(November 18, 2019) Oh, what tangled webs we weave!
By Parker Gallant (a former banker who didn’t like what he was seeing in his Ontario electricity bills).
For the original version of this posting, see here.
For more analysis by Parker Gallant, check out his blog here:
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 taxpayers 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.
For Parker Gallant’s Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase One, see here.
For Parker Gallant’s Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase Two, see here.
For Parker Gallant’s Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase Four, see here.
For previous blogs by Parker Gallant, published by Energy Probe: see here.