The Conservatives have taken some Canadian environmental charities to task for accepting money from wealthy foreign donors to finance their campaigns against oil and gas projects. But tax returns filed to the Canada Revenue Agency show most of the foreign money that fills the coffers of Canadian charities does not go to the environmental groups now in Tory crosshairs. An analysis by The Canadian Press of charities' annual tax returns found only one of the top 10 foreign-funded charities could be considered a conservation group. That group is Ducks Unlimited Canada. Tax returns show it has reported receiving more than $33 million over the years from foreign sources, making it the fifth-largest recipient of money from outside the country. Ducks Unlimited Canada says it receives foreign funding from its sister organization in the United States, U.S. federal and state governments, corporations, private foundations and individual contributors.I have nothing against Ducks Unlimited Canada, they do good conservation work, even if much of the impetus comes from wanting to shoot birds, whatever, that's your thing I suppose, who am I to judge. Although, it is fascinating to me that a group which has recently came out in favour of the government's controversial changes to The Fisheries Act leads the conservation charge in terms of "foreign" money flowing into a Canadian charity. As well, Harper has promised a "wildlife advisory panel", and guess who is involved:
“This wildlife advisory panel would be comprised of representatives from various hunting, angling and conservation organizations, like Ducks Unlimited, to ensure government decisions regarding issues like endangered species, wetland protection and nature conservation are based on solid science and balanced advice,” said Harper.I don't know about you, but there is a certain unease in having a foreign backed group advising on domestic issues concerning the environment? How does Peter Kent, Joe Oliver, feel about that? Maybe someone should ask them, since they raised "foreign interests", perhaps the top benefactor would be on their radar when they cobbled together this comprehensive legislation with NO political angle whatsoever? Again, I support the good work of Ducks Unlimited, they do much to protect wetlands. But, the Harper government is very concerned about foreign money being used to influence domestic discussions, so I SHARE their legitimate non partisan concerns and would support any audit to ensure that activities meet obligations. I'm sure my like minded Conservative friends would agree, because these new rules are ethical, not political in their genesis.