Make Real News!

100K Challenge!

$48.234 raised so farEND DATE: October 3   
Every dollar you donate will be matched until we reach our 100K goal!
  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Koch Brothers Are The Largest Foreign Lease Holder of Canadian Oil Sands


    Funding think tanks, the Kochs are poised to influence debate on oil policy and shift the social fabric of Canada. -   May 5, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook



    the name says it all...real news - yusuf
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Linda Solomon Wood is publisher and editor-in-chief of The Vancouver Observer , a national, daily, independent, award-winning news site with a readership across Canada and the United States.

    Transcript

    Koch Brothers Are The Largest Foreign Lease Holder of Canadian Oil SandsSHARMINI PERIES, TRNN PRODUCER: This is The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries in Baltimore.

    Last week on the Canadian panel, we talked about Canada's shift to the right. This week we're looking at some evidence of this, mainly the Koch brothers' reach into Canada. The Washington Post recently reported that the Koch brothers hold the largest foreign leases on oil sands, but not only.

    To discuss this and more we're joined by Linda Solomon Wood. Linda Solomon Wood is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Vancouver Observer, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news site with a readership across Canada and the United States.

    Thank you for joining us, Linda.

    LINDA SOLOMON WOOD, PUBLISHER, THE VANCOUVER OBSERVER: Thank you, Sharmini.

    PERIES: So, Linda, how is the Canadian landscape changing as a result of Koch brothers spreading their wings over Canada?

    SOLOMON WOOD: Yes, they are one of the region's largest leaseholders, rivaled only by Shell and perhaps Canadian Natural Resources company. They are thought to have at least 1.1 million acres in the tar sands. And some industry insiders speculate that they actually have 2 million, but the Alberta government has confirmed the 1.1 million number. So that makes them the largest foreign owners of tar sands land.

    PERIES: Are there any resistance to this kind of political and, you know, ownership of the oil industry in this way in Canada?

    SOLOMON WOOD: There is--I think people are disturbed about it when it's brought to their attention. But part of the problem is that there is an ever-decreasing number of journalists around to bring that to people's attention. And so a lot of people, I think, you know, they hear it and then they forget about it. But when they hear it, it upsets them, yes.

    PERIES: How do you think this is going to influence the social fabric of Canada?

    SOLOMON WOOD: There's been a lot of talk in Canada about foreign influence in our debate around oil and energy and how oil moves through the country. And that's very ironic, because so much of the--so many of the companies that are controlling and are exploiting the oil sands are multinationals.

    It's hard to shed light on a very closeted and somewhat shadowed area, but I can shed a little light on it. I think that there's probably a lot more to the story than what I'm going to tell you. But we do know that the Koch brothers have been donating to the Fraser Institute, which is a free-market privatization proponent that has a lot of influence in Canada and that is a charitable organization and kind of a think tank. And many leaders at the national level have spent time studying at the Fraser Institute. And, well, Ezra Levant, who is the founder of the ethical oil movement, and Ethical--is at the center of the Ethical Oil website, after his book on ethical oil, which makes the argument that buying oil from Canada is actually a better moral choice because other countries in the Middle East that sell oil don't treat their women well, they have, you know, bad human rights records. So Ezra Levant has made this argument. And Ezra Levant spent a summer studying at the Koch institute, you know, in the United States and, you know, is very proud of that.

    So the Koch brothers also had donated to a student group that is considered to be pretty right-wing. And, yeah. So we were able to find that they were able to put 500,000 into the Fraser Institute. We uncovered that in 2012, and we found that from just looking at U.S. tax records. And that was over a three- to four-year period that they had put that money in. But we were pretty sure that we were only able to find some of where the money has gone into Canada. And if we were able to find that, we're pretty sure there was more. There are some reporters now looking at the--I believe it's called--well, there's a conservative, right-leaning institute in Montreal that is thought to perhaps be getting Koch money as well.

    PERIES: Linda, is this all legal for a foreign corporation to influence a Canadian--. You know, these are really nonprofit organizations. Are they allowed to do that? Is this legal?

    SOLOMON WOOD: I cannot speak, really, to the legality of it, but I can tell you that there is a double-standard going on in Canada, for sure, and that it is not legal for a charity in Canada to be doing political advocacy. If--you can do it with about 10 percent of your resources if you're a charity. You're allowed to do a little political advocacy. But if you go beyond that, it's not okay, it's not legal. And so the federal government has used this to go after seven major progressive environmental charities in Canada, from the David Suzuki Foundation to the Pembina institute. And they are--these charities are now the subject of very long and very detailed audits. In fact, the federal government even budgeted an extra $8 million in 2012, I believe it was, just to do these auditing--just to audit environmental charities. So, again, I'm not a lawyer, I can't speak to the legality of it, but there is a really extreme double-standard going on.

    PERIES: Right. Is this different from what the Canadian government normally budgets for this kind of activity in Canada?

    SOLOMON WOOD: Well, this was just, you know, specifically put into the federal budget for going into looking at these charities. So, yes, it is different. And it is--there's never really been, you know, this kind of--well, some people call it an attack on charities. And many in the charitable sector are worried about this, because, you know, if they're going after these charities, what does it really mean? You know, they could go after other charities who are doing, like, AIDS work or work for women, or right now it's environmental work. But what happens? You know, what does it really mean for the federal government to use its power to target people that disagree with their policies? You know, that's disturbing.

    PERIES: So I gather that the Fraser Institute is not one of the ones being audited.

    SOLOMON WOOD: Despite calls that they should be audited, it is not being audited, absolutely not.

    PERIES: So this seems to be a particular target of more left-leaning organizations that are doing charitable work.

    SOLOMON WOOD: Yes. It has been targeted at organizations that were working to provide people with information about the kinds of environmental impacts that were going to happen from building the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project, the Kinder Morgan Expansion--these are proposals; I'm sorry--you know, the proposed Kinder Morgan Expansion, and, you know, even Keystone XL. These groups were providing information. Their mandate is to protect the environment, and that was what they were doing. And that got in the way of the government's plans.

    PERIES: Very good. Thank you so much for joining us, Linda.

    SOLOMON WOOD: Thank you, Sharmini.

    PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    World Leaders To Emit Promises of Hot Air at UN Climate Summit
    Voices From The Historic 300,000+ Strong 'People's Climate March'
    Most Members of the Black Caucus Have Supported Police Militarization
    The Climate Crisis: Which Way Out?
    War, Whistleblowing and Independent Journalism Panel
    It's Time to Act on the Climate Crisis
    Breaking Down the Scottish Independence Vote by Class Lines
    Progressive Caucus Split on Issue of Arming Syrian Rebels
    Historic Climate Change Protests Only Days Away
    Philadelphia Decriminalizes Marijuana
    Coalition to Fight the Islamic State Unlikely to Succeed
    Upsurge in Voter Participation and Scare-Campaigns As Scots Head To The Polls
    Are Combat Troops on Their Way to Iraq?
    Media Failing to Provide Substantive Debate on ISIS
    Interpret or Change the World?
    Special Report: Scots in Their Own Words on Independence
    What Drives U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Israel?
    The Federal Reserve Makes "Effort" to Rein in Big Banks
    An American Fascism - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (5/8)
    Breakthroughs Unlikely at Upcoming UN Climate Summit
    The Untold History of The Star Spangled Banner
    What Drives Obama's Foreign Policy?
    Israel Facing Major Economic Consequences for 50 Day War on Gaza
    FBI Targets Minority Communities in Mortgage Fraud Investigations
    Obama's 'Moderate' Syrian Rebels Are Nowhere to Be Found
    "The State Targeted the Panthers Because We Were Socialists, Not Because We Were Armed" - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (4/8)
    Democrats Have Options to Pursue Campaign Finance Reform
    The Bennis Plan: Here Is a Real Strategy for Dealing with ISIS
    Baltimore Cop Says Some Officers Are a Threat to the Communities They Serve
    The World Made A Much More Dangerous Place by the U.S. Since 9/11

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting