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Tides Foundation’s Artificial Grass Roots

Brian Lilley reports:

We’ve told you on this program in the past about the Tides Foundation. No, this foundation has nothing to do with laundry soap and everything to do with washing up piles of US money on Canadian shores and influencing Canadian politics. They, and their US backers, have been active in the fight to stop the Keystone pipeline, the Northern Gateway Pipeline and to shut down the oil sands.

But they are more than an anti-oil sands group. Remember when we told you about Leadnow, the Canadian group with all the American backers, links to and the Obama campaign? This is the group that started the robo-complaints about robo-calls, started protests claiming they were grassroots movements and tried to over throw democracy. Well one of the board members of Leadnow is the director of Tides Canada, Ross McGregor. Leadnow is obviously sensitive to the revelation of all these connections to the American far left because they have beefed up McGregor’s online bio to show that he’s also highly involved in Liberal politics including helping to run Dalton McGuinty’s campaigns in 2003 and 2007. No big surprise there.

Well how does this fit in with the CBC? It’s an interesting little shell game they have going on these supporters of the state broadcaster. Just like the robo-call protests they have launched a campaign to keep the CBC from getting cut and they want you to believe that it is grassroots. It is anything but. What it is, is Astroturf laid down by Tides and the union movement including an American union all to help the CBC. Take a look at this chart.


I’ll try to explain it because it gets confusing. The column on your rights shows the links to the left wing billionaires. They give money to Tides USA who then pass it on to Tides Canada. Essentially the Tides Foundation is a bit of a clearinghouse for left wing causes to get funding. But sometimes the US billionaires give the money directly to Tides Canada. Tides Canada has taken $62 million from US sources over the last decade. One of the groups they currently fund and one of the groups they give tax receipts out for is, a very political website. It’s not a charity itself but if you want to give them money and still want a tax receipt you give the funds to Tides Canada and they give you a tax receipt before passing it on to Open Media. So now Open Media has teamed up with Leadnow, the group that has Tides on its board, to launch a campaign against cuts to the CBC. The website offers the same kind of auto letter as the robocomplaints campign telling the government not to cut the state broadcaster.

Where did they host the site? Well until they were caught by the blogger Blazing Cat Fur they were hosting it on the servers of the Communications Workers of America, a union that represents CBC journalists and other staff through its Canadian branch the Canadian Media Guild. After it was pointed out that the union representing CBC workers was behind this campaign along with the fake grassroots groups Open Media and Leadnow, they changed servers or at least the part that allows you and I to see where they are hosted. There is a nice thank you letter from CBC to Open Media and Lead Now thanking them for their campaign.

So left wing US billionaires fund groups in Canada, which help Canadian groups set up a campaign, with the help of an American union to save the state broadcaster here in Canada from being cut in next week’s budget. That’s the shell game folks. Did I mention that Open Media was part of the campaign to make sure that Sun News did not get the same licence that CTV and CBC’s news channels have? Now here they are looking for special treatment for the state broadcaster. Oh and the union involved also supports the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and the Liberal Party of Canada’s petition to support the CBC. All very political, all of them trying to hide their links and connections and most of them getting some kind of tax break or direct contribution from you. This is why we need more openness and accountability.

And that’s the Byline.