Sunday, May 24, 2015

Follow The Money


Recently, Linda McQuaig asked a question which, so far, has stayed under the radar. Who, she asked, owns Stephen Harper? Mr. Harper has done his best to keep the answer to that question secret:

In the 2002 Canadian Alliance leadership race, Harper disclosed some of his donors but kept secret 10 of the major ones. A list of donors to Harper's Conservative party leadership race two years later was at one point posted on the party's website but has since been removed.

At the time of those races, it was legal for leadership contenders to receive unlimited donations from corporations, including foreign-owned businesses operating in Canada.

Which led McQuaig to wonder if  the Koch Brothers are somehow connected to Harper:

In the recent U.S. congressional elections, the Koch brothers helped secure the victory of an unlikely band of far-right extremists who control both the House and Senate.

Among some 3 million political ads for both parties, there wasn't a single mention of the issue of income inequality -- either for it or against it, says Sam Pizzigati, editor of a newsletter on inequality at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies.

We do know that the Koch Brothers support the work of the Fraser Institute, one of Harper's most vehement enablers. But, even if the Kochs have not contributed to Harper's rise, we should know who did. It's instructive to remember that Karl Heinz Schreiber gave Brian Mulroney the money to fund his first campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Schreiber did not give Mulroney money out of the goodness of his heart. We now know what he wanted in return.

Deep Throat's advice to Woodward and Bernstein is as relevant today as it was forty years ago. You find out all kinds of things when you follow the money. If Harper has not made it easy to do that, it's probably because he knows what happened to Richard Nixon after Woodward and Bernstein took Mark Felt's advice.


Toby said...

Good question, Owen. I have wondered that for years. Of course, I assume that the Koch Brothers own Stephen Harper but I think there are some others, most notably Charles McVety, president of Canadian Christian College. There is a definite mix of the extraordinarily wealthy with religious retrogrades.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's barely on the media's radar but Harper's gigantic equivalent of Mulroney's Airbus scandal seems to be the $40-billion, national shipbuilding programme to refit the RCN.

Harper has allocated between 3.5 to 3.7-billion to construct perhaps five Arctic patrol vessels to be built at the oh so Conservative, Irving Shipyards.

MacKay, whose dad, Elmer, was Karl Heinz Schreiber's partner in the Airbus scam, handed Irving $288-million to design these vessels.

Yet they're copies of a Norwegian design, the Svalbard. Norway designed it, built it and outfitted it for a cost of under $100-million floating at the dock.

Denmark built two similar patrol vessels for under $100-million. The Irish navy built a pair for $125-million, all in.

The Norwegians sold us the plans and data for the Svalbard for $5-million. Irving has now outsourced the design of Canada's Arctic patrol vessels to the Danes.

At the end of the day we'll be getting ships worth $150-million a copy at the outside for $700-million per. The Auditor-General says he can't make any sense of those numbers.

Bad as this is, the situation for building new replenishment ships and air defence destroyers, without which we are unable to assemble a task force to defend any of our three coastlines, is even worse.

We're looking at forking out $40-billion for ships worth $10 to $15-billion max. That money is going somewhere but nobody can tell where.

Anonymous said...

Any details about the finances concerning Harper's rise to power were probably shredded/deleted years ago Owen. I think the best chance we have to understand what was/is going on is if some disenchanted Conservative 'Deep Throat' comes out of the closet.

Owen Gray said...

Given the fact that Harper is good at shredding friends, Anon, perhaps such a person may emerge.

Steve said...

Owen I was thinking aboot something very similar on a global scale last week.

Just be thankful the Fraser institute is a no partisian law abiding charity.

Owen Gray said...

It sounds like a replay of the F-35 boondoggle, Mound. Somebody's making a lot of money.

Owen Gray said...

What's the old proverb, Toby? God helps those who help themselves?

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting, isn't it Steve, that the CRA has not seen fit to audit the Fraser Institute?

the salamander said...

.. Mound nails one example, and the Kochs are another. Harper allocates Budget.. which disappears without being spent.. at the same time as he shreds Environmental Legislation and Protection ..

Follow the Money indeed..

But follow the Failure and Deceit as well...
Where is the UI money? Or the CPP money

The list grows deeper, as the obstruction and denial gets more and more ridiculous. Where is Tony Clement hiding? Not a chirpvfrom that asshat lately & John Baird slipped off to his private adventures prior to James Moore #ridemeWilfred riding off on his ! !

ron wilton said...

Out here in Back Country bordering on the Pacific the premier culprit for propelling us on the road to environmental and financial ruin was the titular head of the McLean Group who recruited, financed, aided and abetted the hapless gordon campbell from real estate sales flunky to Vancouver mayor and eventually premier of the province. McLean was also the Canadian chair of the then American owned CN Rail and they through him wanted Back Country Rail with all of it's land, equipment and coastal access and they got it for free as near as we can tell, but only for 999 years. Campbell has since been given his leave from Back Country but the harper has kept him on a short leash as High(he likes his booze) Commish to England.

After Campbell fled, harper dispatched gazillionaire Gwyn Morgan of Encana infame amongst other robber baron enterprises, to be 'special advisor' to and for our new nubile preemy.

Following the money seems to be tangled in the tentacles of the oil patch and delivery of same by pipeline and rail, but finding out anything about the harper in the ether or elsewhere is as elusive as he is but it is worthy of note that he has been able to amass a personal worth of about six million dollars without ever having been gainfully employed except for a stint in the mailroom of the Calgary Esso office for which his father worked.

Owen Gray said...

As Willy Loman -- that failed salesman -- told his brother-in-law, ron, "It's connections, Charley!"

Owen Gray said...

It's interesting, salamander, how everyone connected with the Harper Imperium operates under the Cone of Silence.

John B. said...

What were the sources of the money behind the Northern Foundation? Were the funds that the National Citizens Coalition used to smear Bob Rae's government donated under a condition that stipulated their end use? Who backed the Reform Party's printing company?

If we were to give it a good try, maybe we could find a couple of civic-minded industrialists or TV personalities who, if they judged us to be deserving and sufficiently mature, would be willing to enlighten us.

Owen Gray said...

I'm sure some intrepid souls could find the answers to those questions, John.

But I'm also sure that it would take some leg work.