For years, BC Liberals relied on millions of dollars contributed by a relative handful of wealthy donors, many based outside the province.
Along with developers hungry to acquire public lands below market value, oil and gas and other resource extraction companies were substantial contributors to party coffers. Now, with their major cash suppliers hindered by legislation, Liberals wish to limit funding of organizations that agitate for a sustainable world.
In a publication that entered a financial partnership with Canada’s multinational petroleum industry, and is kept alive by foreign hedge fund billionaires, interim BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson explains his plan to end foreign influence in provincial politics and ecological organizations:
We have seen well-funded campaigns, backed by foreign dollars, launch a co-ordinated and deliberate assault on Canadian energy and environmental politics. These campaigns will continue unless we take action to stop them.
Casualties of Wilkinson’s suggestion would include campaigns like the one written about by Peter O’Neil:
OTTAWA — When a deal to protect B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest was brokered in January 2007, one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s most trusted lieutenants singled out the environmental and social justice organization Tides Canada as being crucial in Ottawa’s decision to contribute $30 million to the plan.
John Baird, then Harper’s new environment minister and now head of foreign affairs, said the Harper government acted due to fear that the unprecedented $60-million contribution raised by Vancouver-based Tides – the vast majority from U.S. foundations – was in jeopardy of being lost to the total $120-million fund…
In fact, Wilkinson’s sponsors and industry shills like Vivian Krause aren’t really bothered by foreign money. Most of them depend upon it. But, they are concerned about anything and anybody that stands in the way of unregulated profit seeking and resource extraction.
Press Progress reports that friends of Alberta’s present oil Sheikh rely on foreign money:
It turns out Rebel Media’s coverage of Jason Kenney is funded with foreign money.
Alberta’s Premier has been aggressively promoting a conspiratorial smear campaign to paint environmentalists and other critics as “foreign-funded special interests,” even promising a public inquiry into “foreign-funded meddling.”
But Kenney’s campaign to silence his critics, compared by some to the politically-motivated witch hunts of US Senator Joe McCarthy, might be a little awkward given Kenney is himself supported by “foreign-funded activists.”
The claim that foreign money is a main engine of Canadian environmental movements has been debunked. Of course, if people from anywhere decide to spend wealth to protect earth’s environment, their admirable choices benefit humankind. Other affluent people make choices not intended to improve the earth.
Two month before the 2017 provincial election, Justine Hunter and Kathy Tomlinson wrote BC Liberals accept foreign donations, despite ban in parts of Canada:
British Columbia’s governing Liberal Party routinely accepts significant donations from foreign interests – a practice that is banned in many other Canadian jurisdictions. The party’s overflowing campaign war chest includes cash from offshore oil and gas companies, European pharmaceutical companies and Beijing investment firms.
British Columbia has no residency requirement for political contributions from individuals or companies…
Wilkinson’s Liberals are philosophically joined at the hip with radical politicians in western Canada and elsewhere. Their influence resulted in America’s wealthiest gaining income growth 30x than the bottom 50%.
Current non-renewable resource development might be tenable if a reasonable public share of revenues allowed faster movement to renewables. The earth is telling us that time is running out:
- As of June 11, 2019, Alberta wildfires have burned 9x the median acreage burned in fourteen years, 2005-2018.
- In 2018, British Columbia experienced the most widespread fire damage in the time records have been kept. Burned lands surpassed 2017, the previous worst.
- In 2018, the Mendocino Complex Fire was the biggest wildfire in modern California history.
- In California’s worst year ever, the Camp Fire killed 85 civilians and cost about $20 billion.
- Washington Post contributor Christopher Ingraham reported, “The amount of acreage consumed by fire is growing. Fires are getting bigger, and fire seasons are lasting longer. And as the planet gets hotter and parts of it get drier, it’s likely that these trends will continue for the foreseeable future.“
- Accuweather reports, “Tornadoes have hit 6 states with unusual frequency in 2019, and 1 state has seen 4 times its average.”
- USA Today headlined, “Historic, deadly Midwest floods are worst ‘anybody has ever experienced‘.
- In summer 2015, one of the deadliest heat waves in history killed more than 3,700 people in India and Pakistan. In 2017 both countries were gripped again by scorching heat, with temperatures soaring to 53.5C (128.3F) in Pakistan in May. The heat wave also hit the Middle East and Southern Europe, where it was named “Lucifer”. As of June 11, 2019, Alberta wildfires have burned 9x the median acreage burned in fourteen years, 2005-2018.
- In the summer of 2019, Australia sweltered through at least five of its 10 warmest days on record.
The list could go on but evidence falls on the deaf ears of people who believe that short term gain is worth more than long term pain.
The overwhelming majority of climate scientists, international governmental bodies, relevant research institutes and scientific societies are in unison in saying that climate change is real, that it’s a problem, and that we should probably do something about it now, not later.
And yet, for some reason, the idea persists in some peoples’ minds that climate change is up for debate, or that climate change is no big deal. And yet, for some reason, the idea persists in some peoples’ minds that climate change is up for debate, or that climate change is no big deal. Actually, it’s not “for some reason” that people are confused. There’s a very obvious reason.
…“The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires,” says the Guardian, “often working through secretive funding networks…Smithsonian.com: Meet the Money behind the Climate Change Denial Movement
Greenpeace shows the trustworthiness of oil interests when it comes to climate change.