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This piece will look at two more of the Lourie creations which are; The Sustainability Network and the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network (CEGN).
Reviewing the Sustainability Network's website is an exercise in trying to define what they are trying to accomplish. The focus becomes somewhat clearer after reading what they see as their mission referred to as: “ Our mission is to enrich Canadian environmental leaders and nonprofit organizations through programs, services and support that help them increase their capacity to lead, manage and strategize.” ...and , “We are about sustaining the organizations that work on sustainability.”
So from all appearances, the Sustainability Network, who have received almost $1 million dollars from the Trillium Foundation (where Lourie sat as a Director) work with our tax dollars to sustain sustainable organizations. The inference is that the organizations that expect us to lead “sustainable” lives, can't even sustain themselves. The Network also received support from the Ivey Foundation (Lourie is the President), Salamender Foundation (an Ivey affiliated foundation) and several other Foundations including Suncor Energy Foundation. It is ironic that the “renewable energy” crowd continually rant that the anti-wind and solar groups are funded by big oil but they willingly take money from big oil while fighting further oilsands projects and the building of pipelines. Strange bedfellows!
The Sustainability Network has also received grants from Tides Canada, the Oak Foundation, the Catherine Donnelly Fund several other private foundations and an “Certified “B” Corp” referred to as “green living”. For those unfamiliar with Certified “B” corporations check out the MaRS Discovery District. A Certified “B” corporation is reportedly a business corporation that uses its powers to “solve social and environmental problems”. It operates somewhere between a for-profit and a not-for-profit is the way the writer interprets the gobbledygook. “B” corporations are an import from the US where they are seeking special tax status from municipal, state and federal governments. Green Living has an Advisory Board that includes; A. Heintzman of the Premier's recently announced Clean Energy Task Force, Rick Smith who is on the same task force and the Executive Director of Environmental Defence, Geoff Cape of Evergreen, Bob Oliver of Pollution Probe, Dr. Moole of David Suzuki Foundation and Tim Gray of the Ivey Foundation.
The Sustainability Network is a charity but you are hard pressed to find that out through a visit to their website as they don't even appear to have a “donate” button. As a registered charity sustaining yourself through grants must allow you to preach to others how to go about doing the same and turns the CRA's governance of charitable institutions into a joke.
Those “strange bedfellows” (ENGOs & Oil Companies) mentioned above become stranger still if one looks at the Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition (CAREC) originally founded by Suncor and the Pembina Institution in 2000. The member list now includes; Friends of the Earth, Pollution Probe, World Wildlife Fund, Toronto Environmental Alliance and many of the oil companies and renewable energy developers as well as OPG and Toronto Hydro. The objective of the organization is defined as; “Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition is a group of corporate and environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) formed to accelerate the development of Canada’s renewable energy industry.” and defines its target as: “The coalition has been most targeted on, and influential at, the Federal level of government in Canada by advocating measures to narrow the gap (writer's emphasis) between the price of "green power" and the price of "conventional power".
On the latter point the ENGOs have been very effective in Ontario, simply by convincing the Liberal Government to drive up the price of electricity by paying above market rates to those industrial wind and solar developers that are represented on CAREC's membership list.
The offices for the Sustainability Network are located at 215 Spadina Ave. Toronto which is co-incidentally the same address as Tides Canada's Toronto office and until recently also the home of another Lourie creation, the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network.
The latter Lourie creation, CEGN has as its mission; “To expand the scope and effectiveness of grantmaking in support of the Canadian environment.” and noted that the need for the network grew out of issues that reputedly are of a cross-border nature as the following attempts to explain: “There is growing interest on the part of American grantmakers in support to Canadian environmental issues and organizations.” If one then looks at the membership list of CEGN it becomes obvious that foreign grantmakers and Canadian taxpayer owned foundations and other public sector organizations make up a large portion of the 59 members. There are 11 public sector entities such as the Ontario Power Authority, Trillium Foundation, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Friends of the Greenbelt, etc. listed as members along with at least 7 US Foundations including several mentioned in Vivian Krause's many articles in the Financial Post and on her website. Those include the Oak Foundation ($426,000 grant to Environmental Defence, $218,000 to the Sierra Club, $98,000 to OSEA, $87,000 to Pollution Probe and $1.4 million to Tides Canada), The Bullitt Foundation, the Wilburforce Foundation, etc. The Canadian members include three of the Ivey related foundations and in addition; Tides Canada, Suncor Energy Fund, the Shell Environmental Fund and the Canadian Boreal Initiative (not a foundation).
Another interesting aspect of the CEGN website is that they thank their “sustaining” members “whose very generous support of CEGN is much appreciated” and one of those on that list is the Trillium Foundation where Lourie sat as a Director for many years. One would think that with the hundreds of millions of dollars represented by the “private” foundations that are members of CEGN that they wouldn't need to go cap in hand to a taxpayer owned institution for a grant, but they did and also got Trillium Foundation to become a sustaining member. One would also wonder at the wisdom of those dealing with the CEGN application at Trillium when confronted with the request for a grant. Environmentalists apparently are perhaps not concerned that the funds they take away for their own purpose might actually go to a truly worthy cause.
CEGN commissioned Tyler Hamilton, Editor in Chief of Corporate Knights and occasional writer for the Toronto Star to complete a paper titled: “How to Accelerate Canada's Transition to a Green Economy and the Role for Philanthropy”. In the process of preparing this “Building Bridges” paper the author reportedly interviewed 11 Canadian “Thought Leaders” including Don Drummond, former Chief Economist of TD Bank, Jim Stanford, Economist with the CAW, Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director of Pembina, Preston Manning and several others. Leafing through the report is an interesting exercise to see how statements can be used in a fashion that decidedly puts these “Thought Leaders” in the environmental camp. The author's conclusions identify the need to educate the unknowing public when it comes to climate change. Others reading this might conclude some of these “Thought Leaders” were suggesting a form of “brainwashing” which brings to mind the “thought police” of George Orwell's book, 1984
The one summary in the paper that caught my eye was the one that stated; “be more creative with the use of public money”! As a taxpayer and ratepayer in Ontario my view is that the ENGOs have been extremely creative and continue to be. They all seem determined to tank the rest of the Canadian economy as they have effectively done in Ontario and along the way have used tax dollars and foreign grants to further their cause. To gain some idea of the creative ability of Mr. Lourie one only has to view the attached spider web of his connections and see how those connections work in conjunction with the money flows from taxpayers and foundations.
Reading “About the Author” of this paper was amusing as near the end of the list of his accomplishments; the point is made that Mr. Hamilton is now an adjunct professor at York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies. Any of us following the craziness that is now labelled “climate change” or “renewable energy” is aware that York is the main breeding ground for the bulk of our self professed environmental experts including Bruce Lourie.
It is ironic that the taxpayers are picking up most of the costs to train the next generation of environmental “thought police”.
June 30, 2012