We are in the midst of an Eco-charities panic

It seems readily apparent the ENGO (environmental non-government organizations) are in a panic mode as the Covid-19 pandemic has swept the purported “climate emergency” from the front pages to the back pages of the MSM. Their concerns are no doubt focused on possible outcomes that will impact them significantly such as:

1.Their fans/donors may be distracted or become unemployed due to the pandemic!

2.Their fans may not have the available dollars to donate to the cause(s) they tout;  to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or 2050 (pick your target) and save the world from a 1.5 degree “average” temperature increase by the year 2100.

3.Those eco-charities who pushing  the “carbon tax” may find the Liberal government will have no money to hand out via grants to them as they did in the past!

A recent example of the panic was evident in a tweet by Tzeporah Berman who shouted out: “It’s now been two weeks since Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters that a Big Oil bailout was coming in “hours, possibly days” – and details still haven’t been announced. It’s clear that our pressure is working. You can chip in here to keep it growing:  xxxxx.  Thanks to the growing public outcry around a Big Oil bailout, we’re now hearing reports that the Liberal party is increasingly divided around what to do. This is encouraging, but the government still has the power to announce a massive handout to oil and gas companies at any time – and they haven’t ruled it out. It’s time to pull out all the stops. With our friends at Leadnow, we’ve come up with a plan to splash our message all over the CBC news website, at a time when millions of Canadians are consuming online news like never before. Just several months ago Ms. Berman was reputedly awarded a $2 million prize by The Climate Breakthrough Project so she personally could afford to pay up for the CBC ad to push her anti oil and gas agenda.

Recently Ms. Berman* wrote an article for the National Observer wherein she stated: “our government pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into fossil fuel subsidies years after commitments made at the G20 that those would be phased out.“  Apparently Tzeporah Berman and her loyal followers are completely unaware that none other than the Chair of the Ecofiscal Commission, Chris Ragan, interviewed by Steve Paikin on TVO’s “The Agenda” was asked the question: ”What about subsidizing fossil fuels, what we do to the tune of $1 billion per year?” Ragan’s response:  “We as a country do not have explicit fossil fuel subsidies.”  Ragan was recently appointed as a Director of the Canadian Institute of Climate Choices, funded with $20 million of our tax dollars.  The Ecofiscal Commission recommended the “carbon tax” in Canada should be $210/tonne to reduce emissions so we should expect the same to come from the CICC!

There are many others working to shut down the oil and gas sector. Several groups of ENGO have taken to writing letters to Prime Minister “sunny daze” himself, begging him to shut the sector down:

Green Budget Coalition 

The Green Budget Coalition is made up of 22 of the eco-charities pushing “environmental sustainability” and they penned a letter April 8, 2020 to the Prime Minister, the Deputy PM and the Finance Minister.  The letter suggests:  “Large-scale financial interventions designed with climate, ecosystem, social and economic resilience in mind will improve Canadians’ well-being in the wake of the pandemic, not only in economic terms, but also in terms of the health, social and environmental benefits of reduced GHG emissions, employment in a more equitable and sustainable economy, and flourishing biodiversity. “They also suggest we are in a “climate emergency” stating:  “consider the next steps in Canada’s response to COVID-19 in the context of the unrelenting concurrent crises that threaten our well-being in the long term: the climate emergency and the precipitous decline in biodiversity largely driven by habitat loss.”

Climate Action Network

The Climate Action Network has 105 members and they too have penned a letter to PM Trudeau and CC-ed it to “Federal Cabinet Ministers”!  Collectively they claim to have 1.3 million members; or about the same number as those who just became unemployed due to the pandemic. Their letter states: “The federal government has the opportunity with this stimulus package to immediately and directly support workers in Alberta and across the country while also investing in what is needed to grow and support a low carbon economy, and the kind of economy that can weather storms.”  The letter goes on to state: “Oil and gas companies are already heavily subsidized in Canada and the public cannot keep propping them up with tax breaks and direct support forever.”  It appears they too, do not believe one of their ilk, ie: Chris Ragan, (see above), who stated “We as a country do not have explicit fossil fuel subsidies.”

Clean Energy Canada

Clean Energy Canada describe themselves as “a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University” and sent off an “open letter” to Justin Trudeau.  The letter is signed by 11 groups beyond the SFU including CanWEA and CanSIA whose members enjoy the benefits of long-term contracts in Ontario paying above market prices to generate electricity leading to a doubling of electricity rates under the Ontario Liberals. One unfamiliar signatory was the “Canada Cleantech Alliance” which doesn’t appear to have a website and seem to be an offshoot of a US based association located in Seattle.  Why they signed the letter is unknown! The letter pushes the same agenda:  “twin objectives of moving quickly and strategically to get Canada and Canadians working again in the near-term, while enhancing our national commitment to creating a diversified, low-carbon economy, we make three overarching recommendations for ensuring a resilient recovery.“

Recommendations include: “any relief for the fossil fuel sector and/or fossil-fuel reliant platforms which are facing long-term structural challenges, must have stringent conditions to focus on workers, decarbonization and diversification, and not impede the transition to a clean energy economy.

And

these unprecedented investments pave the way to a more sustainable, net-zero emission economy and avoid measures that lock us into a high-carbon future or risk stranded assets. Periods of high unemployment and low interest rates are precisely the right time to focus on new low-carbon investments and infrastructure, including those required to support and accelerate the transition to clean energy.“

And

“We can use them to scale up investment in energy retrofits, renewable power production, storage and transmission, clean fuel production, electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment and measures to further green government.

The associations and the “clean energy program” within SFU signing this letter depend on tax dollars and favourable contracts from federal, provincial and municipal governments and seem to believe the private sector are bottomless pits of tax dollars that will fund their recommendations.

It appears from this vantage point, the numerous eco-charities trying to further influence the Liberal government are worried!  The flow of grants from the Federal ministries and donations from the “foundations” supporting them may slow or dry up. They will then be forced to find a real job in competition with those they denigrate in the oil and gas sector and its supply chain.

Their claimed “charitable” work is a misnomer serving only to harm this once thriving part of the Canadian economy contributing so much to Canada’s employment and tax base.

The time has come to change the definition of a “charity” to eliminate those bloodsuckers!

*Berman’s husband Chris Hatch, is a “reporter” for the National Observer and it receives funds from several of the charities who want to shut down Alberta’s oil and gas sector.

 

Have the Tides Finally Turned?

As we descend deeper into the pandemic caused by Covid-19 one wonders how it’s affecting those eco-charities pushing the “climate emergency and the reputed damage caused by fossil fuels. They claim; we must eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 or the world will face a disaster.

The coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world at present has meant the “climate emergency” eco-charities have been screaming about for the past several decades, has been relegated to the back pages of both the MSM and the virtual internet community.  It is now a “back of mind” issue for almost all Canadians today, as the impact of a real emergency has taken hold.

One wonders if the decades, of this reputed emergency have passed and signifies we have wizened up to what many perceive as an unprecedented “Ponzi scheme?”  Only time will tell!

Tides Canada, a charity with US links

One of the larger and more aggressive charities to have pushed the “climate emergency” agenda in Canada is Tides Canada, an outgrowth of a US charity founded in 1976.  The US charity in 2018 had revenue of $548 million and handed out (granted) 54% or only $296 million of it.  The Canadian arm of Tides is two charities; Tides Canada Foundation and Tides Canada Initiatives Foundation. Tides Canada was founded in the year 2000 according to their website.

A review of their latest CRA filings for the two charities show collective revenues of $35.884 million versus collective revenues of $7.416 million in the prior year.  So, revenues were up by $28.468 million however, $7 million of that was simply a donation from Tides Canada Foundation to Tides Canada Initiatives Foundation. The actual increase in revenue was therefore up $21.458 million or 289.3%.  From examination of the $7 million transferred it appears a lot of it was destined for First Nations grants which raises the question; were those grants connected with the rail blockades aimed at stopping the Coastal Gaslink pipeline?

If one discounts the inter-foundation transfer and looks at where the $28.468 million actually came from you discover, $5.431 million or 18.8% came from Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments,  $7.404 million (25,6%) came from outside Canada, 25.3% or $7.298 million came from other charities and only $3.445 million or 11.9% were actual donations from parties who received charitable receipts.

Reviewing Tide’s donations, the two foundations paid out $12.7 million in grants including those paid to First Nations. The usual cabal of eco-charities (focused on the elimination of the Canadian oil and gas sector) received grants from Tides and included; Environmental Defence, the Sierra Club, the David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, etc. etc. Total grant payouts represented 43.9% of the $28.868 million of adjusted gross revenues. To this writer, that suggests an inefficient charity with well paid staff.  Along those lines an examination of the CRA compensation report for the top 10 employed by the foundations suggests an average salary of about $118K each.

Eco-warrior concerns

The pandemic seems to be causing angst elsewhere amongst the proponents of the “climate emergency” with one article suggesting that “EU carbon market prices are plummeting as a result of the economic shutdown.” The article noted as of March 25th the price had dropped by 40% and a Polish representative called for scrapping it altogether even though it generated €2.2 billion in auctioning revenues last year for Poland.  If there are low levels of emissions, which is the current situation with business shut down, companies who normally emit them don’t have to buy carbon credits.  A recent article in January 2020 stated “The European carbon market – the world’s largest by volume and value – rose in worth by 30% to €169 billion.”  Many of those European country’s governments will suffer severe revenue shortages as those invisible emissions decline.  As a result, it may cause them to either increase other forms of taxation or reduce spending. As an aside, the emissions reductions may also negatively affect agricultural production and drive food costs higher due to reduced crop yields.

In the US an emerging concern has been amplified by AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) with them saying on March 19ththe global pandemic is putting $43 billion of wind industry investments and payments at risk.”  As explained in the Power Magazine article the biggest concern is not about the people affected by Covid-19 it’s about the delays that will occur in erecting industrial wind turbines.  The delay will result in “expiring tax credits” so AWEA have appealed to Congress.

AWEA in its appeal to Congress said that developers of wind energy projects have been moving forward “based on what appeared the safe assumption that their projects would qualify for the federal production or investment tax credits”.  With those tax credits expiring, delays in completing those projects could push them past deadlines to qualify for the credits.”

Not surprisingly AWEA have got the Democrats on side as the article goes on to state: “Leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition on Thursday said they will push for tax credits for renewable energy in any stimulus legislation. Democratic Reps. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, Doris Matsui of California, and Paul Tonko of New York, co-chairs of the committee, in a statement said, “Our members pushed for these credits in the end-of-year funding package and will continue to fight for them in this round of economic stimulus.”

It is discerning to realize; the eco-warriors, the carbon market traders, the wind and solar renewable energy companies and left leaning politicians continue to gang up on hard working taxpayers and now as the world faces a true emergency they have the gall to ignore the pandemic and instead continue to push their agenda at the expense of the citizens of the free world.

It’s time for the cabal to take off their blinkers and to understand, “the tides have turned”!

This Ponzi scheme must come to an end!

During the pandemic Federal and Provincial Governments should save real “charitable” jobs not those related to “climate change”

One of the fallouts resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic as recently reported was: “Canada’s charities say they have begun laying off staff and shutting down their services, which are usually in high demand during economic downturns, as the sector feels the financial sting from COVID-19.”

What is a “charity?

As most of us know the institutions referred to in Canada as charities, has changed, as much wider regulations were brought in by Prime Minister Trudeau’s government. The change now allows charities to “carry out unlimited “public policy dialogue and development activities”.  This means they are free to spend money on partisan issues favouring political parties. The charities of the “climate change” religion love the change and many of them have expanded those partisan activities.  Many of us however don’t think charities of their ilk are what we feel are real charities!

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines the word “charity” as, 1. benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity and 2. generosity and helpfulness esp. toward the needy or suffering.

These aren’t charities!

Back in 2014 the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) was investigating seven* (7) environmental charities however as soon as the Liberal Party was swept into power the investigation was cancelled.  Reviewing the most recent CRA filings and a news report (Pembina) for those seven charities one discovers in the latest year they received $7,449,747 in grants or contracts ($183,000) from the government.  If the foregoing isn’t disturbing enough, their latest CRA filings indicate they collectively received $22,107,186 in donations from other charities.  It is difficult to understand exactly how that almost $30 million is somehow remotely associated with the Merriam Webster definition of what constitutes a “charity”!

The other galling piece of information about the almost $30 million of charitable donations that “group of seven” received is; some of it came from charities owned by the Province such as the Trillium Foundation and the Greenbelt Foundation which are both dependent on funding from Ontario taxpayers.  Gross revenue for the seven was just under $39 million.  Six of the seven charities (Pembina attributed no salary costs to their charity in CRA flings) reported salaries for their top 10 employees in a range from $40K to $350K and the average salary of each of the 54 of them, would appear to be just shy of $100K per annum.  Those salaries are not what one would expect from those who are benevolent and want to help the needy,

It should also be noted those seven “environmental” charities are just a few of the thousands of environmental groups active in Canada and registered with the CRA as charities.  Many of them can be found on “RECEN” (The Canadian Environmental Network) and many others can be found listed on the Canadian Directory for Environmental Groups. Additionally a number of major corporations such as TD Bank and Suncor have established charities that hand out money to many environmental charities such as the Clean Economy Fund (a Bruce Lourie creation) who in turn hand it out to other environmental charities.  Another example is “Evergreen” a Pan-Canadian Expert collaborator who received  $375K from the Suncor Foundation and additional funds from MaRS Discovery District. The latter (a provincially owned charity) also received funds from Suncor.  It’s become a game of “follow the money” for a lot of us taxpayers.

How Dare They!

The Federal and Provincial governments in Canada need to take some time and speak with those who are engaged in real philanthropy and stop calling climate change activates, charitable institutions.

Save the jobs of real charitable workers and let the eco-warriors figure out how to keep their lights on!

*The David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, The Pembina Foundation, Environmental      Defence, Equiterre and the Ecology Action Centre

MaRS Discovery District, Greenbelt Foundation and Ontario Trillium Foundation redefine the word “charity”

With all that is going on in Ontario and the rest of the world associated with the pandemic perhaps it is time for some of our politicians to look inward and try to determine if their past creations make sense and if those creations should be tossed aside.  The result might be to save some hard-earned tax dollars that could be re-deployed to cope with some of today’s Covid-19 fallout.  This looks at just three of those creations.

All three of the captioned companies were creations of the Ontario provincial government and annually receive tens of millions of taxpayer funds which they then reputedly hand out in a “charitable” way.

Their annual reports filed for just the year ended March 31, 2019 indicates they collectively received almost $155 million from the province and $3.7 million from the Federal government. Those funds in turn supposedly resulted in $153 million expended on “charitable activities”.

It’s unclear how many employees the three charities have in total but a review of the recently released Ontario “Sunshine List” indicates 78 employees made the list and received just over $12.7 million in compensation indicating, the “average” salary received was just shy of $163,000 each.*

While the Ontario Trillium Foundation appears incorporated as a “not-for-profit” both MaRS and the Greenbelt are registered charities and their files can be found on the CRA Charities list under the names of “Greenbelt Foundation” and “MaRS Discovery District”.  Let’s examine the three!

Greenbelt Foundation:

In Greenbelt’s filings with the CRA for the March 31, 2019 year-end they provide a list of other “charities” whom they granted funds to and on that list are several towns, municipalities and even Ryerson University.  Also, on that list can be found donations made to the David Suzuki Foundation (revenue of $12.7 million in the most recent year-end), Environmental Defence (annual revenue $3.7 million) and the World Wildlife Fund (annual revenue of almost $25 million).  The other amusing (not for taxpayers) thing about Greenbelt is they spent $564,854 on advertising and promotion and received a miserly $2,929 in actual charitable donations for which they issued tax receipts. What the foregoing infers is our tax dollars are being wasted and also handed out to help charities (we may not willingly support) and municipalities but we taxpayers have no say in the matter.

MaRS Discovery District:

In the case of MaRS we should recall that it was $50.5 million of Ontario taxpayer dollars that first funded them when Dalton McGuinty was the Premier as noted in a 2005 Press Release.  Another $20 million came from the Federal Government.  Since then the province has annually provided them with $20/30 million and the Federal Government with a few million more.  Additionally most will recall the taxpayers back in 2014 bailed them out of their “Phase 2” $344 million expansion.  In their latest CRA filing they record spending $653 thousand on advertising and promotion and raised $528 thousand for which they issued charitable receipts.  Better than Greenbelt but, they still didn’t cover their “A and D spending”!  Major expenditures included $7.5 million on office supplies, $4.4 million on consulting and professional fees, $23.1 million on compensation, $12,3 million on management and administration and $14.4 million on “other expenditures”!  They then have the audacity to suggest and report $40.6 was spent on “charitable activities” but for some unknown reason are not required to report who the beneficiaries were of their largess with our tax dollars.  Needless to say, they lost $3.4 million yet they have 62 people on the recent Sunshine list! Many of those** they funded or provided with their “expert” advice and our tax dollars are reputedly connected to the MaRS “cleantech” sector.

Ontario Trillium Foundation:

As noted above the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is not registered as a charity however, in their most recent year-end financial statement they record having pledged $108,148,100 in grants to numerous parties.  Their year-end, March 31, 2019, discloses over 410 grants averaging approximately $263,000 with several spread over 2 or 3 years and many of them are true “charities”.  Never-the-less sprinkled among them are grants to the likes of Tides Canada (annual revenue of $35.9 million) and the IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) with annual revenue of $29.8 million and a few smaller ones. Donations to other “climate change” charities in the past were much higher and went to: David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina, WWF, Environmental Defence, Sierra Club, etc. etc. Perhaps those now responsible for handing out our hard-earned tax dollars at OTF realized the meaning of what a “charitable institution” really is? Despite the foregoing it should be up to us taxpayers to pick the charity we would support which would eliminate the approximately $30 million of expenses they incur for administration, compensation, etc. Let us decide where some of our taxes should go!

At the present time the three “charities”, briefly reviewed, are providing no meaningful contribution to the pandemic and instead are consuming tax dollars that may be better applied to keep the province from collapsing in an economic heap.  Those 78 employees on the “Sunshine” list could be redeployed to actually contribute to the real charitable activities currently needed.

Our governments must make decisions now to consider our economic future and not penalize our younger generation by creating insurmountable debt.

*Full disclosure.  The writer is a member of a small charitable organization (40 members) and each and every member is paid absolutely NOTHING.

**Represented by 56 “startups” whom MaRS reputedly helped to reach that stage.

Canadian Institute for Clean Growth and Climate Change got a name change

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) is the outgrowth of a $20 million dollar handout by the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change going back to when the Minister was Catherine McKenna, aka; she who said: “if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it,”.

The CICC sprung from a contract awarded to the “Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration” a group of “carbon-tax” advocates determined to save the world from the “climate emergency” Minister McKenna declared via a motion in the House of Commons.

The original name signaled the outcome!

When conducting a search for the CICC under its original name, ie: the Canadian Institute for Clean Growth and Climate Change one discovers, even though the name was originally registered as such on July 15, 2019, it had changed to become “The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices”.

Presumably the registered name was viewed as the answer the Minister had decreed; signaling its intent before it had performed any research so, they changed it!

The number of CICC “experts” charged with the task of recommending actions to the Ministry is significant and include; 11 on the “Board of Directors”, 17 “Staff”, 37 on the “Expert Panels” and another 14 on the “Advisory Council”.  It is an expansion of the “Ecofiscal Commission” which numbered a mere 33 individuals with varying skills where funding came from a few charitable foundations. The Ecofiscal Commission finished up and recommended the “carbon tax” needed, to reduce Canada’s emissions, was $210/tonne.

Reviewing the 79 individuals involved with the CICC leads to discovering 13 of the 33 people involved with the Ecofiscal Commission are now a major part of the CICC and include notables such as Bruce Lourie, Stewart Elgie and Chris Ragan.  Our tax dollars will clearly be used to generate recommendations to increase the “carbon tax” well beyond the legislated $50/tonne.

The CICC website names the twenty-three organizations under the Environment and Climate Change Canada logo who “contributed to the development of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices”. Needless to say, the referenced “organizations” don’t include any with a dissenting view!

Their 80 page “Charting our Course” report states: “The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices is an unparalleled collaboration of experts at the top of their fields, from regions and communities across the country.”  They have obviously gathered all of Canada’s “Einstein’s” together (sarcasm intended) to produce a report that is a foregone conclusion.  Among those “experts” with doctorates are 15 economists, 7 philosophers, 2 political science grads and 1 climatologist. They have sprinkled the one (1) climatologist amongst the other experts but chose one who believesextreme weather events are intensifying and becoming more frequent because of climate change.”

The report suggests all of the “experts” will be; “Bringing clarity to Canada’s climate policy choices on the journey to 2050”.

In the minds of the “experts”, it is obvious their sense of “clarity” will be to recommend a much higher “carbon tax” so, one wonders, why are we wasting another $20 million of our tax dollars?

NB:  More to come about the “Charting our Course” report.

Knighthood within the Eco-royalty

The latest issue of the magazine, Corporate Knights is, as always, about clean capitalism and the latest issue does not deviate from that theme.  No matter which article you read it’s all about “climate change” and reducing emissions.  The magazine is published quarterly and distributed by the Globe and Mail and Washington Post.  Advertising dollars seem to come from those companies endorsed via their “rankings”. This issue contains a “Global 100 Progress Report” and many on that list have placed ads.

An article in this issue was written by Gideon Forman an analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation. For over 11 years Forman was Executive Director of CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment).  CAPE was and still is a relatively small charity with annual revenue of $386K (June 30, 2019 CRA filing) and received $107K of that from the Federal government. Nevertheless they claim many victories including phasing out coal plants, cosmetics pesticides, etc., etc. The David Suzuki Foundation on the other hand in their CRA filing for 2018 show revenue of $11.7 million and spent $1.8 million of those revenues on fundraising activities.

Forman’s article in Corporate Knights is titled “The man of wind, water and sun” and is a fawning article about Brian Iler, a lawyer who appears to reside on the Toronto Islands. Iler is an environmentalist and the article notes he “has been the creative legal mind behind a host of cutting-edge renewable energy projects, social ventures and co-ops that have challenged received wisdom.” The article goes on to note Iler was “the go-to counsel for Ontario’s cooperative sector,” and he “received a call from an engineer who wanted to erect wind turbines in Toronto. That was the start of the development of the iconic TREC wind turbine* at Exhibition Place now owned by Toronto Hydro. Finding a location for the wind turbine was difficult “until a naturalists’ group proposed Exhibition Place, but the zoning didn’t work.” A city official suggested; “Call it an amusement device” and “That’s what appeared on the building permit.”

Iler in April 2013 wrote an article about industrial wind turbines and in it he claimed “Scientists agree that the noise emitted by wind turbines ‑- the chief source of alleged health effects -‑ is basically indistinguishable from normal background sounds we experience in everyday life, whether we live in an urban or rural area.”

While Iler made the foregoing claim about wind turbines he was very upset about other noises and for several years fought against the Island Airport due to the “intolerable” noise.   An article in The Bulletin Iler penned June 6, 2018 stated: “That airport is a legacy heavy industrial use, completely out of step with the dominant recreational and residential character of our waterfront today.”  Iler was castigated in a letter from the CEO of Ports Toronto who, in his letter to Mr. Iler stated: “You are in fact the founding Chair of an organization dedicated to the airport’s closure, a position I might note that is clearly out of step with the sentiment of the vast majority of Toronto residents.”

The airport closes at 11 PM so one assumes the noise ceases at that time. Perhaps if Mr. Iler spent a few windy nights 500 metres from a 500 foot high wind turbine, he might not think of them as “an amusement device”!

Another part of the article commends Iler stating; “Iler is an expert on innovative funding models. Thanks in part to his efforts, Ontario has become a hotspot for renewable-energy-based community bonds, including SolarShare (a co-op that floats bonds to finance sun-powered arrays throughout Ontario) and ZooShare (a biogas co-operative).  Both of the foregoing have negatively impacted ratepayers and taxpayers in Ontario.

Ilier himself claims he played a major role in convincing the McGuinty led Ontario Liberal government to enact the GEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) in his biography (posted on his firms website).  He and other self-appointed luminaries such as Bruce Lourie, Marion Fraser, etc. were members of both OSEA and/or the GEAA (Green Energy Act Alliance) who convinced former Energy Minister and Deputy Premier, George Smitherman, to push the GEA through the provincial legislature.  Ratepayers of the Province have been paying the price of that “Act” since its enactment!

While Corporate Knights and environmentalists of the Gideon Forman ilk want to crown themselves and others such as Brian Iler; it is the ratepayers/taxpayers of Ontario who continue to suffer the consequences!

Perhaps it’s time for those who self-label themselves as knights to recognize they are charlatans.

NB: A contact of the writer disclosed the following suggesting another fact was untrue!

“The OPA called out Exhibition Place for claiming the wind turbine was the source of energy for charging their electric golf cart type vehicles. In fact, both turbine and charging stations were connected to the grid with separate accounts. As I recall, this was likely because the kWh payment for power delivered to the grid was higher than their kWh cost for the charging. Our point was that their claim about the wind turbine charging the golf carts was misleading to the public who might consider something similar.”

NBB: The Exhibition Place turbine was also created for the purpose on indoctrinating our children as this excerpt from a  August 28, 2012 indicates: “The Exhibition Place wind turbine doubles as the linchpin of a large-scale education program. In the 2008/2009 school year TREC reached more than 4,000 grade 5, 7 and 9 students.”

*The Trec Co-op Exhibition Place wind turbine is an abysmal economic failure as noted in an article penned in July 2014.

Ecojustic, the ironic charity

The charity, Ecojustice Canada Society, claims, “everything starts with the law” but, certain events related to their involvement in recent court actions suggest what should be added to their statement is; “as long as it suits our views”!

Ecojustice recently noted on their website; “In about 48 hours, my colleague Harry Wruck and I will appear in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). We’re arguing that British Columbia has a right—and a constitutional duty—to protect communities and the environment from toxic diluted bitumen spills.”

So, in the above case they were arguing provincial jurisdiction should take precedent over Federal jurisdiction but only one month earlier their website had the following statement; “That’s why for the last year, we’ve helped the David Suzuki Foundation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation participate as interveners in Ontario, Saskatchewan and now Alberta’s attempts to derail national-coordinated efforts to take action on climate change, including putting a price on carbon pollution.”

The argument they plan to make in the upcoming SCC cases, by supporting the Federal jurisdiction against the provinces, is of course related to the “carbon tax” implemented by the Federal government under the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act”.

In the latter case, perhaps, because they received “charitable” status, their aim is to protect that status by having others pay tax so they can remain tax-free.  Others of their ilk will be pleased to support them due to their ability to receive a tax receipt!

Those oxymoronic views entice you to examine Ecojustice’s CRA filings where one notes they (over the five years of financial reports) spent $3.658 million on fundraising activities and raised $1.806 million as a result.  Logic suggests by not spending money on fundraising activities they could have saved $1.852 million of tax-free funds which may have been useful for other court actions.

Also, over those five years, Ecojustice received almost $5.4 million in donations from other CRA registered charities including; the University of Ottawa, two Tides registered charities, the McConnell Foundation, Ivey Foundation, etc. and several were (surely a coincidence) also funders of the Ecofiscal Commission and the Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration.  Of the total revenue ($30.895 million) reportedly received by Ecojustice over five years, 58% ($17.932 million) was expensed for compensation and 52.7% ($16.278 million) was reputedly allocated for “charitable activities”-like fighting for a carbon tax!

It is also noteworthy, despite Ecojustice’s many claims, they also fight on behalf of “species at risk” yet they’ve never intervened in any actions in Ontario in support of groups fighting the intrusion of industrial wind turbines (IWT) and the harm they cause to “species at risk” (birds, bats, turtles, etc).  Various nature groups in Ontario have fought IWT intrusion in front of ERTs (environmental review tribunals) and Ontario courts and not once has Ecojustice joined them.  One should wonder why?

Ecojustice supports continued implementation of a carbon tax in support of the Liberal, Federally imposed tax by working against the province’s elected governments.  The carbon tax will have no effect on the planet’s climate!  On the other hand, Ecojustice claim they fight on behalf of species at risk, but don’t defend those “species at risk” when  harmed by industrial wind turbines.

Truly ironic!

Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase Five

There has been a discernible decline in interest to the posts related to the P-CEC, however, as the expression goes, “there are still more tales to tell”.  This Phase will look at two more of those on the list of “collaborators” connected to Bruce Lourie and the Ivey Foundation.

It is important to understand one of the most influential “collaborators” in the P-CEC, is the self-proclaimed, “Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission,” and they have recently called for the “carbon tax” to be increased to $210 a tonne!  As this article is being written our new Environment and Climate Change Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson is in Madrid, Spain, attending the UN’s COP25 conference and it’s an unknown as to what he will promise on Canada’s behalf but be prepared for further hits to your pocketbook.

Up to this point we have connected Bruce Lourie to seven (7) collaborators, including the Ivey Foundation where he is the existing President. This will suggest there are at least two more they are connected with on the P-CEC list.  They are:

Trottier Family Foundation—a P-CEC “collaborator”                                                                                  Visiting the Trottier website one is struck by their vision to make a meaningful and positive impact on the world”. The co-founder of the Foundation is Lorne Trottier who along with Bruce Lourie sits as an “advisor” to the Ecofiscal Commission.   The Trottier Foundation is a member of the Lourie founded CEGN (relabeled as Environment Funders Canada) and provided $80K in grants from 2016-2018. They also donated to the Clean Economy Fund and as previously called; Summerhill Foundation (a Lourie creation) and granted them $225K from 2016-2018.  In 2016 The Trottier Foundation reputedly donated $315.5K to the Ivey Foundation but Ivey Foundation’s filing with the CRA and their 2016 annual report both fail to indicate they received that donation.  It appears the CRA failed to note this discrepancy!

The Trottier Foundation in their 2018 CRA filing had total revenue of just over $13 million and $7.7 million of that came from charitable donations they received and issued tax receipts for. The “Foundation” then reputedly handed out $9.7 million to “qualified donees” with one of the larger ones ($650K) made to The David Suzuki Foundation and one for $660K was handed out to McGill University, presumably to support the Ecofiscal Commission.  In 2017 the Foundation’s gross revenue was just over $90 million of which $81,5 million was donations where they issued tax receipts. It seems truly odd that a charitable foundation such at this would seek charitable donations to the extent of the two years reviewed unless there were perhaps, favourable tax benefits for the donators? Unfortunately, the CRA doesn’t seem to require any declarations on who donates to these “charitable foundations” or one might be able to reach a conclusion as to why that happened.  The Trottier Foundation has one (1) permanent staff member so it’s unclear how they will add a lot of “expert” input to whatever it is the   P-CEC researches and recommends to the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR), University of Calgary—a P-CEC “collaborator  CESAR’s report is a collaborative effort with the Institut de l’energie Trottier, Polytechnique Montreal as noted in their opening preamble:  “This report was initiated by the Ivey Foundation in December 2017 as a way to integrate the work of the authors with the discussions that occurred in a number of workshops over the past two years (see Appendix 1). The purpose of this report is to make recommendations on how to achieve the objectives laid out by Canada and the provinces in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change [4]. The authors thank the Ivey Foundation for their support of, and assistance with, this work.  We also appreciate the critical input and advice from the following reviewers: Ralph Torrie, Robert Hoffman, Lorne Johnson, Bruce Lourie, Katherine Wynne-Edwards and the staff at CESAR.  DBL is grateful to the Edmonton Community Foundation, without whose support many of the ideas presented here would not have been developed. LB thanks the Trottier Family Foundation for supporting energy and climate change related initiatives that helped in the production of this report. While the two authors of the report David B. Layzell, PhD, FRSC of the University of Calgary and Louis Beaumier, MASc, Executive Director,  Institut de l’énergie Trottier (IET), Polytechnique Montréal thanked the Ivey Foundation, the Trottier Family Foundation and the Edmonton Community Foundation it was impossible to locate information as to the actual funds supplied by the three foundations for this summary report other than a $20K donation by the Ivey Foundation.

The odd thing about the latter’s donation is another donation Ivey Foundation reported on their website for 2017 for $100K sounded exactly what they wanted to obtain from CESAR as it said the following:

 “Engaging and Supporting the federal government’s implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to ensure meaningful actions on both carbon pricing and complementary policies.” 

The donation was for another Lourie connection where he was Chair of the Board ie:  Environmental Defence!  A search of the Ivey Foundation’s filings with the CRA for the 2017 year failed to locate that donation so one must assume either the Ivey Foundation was wrong in making the statement or they didn’t report it to the CRA!  

It should be noted the Institut de l’énergie Trottier (IET), Polytechnique Montréal is another of the P-CEC chosen “collaborators” as are the Ivey and Trottier Foundations.

The review prepared by the two “experts” pulled together various recommendations developed at several other events* focused on climate change and recommended; “the establishment of an Institute [Working title: Canadian Climate Change and Clean Growth Institute (C4G Institute)] with a mandate to build capacity across Canada for systems change modelling and analysis. It would provide governments (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) with independent science- and evidence-based analysis, policy options and advice regarding how they could meet their Framework commitments related to climate change and clean growth.” It is obvious the P-CEC announced on April 9 2019 was predestined to happen however the title suggested by Messrs. Layzell and Beaumier wasn’t chosen!

The above brings the Ivey/Lourie related connections to nine of the chosen members of the P-CEC  including the Institut de l’énergie Trottier (IET). It highlights his impressive ability to bring together so many climate change advocates located across the country and augment that with donated funds for the research to the current government they seek to convince us of the actions they plan.

Surely the results will culminate in a higher carbon tax and other pressures resulting in the citizens of Canada suffering from a reduced standard of living but will fail to reduce global emissions.

NB: The next one in the series will be the final one!

*Many of the events were initiated and/or sponsored by the Ivey Foundation or the Trottier Family Foundation and Natural Resources Canada were a participant in a few of them.

Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase Four

As Yogi Berra once said, “it’s déjà vu all over again”!

My somewhat relentless review of the electricity sector started about 10 years ago as Ontario embarked on the unmitigated disaster that was the Green Energy Act and its focus on acquiring unreliable wind and solar generation. I was recently reminded; many of the ENGO names and individuals associated with my research back then are still around and have become more verbose. They are imbibing in more of the panic exercised years ago and using more tax dollars in the process. That conclusion was reached by researching the “collaborators” participating in the captioned, connecting names, reviewing websites and CRA’s Charities files to see where the money comes from and where it goes.  Those ENGO and individuals have moved on from renewable energy worship to “carbon tax” endorsement!

One example was one of those chosen as an expert collaborator highlighted in Phase Three.  MaRS Discovery District, a creation of the McGuinty led, Ontario Liberal ruling party. In 2014, MaRS received $26.7 million from the province and zero from the Feds. In 2018 the province gave them $31.7 and the Feds coughed up $2.9 million.  In other words, our tax dollars to them increased $7.8 million (29.2%) in four years.  Most readers will recall Ontario’s taxpayers bailed out MaRS failed real estate deal to the tune of $308 million. MaRS also receives revenue from other charities ($2.8 million in 2018) and hands out money to other charities such as Evergreen, (somewhere between $100/$500 thousand) one of the other “collaborators” in the P-CEC group.  MaRS also handed out grants to CEGN (Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network), a Bruce Lourie creation renamed Environment Funders Canada. Lourie is President of the Ivey Foundation another “collaborator” in the P-CEC group.

From outward appearances the chosen ones are destined to tell PM Trudeau’s government and his new “Environment Minister”, Jonathan Wilkinson, how much to UP the “carbon tax”!  MaRS, as noted in Phase Three, also received grants from the Trillium Foundation (provincially owned) and were granted money from another McGuinty creation; Friends of the Greenbelt (FOTG)–funded by taxpayers and another member of Environment Funders Canada. FOTG hand out grants to ENGO’s such as Environmental Defence where Lourie once held a vaunted position. As an aside the CEO of MaRS earns a salary north of $350,000 annually-not too shabby for a registered charity!

Now let’s look at two more of the “collaborators” connected with the Ivey Foundation:

Evergreen and Future Cities Canada—a P-CEC “collaborator”

It’s unclear what Evergreen brings to the table as a collaborator as their focus for almost 20 years has been to convert an old brickworks plant into what is an urban farmer’s and garden market.  Their CEO doesn’t appear to have a degree related to “climate” issues but according to their filing with the CRA it appears he may be paid in excess of $250K per year. Evergreen have done a remarkable job at raising charitable funds over the years, so, maybe that is the key to being chosen.  Revenue in 2008 was $5.758 million and in 2018 was $21.762 million, an increase of 277% in only 10 years.  Their 2018 annual report shows they received over $1 million from both the Provincial and Federal governments and over $500K from the Trillium Foundation (Lourie was a former Director and Trillium are members of Environment Funders Canada). The J. W. McConnell Foundation is also included in the same contributing group as Trillium and also have been a major grantor to one of the Lourie creations (more on that one in the future) and are also members of Environment Funders Canada. They donated $1.1 million in 2017 and $775 thousand in 2018 to Evergreen. In reviewing the Trillium grants listing, it shows they have granted over $1.8 million over the past few years to Evergreen.  MaRS (another collaborator) is credited with donating somewhere between $50K to $100K in 2018 and the same in earlier years. The Ivey Foundation has granted them at least $60K in the past few years.

Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), Simon Fraser University—a P-CEC “collaborator”

Often when researching individuals involved in predicting the end of the world due to “climate change” one finds the parties leading the predictions have little or no affiliation with the sciences needed to logically develop that line of thought.  In the case of ACT, it is led by Deborah Harford.  Ms. Harford is the Executive Director of ACT and her formal training indicates she holds an SFU “Bachelor of Communications and English, Communication and Media Studies”.  Ms. Harford is active in posting any articles favouring the concept of “climate change” as one would expect from her degree, but she posts none on the ACT website with a differing view. SFU prides itself on its affiliation with similar institutions including Clean Energy Canada (launched by Tides Canada) as they attract donations from charitable institutions such as the IVEY Foundation* (over $1 million since 2014), $900K from the McConnell Family Foundation, $2.3 million from the Trottier Family Foundation (another P-CEC “collaborator”!   Both of the latter are members of Environment Funders Canada.

Perhaps if one augments the perceptions of those handing out the grants, the money will continue to flow, to those who produce the prejudicial and supportive reports the grantor sought!  Just an abstract thought!

While Phases one through four of this series have raised the connection concept of the Ivey Foundation’s relationship with six of the P-CEC named “collaborators” there are a few more of interest. The tale of the tangled web will continue in the next Phase!

*A few hundred thousand dollars was also granted to Tides Canada.

Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase three

The collaboration alluded to in Phases one and two of this series are expanded on below. Those who read all three will hopefully recognize exactly what the “collaboration” seems designed to create.  Whatever unfolds in reports from the P-CEC appears certain to endorse a further burden on tax-payers in the form of increased “carbon taxes” beyond those currently envisaged.  As our former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper put it in defining “carbon taxes”: “they are attractive to governments simply because they raise revenue reliably.  In other words, they are not effective at reducing emissions.”

The two earlier articles suggested the collaborative group assembled may have been substantially influenced by Bruce Lourie, a major player in getting Ontario’s Liberal Party to pass the GEA. The GEA focused on closing two coal plants in Ontario and professed; we could cheaply replace them with industrial wind and solar energy and create 50,000 jobs.  Ontario ratepayers know how that unfolded!

Phase two in the series brought out the interests of the “insurance industry” and their support of the alleged “climate emergency” declared by an “Act of Parliament”.  The article singled out two individuals who will play a key role in orchestrating recommendations to our, soon to be announced, Environment and Climate Change Minister.

Shortly after the winning bid announcement by Minister McKenna, Insurance Business Canada had an article stating:  “According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the group will generate research and advice in three specific areas – carbon pricing, clean energy development, and strategies for climate-change adaptation – as “an independent, standalone organization.” and, “According to Feltmate, (refer Phase two) insurance claims for catastrophic loss events in Canada between 1983 and 2008 were in the range of $250 million to $400 million annually. However, in nine out of the last 10 years, catastrophic losses have gone over $1 billion, adjusted for inflation.”  This sets the tone for their upcoming recommendations!  I and others I’ve spoken with wonder, why, in view of insurance losses in Ontario, in respect to “flooding”, the Insurance Industry haven’t sued the IJC (International Joint Commission) for their instigation of “Plan 2014” raising water levels in Lake Ontario in particular, and causing hundreds of millions in losses in 2017 and 2019.  The State of New York has sued!

The first of this series noted, “There among the twenty-one (21) names in the “collaboration” was the Ivey Foundation and several others Mr. Lourie either helped to create or presumably supported by providing grants via his position as President of the Ivey Foundation.”

The particular one mentioned in the earlier article was the Ecofiscal Commission.  Its address is the Department of Economics at McGill University where the Chair of the Commission, Chris Regan, is Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy and an Associate Professor in McGill’s Department of Economics.  The Ivey Foundation in their reports to the CRA Charities files from 2015 through to the 2018 filing indicates donations to McGill/Ecofiscal were $1.122 million and reports from the “grants” information on Ivey Foundation’s report indicates from 2015 to 2018 donations totaled $806,486. Perhaps an audit by the CRA would be worth pursuing!

Needless to say, all of the recommendations from Ecofiscal where Mr. Lourie and fellow collaborators are either commissioners (Stewart Elgie of Smart Prosperity is one) or advisors (Lourie is one) who push for a “carbon tax”. The “Commission” demonstrates a strong bias in presenting “myths” about carbon taxes while presenting only facts to support the myths but not the tax.  It appears the “Commission” or Lourie used their/his influence to get other charitable foundations to fund Ecofiscal as noted in an earlier article.

Here are another two collaborators!

Smart Prosperity Institute—a P-CEC “collaborator”

Now another of those P-CEC collaborators beyond the Intact Centre and  the Ivey Foundation is (SPI) “Smart Prosperity Institute” (formerly Sustainable Prosperity) headed up by Stewart Elgie. Elgie founded Ecojustice (a charitable legal institution with 2018 revenues of $7.4 million of which $4 million was spent on compensation and almost $700 thousand on consultants).  SPI appears to be a “not for profit” institution however, as it is associated with the University of Ottawa, you can donate via them, to obtain a tax receipt. Trying to secure information via filings of their 22 funders in the CRA Charities files was almost impossible and only a couple could be directly connected to SPI.  One of those was The Green Belt Foundation (GBF got $25 million in 2005 and another $20 million in 2012 from Ontario’s Provincial taxpayers) and they granted SPI $80K.

The foregoing is ironic as the current government in Ontario is fighting the “carbon tax” but indirectly taxpayer dollars will be used to support it!  One of the SPI “funders” listed is also supplemented by Ontario taxpayers and that is the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.  All Google searches for funding from them to the SPI came up empty!  Three of the other “funders” are Federal and as one would expect include Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The only other “funder” with obtainable information was the J.W. McConnell Foundation who granted SPI  $725,000 via the University of Ottawa. The SPI did not include the Ivey Foundation in their “funders” list but they received $120,990 from them via the University of Ottawa over three years and the Ivey Foundation also provided $105,000 in grants to Elgie’s other entity—Ecojustice.  It certainly appears there is a pretty close connection between Bruce Lourie and Stewart Elgie.

MaRS Discovery District—a P-CEC “collaborator”

MaRS Discovery District was a McGuinty creation owned by the province and granted charitable status so its annual filings can be found on the CRA Charities website.  In their year ended March 31, 2018 they received $2.9 million from the Federal Government and $31.7 million from the Government of Ontario. They also received $2.8 million from other charities.  Mars in turn claim charitable expenditures of $37.7 million out of the $48.3 million in total expenditures but don’t name any recipients.  Over the past three years they have received $300,000 from the Ivey Foundation.

Ironically, the Trillium Foundation is owned by the Government of Ontario, where Bruce Lourie formerly sat as a Director.  They have granted money to MaRS, ($413,700) to (CEGN)  Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network (now called Environment Funders Canada) ($64,600) which Lourie founded and to Environmental Defence ($661,300) where he served as director and Chair of the Board when his friend Rick Smith was Executive Director.  Lourie is well connected to Tom Rand, the former head of the MaRS, “cleantech” sector

Oh, what tangled webs we weave!

Stay tuned as Phase Four will look at a few more of the P-CEC collaborators and their connections.