Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Astroturfing, Liberally

Damien Gillis of The Common Sense Canadian talked with Ian Jessop on CFAX1070 about a group that is funded by government and industry. The audio segment is available below.

We should pay attention to this organization because it aims to convince citizens that natural resource extraction should occur with little oversight and a minimal share paid to the public. Although one object is to deprive taxpayers of revenues, taxpayers helped fund Resource Works. The astroturf organization received initial funding from the BC Business Council after that industry-centric organization got more than a half-million dollars from government. In effect, taxpayers fund efforts that damage the financial interests of taxpayers. That's the neo-liberal style of BC Liberals.

Stewart Muir, Executive Director of Resource Works is married to Athana Mentzelopoulos, one of Premier Clark’s closest friends according to Sean Holman. Ms. M. has been a government insider during Clark’s term and previously served as an attack dog, spokesperson and assistant to various Liberal politicians. In August 2014, while the government was escalating its bitter education dispute, Mentzelopoulos, with financial assistance of taxpayers, filed a defamation lawsuit against BC NDP education critic Rob Fleming.

In listing Resource Works insiders, Rafe Mair includes former cabinet minister Geoff Plant, an ex-MLA who landed on his feet after leaving politics. Law firms associated with Plant were paid almost $1 million during fiscal year 2014 and Plant personally received more than $50,000 in directors’ fees from each of BC Ferries and BC Land Title and Survey Authority. He also serves as chair of Providence Health Care but payments to Plant from that quasi-public agency are not disclosed.



ADDENDUM:
Donald Gutstein, adjunct professor, SFU School of Communication, has a more extensive critique of Resource Works at his website: New BC Think Tank’s Findings Remarkably Helpful to Clark. What should be noted from his article is the clear and complete journalistic failures of Vancouver's Postmedia dailies. They provided platforms for misinformation and did it in the style of Izvestia, before and after dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Here's a sample from Gustein's article:
More resource-based jobs are created in the Lower Mainland than in the rest of the province, Cross’s study found.

This could be true. Think of all those Lower Mainland-based lawyers, lobbyists, insurance executives, financiers and PR flaks needed to protect Imperial Metals from the damage wreaked by its devastating Mount Polley tailings pond collapse. Then think of the baristas to serve their coffee and the foreign nannies to look after their kids. And so on.



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4 comments:

  1. Great interview with Damien. He is very interesting and knowledgeable about these issues and along with Ian make for a very informative listen.
    On the subject of the fake interview, surely there is some recourse available, especially to the person interviewed in that his words were used out of context.
    How pathetic is it that these people such as Plant will stoop this low.

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  2. The evil that pervades Photo-op's entourage is breathtaking.

    In the little berg where the "Eye" resides, there are many self important community types that are on so many provincial boards that it makes one head spin. The pompous bastards have their hand in everything and ensure that the locals know when to kow-tow to the BC Liberal Party.

    Evil breeds evil and the stench of Liberal rule is so entrenched in local politics, that one can say with certainty that organized crime runs BC and civic politics.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The mandate of the BC Land Title and Survey Authority includes, in addition to land title registration and land survey standards and approvals, the issuance of Crown grant documents transferring Crown land into private ownership upon direction of the provincial government. It just doesn’t seem right that somebody can be a director of that entity while sitting as a director of a major LNG development company that just might need services under that mandate.

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  4. https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-l9RXi7aQ44U/VQwmHvAQApI/AAAAAAAAVkg/WVNhbha0PD8/s1600/Premier.png

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