Monday, April 27, 2015

The Duffy Tarsands Diaries

Never mind the Senate vagaries on where Duffy actually resides or whether other Senators  porking out at the public trough is criminal or just Senate-business-as-usual. Forget all that.  
Of the various narratives emerging from the Duffy trial, the story that should be getting a lot more attention is that Con Party fundraiser Senator Mike Duffy appears to have served as a behind-the-scenes go-between between Enbridge and Stephen Harper while simultaneously connecting up environmental charities attack dog Vivian Krausereferred to by Ezra Levent as Sun TV's "forensic environmental detective"for an energy sector speaking tour.

National Observer : Redacted diary reveals oil's hidden route to Harper :
"Redacted entries in Mike Duffy’s diary suggest he was in regular undisclosed contact with pipeline giant Enbridge during the height of the federal government's scorching attacks on environmental activists and charities in 2012.
The suspended senator’s journal shows a flurry of conversations and emails with or about top-level Enbridge executives, then PMO chief of staff Nigel Wright and the Prime Minister between January and June of 2012, just as the National Energy Board started its hearings on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal."

CBC : "Duffy appears to be a fan of Krause's work, mentioning her at least 10 times in his daily diary and setting her up with an agent for speaking appearances."

Setting her up with an agent?
According to Krause, speaking fees for appearances before the resources industry now comprises over 90% of her income going back to 2012.

So what else we got on PMO/tarsands-related events which took place during just the first month of the Duffy Diaries' January to June 2012 time period.

January 6, 2012 G&M : Foreign money could gum up pipeline approval, Harper warns.
"The Prime Minister is threatening to prevent foreign environmental interests from delaying the approval of a pipeline that would take bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to the West Coast for shipment to Asian markets.
Kathryn Marshall, a spokesperson for said Canadians have much at stake in the construction of the pipeline and “must take a stand against foreigners and their lobbying groups interfering in our decision.”
Cue Ethical Oil's Kathryn Marshall that same month with her "foreign special interests and their deep pocket puppets" :

DeSmog Blog : Friends with Benefits: The Harper Government, and Sun Media Connection

Ethical Oil of course bragged about lobbying the Canada Revenue Agency for Krause-tagged audits of environmental charities critical of tarsands development. In the 2012 budget, the Canada Revenue Agency launched a special $8M program aimed at punishing environmental political activity, later topped up to $13.4 million.

On January 8, 2012,  Duffy's diary notes an email and phone call exchange with Ethical Oil author and SunNews *personality* Ezra Levant  "re: Vivian Krause". He then met with Krause on three occasions and had two telephone conversations.

On February 9, 2012 Krause testified before the Standing Committee on Natural Resources about "deep-pocketed supporters south of the border" funding campaigns against the Canadian energy sector.  Duffy was in attendance; his diary that day reads: "Lunch - Vivian Krause."

Also Feb.10 : The G&M, the Star, and Vancouver Observer all carry stories about environmentalists being understandably pissed at being lumped in with white supremacists among the listed "issue-based" terrorist threats in Canada's new counter-terrorism strategy -   Building Resilience Against Terrorism :
"...domestic extremism that is “based on grievances – real or perceived – revolving around the promotion of various causes such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism."
It's not like that's gone away. An RCMP report released this February raved on about “violent anti-petroleum extremists” and  “violent aboriginal extremists,” driven by an “anti-petroleum ideology." Particularly concerning in light of the new Anti-terrorism Bill C-51 with its new engorged mandate to act against “activity that undermines the security of Canada”, the RCMP report suggests pipeline opposition movements should be seen and treated as national criminal security threats. It is 44 pages long. To back up its position, a full nine of those pages, or 20% of the entire report, are quotes from articles by Vivian Krause.

Feb.17, 2012 - “PM asks “Send me a note on Enbridge Line #9 problems” 

Good on National Observer, local Vancouver Observer now gone National, for looking beneath the redacting pencil in the Duffy diaries to publish these PMO/Enbridge/Duffy/Krause/Ezra connections.

Update : Our Oily Media - Media critic CanadaLand interviews National Observer founder Linda Solomon Wood on how the energy sector has flooded Canada's media with money, be it in ad dollars, speaking fees, charitable donations or "native content" partnerships. Rex. Mansbridge. PostMedia-CAPP partnership.

Btw, CBC, I see the pro-tarsands astroturf group "British Columbians for Prosperity" is still going strong in its campaign against the deep pockets of "foreign special interests". Is your frequent commentator Alise Mills still running the show at BC4P, as she told Vancouver Observer a year ago?

Good news - Bruce Livesey, canned from Global for his spiked report on the Koch brothers' influence in Canada, has joined National Observer and will rework the story there.

May 7 Update : National Observer : Duffy connected charity critic to lucrative industry cash


Anonymous said...

Federal Budget 2015: Tories To Spend $13.5 Million In April And May Promoting ...their shit. yeah, pretty sure $13.5M will convince media to tow their line ...

thwap said...

Geez Alison, when you put it that way, it seems like Duffy is just one more super-corrupt cog in a brazen knee-capping of democracy in service of the Petro State.

Anonymous said...

Good work helping to expose this issue Alison!

Anonymous said...

"Assertions made by Krause have sparked audits of environmental charities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a fact she has included in her resume. All complaints filed with the CRA were done by a group called Ethical Oil through their legal team." - Observer

So basically the CRA is "arms-length" from government bus is in bed with pro-oil groups? Or is it merely that if we ever wanted to go after organizations like the Manning Center then we would just simply have to bring a legal application to the CRA? Interesting

Alison said...

Anon : Yes, and the Fraser Institute, which claims to have been audited many times and always passed with flying colours.

I used to wonder given the revolving door between the PMO and Ethical oil - Velshi, Marshall, Ellerton - and Ethical Oil's corporate fundraising -
"We DO accept donations from Canadian individuals and companies, including those working to produce Ethical Oil."

whether there was a legal case to be made that Ethical Oil violates Elections Canada rules limiting donations to political parties.

Anonymous said...

I think it's less of a revolving door and more of an open door policy.

The Mound of Sound said...

Great stuff, Alison. Thanks.

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