While the federal government and pro-oil lobbyists have taken aim at environmental charities for allegedly violating the Canadian Revenue Agency’s legal limits for “political activity”, the Fraser Institute and its charitable status remain unquestioned. And as the Koch Foundation’s tax data shows, they’ve received a significant amount of “foreign funding” to help influence Canadian policy—which is precisely what environmental groups have been accused of doing.
The Fraser Institute claims to be “non-partisan and non-political”, and denies that it undertakes lobbying activities. However, critics cite examples of its blatantly political endeavors—like publicly calling on the government to change election spending laws, or pushing provinces to adopt “right-to-work” legislation.
The Fraser Institute’s continuing prominence in the national conversation is one of life’s enduring mysteries. Its agenda is evident to anyone with basic critical-thinking skills; like other organizations of a similar mindset, it pushes a worldview that seeks to portray government and the public sphere as inherently corrupt, feckless and inefficient. Hence the “enfeeblement” I wrote about earlier this week.
And yet every time it releases one of its position papers, or “studies,” or contrived and transparent PR stunts like Tax Freedom Day, the corporate media are all over it. It says a lot about what’s considered “newsworthy ” these days. Seriously, someone at the FI could fart and it would be on front pages all over the country.
So this piece from the Vancouver Observer is timely for two reasons: one, it puts the Harper regime’s unsubtle threats against charitable organizations in context, and two, it highlights the hypocrisy and double standards evident in the treatment of charities considered “friendly.”
More Koch influence in Canada. Just what we need.
Update: follow the money.
- Politics, the charitable sector, and the public sphere | #cdnpoli
- Unethical oil and its Canadian friends | The Vancouver Observer | #EthicalOilBullshit #tarsands
- The Galloping Beaver: Joe Oliver attempts to lampoon Saturday Night Live
- Let’s stop fetishizing “The Market” | #cdnpoli #TOpoli #classwarfare #austerity
- In defence of the public sphere | #TOpoli #TeamFord