LETTER: Far more U.S. funding goes to the right than the left

Dear editor,

Re: The Comox Valley Taxpayers Alliance Sept. 6 advertisement, “Why are we allowing American funding to interfere in our elections?”

I’ve wondered about this too. Why are we allowing outside forces to change our political outcomes? However, I wonder about some of the CVTA’s key points.

One grudge they have against Dogwood is that they “got voters out to the polls in key ridings.” Isn’t that what we want, more people participating in our democracy makes it better?

They are also upset with U.S. funding going to Dogwood but according to their own figures it is only the source of four per cent. Speaking about funding lobby groups, the CVTA fails to mention how much funding has come from U.S. sources to support the right wing, free enterprise alt-right agenda.

The Fraser Institute is a good example. It has received far more U.S. dollars than Dogwood. Rothmans/Phillip Morris Tobacco, Exxon – $120,000, and big pharmaceutical companies such as Elli Lilly Pharma lobbying for Bovine Growth Hormone in Canada – $270,000, Goodrich Foundation – $170,000, John Templeton Foundation – $500,000 have donated over well over $4.3 to the Fraser Institute.

The infamous Koch brothers alone have generously donated $1 million to this group to help promote their anti-climate change agenda.

The Fraser Institute retains an office in Tampa, Florida to promote its American connections. They are just one of many ultra right think tanks across Canada receiving American funds.

The Canadian Sociological Society (journal Feb. 2014), a professional, not a political organization, did an in-depth report on U.S. funding to Canadian lobby groups, and found that the money funneled to Canada for conservative think tanks far outweighed monies flowing to left-leaning and environmental groups.

Lesley Krainer,

Courtenay

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