Ivey Foundation Bruce Lourie is busy handing out grants to members of the Strathmere Group and other climate change advocates.

TFRR released their final report September 16, 2020 titled “Bridge to the Future” recommending the government commit to spending $55.4 billion over the next 5 years on 5 Bold moves for a Resilient Recovery which are:

#1 Invest in climate resilient and energy efficient buildings                                                                               

 #2 Jumpstart Canada’s production and adoption of zero-emission vehicles                                                   

#4 Invest in the nature that protects and sustains us                                                                                           

#3 Go big on growing Canada’s clean energy sector                                                                                              

#5 Grow clean competitiveness and jobs across the Canadian economy

One should recognize most of the foregoing recommendations as very similar to those presented by George Smitherman when he held the Energy Ministry portfolio in 2009 in Ontario.  Most of Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers are very familiar with how that turned out and are convinced Butts was a key designer of the GEA. Electricity rates skyrocketed and businesses and jobs declined while the provincial debt went up.  Expect the same from the TFRR report and recommendations.

It is worth pointing out the TFFR report, co-incidentally, was released just prior to the upcoming Throne Speech so don’t be surprised to find buried within the speech, will be many of the recommendations and spending plans contained in the report. 

Returning to the past when Butts was the head honcho at the World Wildlife Fund it is interesting to point out its revenue generating capabilities as a charity from 2009 (when Butts went to Washington to join in the signing of the “Declaration) to 2019 was the best of the 10 charities generating over $230 million in the 10 years commencing in 2010. WWF employees received compensation of almost $96 million or 41.4% of gross revenue.  I personally find it shocking the regulations governing a charity in Canada don’t restrict the percentage of revenue paid out to staff for charitable activities or that what WWF actually does should be considered charitable!

Turning now to all members of the Strathmere Group the following summarizes some key financial information for their last 10 years of financial statements filed with the CRA.

Gross Revenue for the Strathmere Group

 Curiosity about the revenue generated by the 10 charities and the two not-for-profits led me to examine the former’s filings with the CRA but they only contain the 5 most recent year-end filings so I used Blumbergs charitydata site and found everything needed to determine gross revenue, tax receipted donations, etc., etc.  Gross revenue for the last 10 years of filings for the 10 charities was $797 million with tax receipted donations of $411 million or just over 51% of gross revenue.  If one includes the Greenpeace Canada revenue for the 8 years, they make available on their website, the gross revenue becomes $893 million and if one also includes the Climate Action Network revenue for the three years they post, it increases to $894 million.  The 10 charities received government grants of $90 million, donations from other charities of $98.5 million and offshore gifts of $68 million. Collectively the 10 charities spent just under $323 million on compensation or 40.5% of their gross revenue.  To put the latter in context the Red Cross charity spent 29% of gross revenue on compensation and the United Way Toronto spent just over 21% of gross revenue on compensation in their most recent filings. 

What the foregoing brief synopsis suggests is eco-warrior charities are a major business as the foregoing represents only 10 of them.  It would be truly enlightening if we looked at the hundreds or thousands of them that actually exist in Canada and ask ourselves is this is really “charitable activities”? 

The upcoming Part 5 in this series will present the details of the combined “Declaration of U.S. and Canadian Environmental and Conservation Leaders on U.S.-Canada Cooperation on Climate, Energy, and Natural Areas Conservation”.

Appendix A:

Canadian Environmental and Conservation Organization Leaders

Rick Bates, Executive Director, Canadian Wildlife Federation:  Bates is still the Executive Director

Bruce Cox, Executive Director, Greenpeace Canada: Cox is still the Executive Director

Stephen Hazell, Executive Director, Sierra Club Canada: Hazell is now with Nature Canada

Eric Hebert-Daly, National Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society: Herbert-Daly is now with United Church of Canada, Toronto Region

Bob Oliver, Executive Director, Pollution Probe: Oliver is now CEO of Tech-K.O. Inc.

Devon Page, Executive Director, Ecojustice: Page is still Executive Director

Sidney Ribaux, Executive Director, Equiterre: Ribaux is now Director, Office of Ecological Transition & Resilience, City of Montreal

Peter Robinson, President, David Suzuki Foundation: Robinson is now the co-owner or Hedgerow Farm, Mayne Island, BC and a member of the CRA’s Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector and Chair of the Independent Working Group on Ecological and Commentative Integrity at Parks Canada

Graham Saul, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada: Saul is now Executive Director at Nature Canada

Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence Canada: Smith is now Executive Director at the Broadbent Institute

Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

7 thoughts on “Strathmere Group Part 4”

  1. The provisions of the federal Income Tax Act that allow CRA to qualify radical environmental organizations deeply involved in political activities as “charities” badly needs to be amended. There is no chance of that happening under a Trudeau government, or perhaps under any Liberal or Liberal-NDP-Green Party alliance government. The result is that the revenues available to organizations that are committed to destroying Canada’s resource sectors as a first step in destroying much of the rest of the rest of the “emissions intensive” economy far exceeds to revenues of the organizations that oppose them. The unkindest cut of all is that most of the government revenues flowing to these groups comes from provincial taxpayers, including those in Ontario.

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  2. “Returning to the past when Butts was the head honcho at the World Wildlife Fund it is interesting to point out its revenue generating capabilities as a charity from 2009 (when Butts went to Washington to join in the signing of the “Declaration) to 2019 was the best of the 10 charities generating over $230 million in the 10 years commencing in 2010. WWF employees received compensation of almost $96 million or 41.4% of gross revenue. I personally find it shocking the regulations governing a charity in Canada don’t restrict the percentage of revenue paid out to staff for charitable activities or that what WWF actually does should be considered charitable!”

    Given the level of financial incentive to management and staff in the WWF, one would expect that the organization would be on the leading edge with updated factual information. Were they?

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