Tides Canada Rebrands as 'MakeWay'

I actually LOL'd when I read this article announcing that the "progressive" environmentalist organization, Tides Canada, is "rebranding" as MakeWay.

The Vancouver-based non-profit group, which took its name from the American Tides Foundation 20 years ago, funds hundreds of charities across Canada in the area of environmental and social justice. But in recent years, its association with the Tides Foundation and its participation in the Tar Sands Campaign... placed it in Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s crosshairs....

“Smear campaigns about Tides Canada have repeatedly misconstrued the purpose of [our] international philanthropic funding and have also conflated it with the U.S.-based Tides Foundation,” the organizations states in a press release.

Wow, so Jason Kenney (boo! hiss!) unjustly roped Tides Canada into his inquiry into foreign funded anti-Albertan oil campaigns just because they borrowed the name of an American foundation which they totally have nothing to do with today?!?! Outrageous!

Or else, you know, extremely misleading.

It may be true that people reading Vivian Krause's indispensable reporting (which influenced Kenney's inquiry) on the millions of dollars both the Tides Foundation and Tides Canada have spent keeping Canadian oil in the ground might have trouble tracking which seven or eight figure donation came from which organization. But the suggestion that its inclusion is unjust is ludicrous, as Krause makes plain in her call for Tides Canada to be investigated, published back in 2011:

Since 2000, Tides Canada has gone through $200 million. That's a lot of cash and it raises a fair question: Where did all that money come from, and what has Tides Canada accomplished with it? .... U.S. tax returns and on-line records show that since 2000, Tides Canada has been paid nearly $60 Million by American foundations.

Perhaps its not so shocking that they've ended up in "Jason Kenney's crosshairs."

The truth is, organizations like Tides Canada prefer it when regular people have never heard of them. It allows them to operate with minimal scrutiny, make powerful contacts without triggering anyone's spidey sense, and serve as a launchpad into politics for activists, as when Tides Canada VP Sarah Goodman was tapped as Justin Trudeau's climate policy director. The inquiry makes it harder to do those things, hence the rebranding.

Here's hoping that, if they keep doing what they've been doing, Krause and Kenney can make "MakeWay" just as toxic.

Wait, #ShutDownCanada Blockade Organizers Make HOW Much?

In my feature on Wednesday on the #ShutDownCanada protesters blockading rail lines across Canada (in defiance of the wishes of the indigenous Canadians with whom they claim to be acting in solidarity), I briefly questioned the apparently spontaneous nature of protests rising up several thousand miles apart, and mentioned allegations that "many of these protesters are being paid, perhaps by American environmentalist groups who feel that they get more bang for their buck in Canada than they do in the U.S."

Well, the indispensable Vivian Krause, well known for her investigations into the funding behind Canadian environmentalist groups, has dug up a job posting for the position of 'Senior Oil and Gas Campaigner' for an organization with the curious name of Stand.earth. Krause comments, "People are asking if protesters are paid.  The vast majority aren't. But the organizers are. See for yourself."

In the job posting, Stand.earth explains that its mission is "focused on raising the ambition of climate policy and stopping new tar sands projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Teck Frontier Mine." For this position the group is "seeking a passionate and experienced campaigner to develop and implement strategies to raise awareness and build power to stop the expansion of the oil and gas sector."

[T]his position is responsible for aiding in developing and implementing our Canadian oil and gas campaign strategy, supporting issue research, conducting government relations, communicating through traditional and digital channels with key audiences, coordinating with allies, and executing public actions. Successful candidates will demonstrate a background in climate and energy policy, public and government relations and a history of working in allyship with Indigenous Peoples.

Compensation for this position is between seventy thousand and eighty-five thousand Canadian dollars ($53-64,000 U.S.), with "excellent benefits." One of those benefits, surely, is the sense of satisfaction the ideal candidate will get out of knowing that he's working to deprive thousands of his indigenous allies of similarly well paying jobs, with benefits.