Revised - see endnote
The Pembina Institute has enlisted Heidi Eijgel, neighbour to the Summerview Wind Farm in Pincher Creek, Alberta, to conduct a limited tour and speaking engagement in Ontario purportedly to dispel the thoughts of any problems associated with living next to industrial wind turbines.
The Pembina Institute is one of three related entities (that the writer could locate) and it is a not-for-profit! One of them; The Pembina Foundation for Environmental Research and Education is a charity and the Green Learning Canada Foundation is another not-for-profit. Limited financial information is available on the CRA Charities website for the “Foundation”. Green Learning Canada publishes no information but Pembina Institute publishes what they call an annual report. The information contained in it is very limited and would not pass muster with any accountant or bookkeeper. Despite that it does have some interesting information as do other parts of their website. The Trillium Foundation also reported they provided a $130,000 grant to the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development but no information, financial or otherwise is available in the public domain. The Pembina Institute claims it provides research for the public and private sectors and the annual report shows revenue of $2.3 million in “fees for services” for the year ended December 31, 2010. Along those lines they recently released two reports; the first titled “In the Shadow of the Boom”; released May 30, 2012 examining the relationship on the Canadian economy with the Mulclair (NDP Leader) claim that Canada was afflicted with “Dutch Disease”. The conclusion of the study is that Canada has a “uniquely Canadian strain of the Dutch disease that could be called “oilsands fever”.
I will leave it to others to contest the conclusions of the above but did note that the report was prepared by the Pembina Institute for The Pembina Foundation for Environmental Research and Education. One would anticipate that the “Institute” would bill the “Foundation” for that report generating those “fees for services” that they brag about. The other interesting item I noted is that the “Foundation” reports in the CRA filings that it has only one (1) employee that is compensated but has six officers/directors. The annual report of the “Institute” doesn't comment on how many “reports” they produce for the “Foundation” or “Green Learning Canada” and the effect that might have on the “fees for services” they generate. An auditor would certainly see that as a significant item worthy of comment as a separate “note” on the annual report. In terms of employees the bulk of the “Pembina” group are reputedly employed in the “Institute” (49) with only two (2) reported in “Green Learning Canada Foundation” and one (1) in the “Foundation”. The compensation (reported in the CRA filings) and in the Institute’s annual report totals approximately $3.5 million meaning that the average compensation for those 51 employees is approximately $70,000 per annum.
The total revenue for the combined entities (2010 year end reports) was $6,479,000 and of that $3,283,000 was “grants from others”. The two entities reported “donations” of only $195,000 or 3% of their gross revenue yet one of them is registered charity. One has to wonder if the CRA actually looks at the filings of the charities to determine if they comply with the legislation. On that note the Green Learning Academy (not apparently related to Pembina) reported they spent $977,717 (44%) of their total revenue of $2,229,472 on “political activities” which blows the 10% limit by miles. One would hope the CRA is reviewing their status to remove that benefit.
It is hard to pinpoint where that $3,283,000 came from, however, the “Institute” has an extensive list of “supporters” of whom about a dozen are public entities from the Federal, Provincial and Municipal level. They even list Environmental Defence and the World Wildlife Fund as supporters in the $10,000 to $19,999 category.
Another two names on the list were Tracy and Maria Raynolds who it would appear are the parents of Marlo Raynolds, the recent Executive Director of Pembina Institute. Marlo sits on the Tides Canada, Energy Board with none other then Bruce Lourie who has been reported on recently. Yet another Raynolds; Nadine (Marlo's younger sister) is one of the two employees at Green Learning Canada.
The party that appears to be taking Hedi on the Ontario tour is Tim Weis who has also released a report jointly with others titled; “The High Cost of Cheap Power” and subtitled, “Pollution from coal-fired Electricity in Canada”. It even includes a forward from Gideon Forman who hauls out the old red chestnut about that Canadian Medical Report model that was debunked by Professor Ross McKitrick. The report also cites the DSS 2005 and takes the “hypothetical” worst case in that report (coal plants with no scrubbers and health costs in the billions) to justify it's “pat on the back” for Ontario ie; McGuinty's decimation of the Province's economy, for reducing coal by adding renewables.
One must surmise that Mr. Weis and his co-authors were drumming up talking points for the benefit of the Hedi tour and managed to get the Oak Foundation to pay for the study. One wonders if the “Institute” will allocate the grant from the Oak Foundation to the “fee for services” category in an effort to try to fool the people who pay attention to their biased and unscientific reports.
June 17, 2012
The writer apologizes to the Green Learning Academy for including them in the “Pembina”group but would note that Green Learning Canada and Green Learning Academy's websites are separated only by the difference between .ca and .com.