Over the past year, I have been going through the tax returns of American charitable foundations in order to figure out who is funding the environmental movement in Canada, and why. So far, I’ve traced about $300-million over the past decade that has been paid to various green groups, mostly in B.C. By far, the largest B.C.-based recipient organization is Tides Canada which has been paid nearly $60-million by U.S. foundations, tax returns say.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is no stranger to Tides Canada. In fact, he was a Tides Canada director from 2002 until 2004 when he entered politics with the NDP. The treasurer of Vision Vancouver, the political party that Mr. Robertson rode to power, is Martha Burton, who has been a senior advisor to Tides Canada. Mike Magee, the Chief of Staff at Vancouver City Hall, was also a senior advisor to Tides Canada (2002 to 2007).
As it turns out, according to my calculations, during the course of five years of politics with both the NDP and Vision Vancouver, Gregor Robertson has received $400,000, including $340,000 in campaign finance for Vision Vancouver, from sources that are affiliated in various ways with two registered charities: the Endswell Foundation and Tides Canada.
When Vision Vancouver came to power in 2008, the party’s single largest campaign finance donors were Renewal Partners and Strategic Communications, a public relations firm that has called itself a “partner” of Renewal Partners. The president of Renewal Partners is Joel Solomon. The vicepresident is Martha Burton.
In the run-up to the 2008 election, Renewal Partners and Strategic Communications contributed $188,000, even more than Vancouver’s biggest real estate developers.
Renewal Partners is also reportedly one of the main investors behind Happy Planet, Robertson’s fruit juice company which he ran on remote Cortes Island before his extraordinary career transition from organic farming to Vancouver city hall.
Renewal Partners calls itself “an independent investment company operating under the Renewal group,” and is intertwined somehow with Endswell which says that it also operates under the Renewal group. Renewal Partners and Endswell share a website and staff.
Who is really funding Mayor Robertson?? This is good information that the public should be aware of prior to voting in the Municipal elections tomorrow.
Why has Tides USA created a $2M park next to Robertson’s property on Cortes Island? Who does this benefit?