thumb-2021-011-03 This article is more than 1 year old

Blogger Who Inspired Jason Kenney’s Anti-Alberta Inquiry Says UCP is Spreading ‘Misleading’ Claims About Environmentalists

Vivian Krause accused the UCP of making ‘incorrect’ and ‘exaggerated’ claims about foreign funding of environmental groups

The British Columbia-based blogger whose work formed the basis of the recently concluded Anti-Alberta Inquiry now says Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party is spreading false information that makes exaggerated and misleading claims about environmental groups.

In a tweet aimed at Alberta Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen, blogger Vivian Krause disavowed the UCP’s main talking point following the release of the Anti-Alberta Inquiry’s final report in late October.

Prior to publication of this story, Krause’s tweet remained largely unnoticed and had not been retweeted by a single Twitter user.

“More than a billion dollars has been spent trying to shutdown Alberta’s energy sector — with a lot of media attention,” Dreeshan tweeted on October 22, accusing “anti-Alberta groups” of wanting to make the oil and gas sector “worthless.”

“Minister Dreeshen, this tweet is incorrect,” Krause replied on October 23.

“Please read the report and delete this incorrect tweet,” Krause added. “You should know that it’s just as wrong for you to exaggerate & mislead as it is for the ENGOs to do the same thing.”

A week later, Krause tweeted at Dreeshen a second time:

“Minister Dreeshen, I notice that you have not yet removed this inaccurate tweet. Please do.”

The UCP’s $1.3 billion figure is a misleading number as it includes all funding from sources outside Canada to environmental groups over the span of two decades, including environmental groups that work on issues unrelated to oil or Alberta.

In fact, the Anti-Alberta Inquiry’s report found just a small fraction of that funding actually went towards initiatives that had anything to do with Alberta — only $54 million over two decades.

The same misleading number has been pushed by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and the UCP Caucus’ official Twitter account.

Shortly after the Anti-Alberta Inquiry report was published, the National Post retracted a false headline citing the same exaggerated $1.3 billion figure.

The Anti-Alberta Inquiry’s $3.5 million investigation found no evidence of illegal activity or wrongdoing of any kind. Nevertheless, the report was published with many details redacted about Canadian right-wing organizations that also receive foreign funding.

Kenney first promised to launch a public inquiry to investigate Krause’s claims that Canadian environmental groups are funded by foreign money during Alberta’s 2019 provincial election. During his ominous victory speech, Kenney alluded to Krause’s research, claiming “foreign funded special interests” have been “leading a campaign of economic sabotage against this great province.”

In one of his election videos, Kenney praised “the amazing Vivian Krause” for breaking “one of the biggest stories in Canadian politics in the last decade.” Krause later thanks Kenney for taking her research seriously “even when everyone was still saying I was a conspiracy kook.”

Writing in the Calgary Herald last weekend, Krause slammed Kenney and Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan for failing to find any evidence of wrongdoing.

“Allan found no misconduct, nothing to impugn,” Krause wrote, complaining Kenney and Allan were “giving environmental groups exactly what they wanted.”

“‘No wrongdoing’, the headlines boomed when the report was released,” Krause fumed. “And yet, in his 657-page report, there isn’t a single sentence of legal analysis. What the commissioner, who says he is not allowed to comment further, provided was his personal opinion, not a professional legal analysis.”

“When Kenney and the UCP won, I was hoping for a lawsuit. I want to see the Rockefellers in a Calgary courthouse, explaining why they put the boots to Alberta but not Texas.”

Krause did not respond to multiple requests for comment from PressProgress.


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