Andy "CAPP" Wilkinson selectively beats the drum about foreign funding

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      The Fossil Fuel Party—oops, I mean the B.C. Liberals—are accusing the B.C. NDP government of turning a blind eye to foreign funding of environmental groups.

      Opposition Leader Andy "CAPP" Wilkinson* says this "serious issue of foreign interference in politics and elections has been making headlines for years now".

      It's a hoary old chestnut invariably brought up by climate-change minimizers whenever the oil and gas industry is put on the defensive.

      The Fossil Fuel Party, ahem, B.C. Liberals, are making hay out of five U.S.-based organizations having advanced $4.2 million to six Canadian groups that purportedly "support blockades".

      “It’s time for John Horgan to condemn these foreign-funded campaigns, take back control, and guarantee that political power remains in the hands of British Columbians,” Wilkinson said.

      He's frustrated that NDP MLAs haven't debated his private member's bill, the Control of Foreign Funding and Electoral Influence Act.

      The Fossil Fuel Party B.C. Liberals make no mention, naturally, of the magnitude of foreign investment in the Coastal GasLink pipeline. 

      This means that reporters who read the statement won't be reminded that New York-based investment giant KKR recently joined forces with Alberta Investment Management Corporation to buy 65 percent of the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink project.

      That pipeline, which crosses traditional and unceded Wet'suwet'en territory, is part of a $40-billion private sector liquefied natural gas infrastructure project led by Royal Dutch Shell. It's a fossil-fuel behemoth based in the Netherlands.

      Andrew Wilkinson's longstanding support for fossil-fuel production doesn't always play well with climate-conscious voters.
      Andrew Wilkinson

      The partners in the LNG Canada plant are giant state-owned fossil-fuel companies in Malaysia, South Korea, and China. The fifth investor is Japan-based Mitsubishi.

      That adds up to a whole lot of foreign change to hire spin doctors and social-media influencers to steer the public debate in favour of the big foreign-owned corporate giants.

      Compared to this $40-billion expenditure, the $4.2 million in foreign funds that support B.C. environmental groups is a pittance.

      Is it any wonder that many former B.C. Liberal voters who care about the climate have abandoned the party in previously safe Fossil Fuel Party B.C. Liberal seats like North Vancouver–Lonsdale, Vancouver-Fairview, Vancouver–Point Grey, and Burnaby North?

      * Credit must go to Martyn Brown, former chief of staff to ex-B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell, for bestowing the "Andy CAPP" nickname on the Opposition leader.