To clarify its concerns about “foreign special interest groups” and “jet-setting celebrities,” the Harper government points to the National Resources Defense Council. Joe Oliver singles out Tides Canada. Tides Canada is unimpressed.
But a Tides Canada official says support for energy-related issues like the Gateway pipeline amounts to less than 5 per cent of its funds devoted to overall charitable and environmental work in Canada. Often, the group works with governments on conservation, clean water and sustainable agriculture, and was involved in a sustainable aquaculture project announced by federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield in Campbell River, B.C., on Monday.
“I think this whole funding controversy is a diversion. it’s like creating a fireworks show to distract people and stop them from focusing on things that Canadians are really concerned about,” Tides Canada associate Merran Smith said.
Here is the Harper government partnering with Tides Canada Initiatives Society in 2010. Here is the Harper government partnering with Tides in 2009. And here is John Baird, as environment minister at the time, appearing alongside Tides Canada CEO Ross McMillan at an announcement in 2007.