Canada is experiencing an awakening of right-right groups in Canada, with groups like Rebel Media spewing far-right racism, and hate crimes on the rise throughout the country.

But far-right white supremacy isn’t the only movement we must keep an eye on. Canada is being influenced by America’s most powerful and richest Republicans, the Koch Brothers. 

The Koch brothers are some of the most dangerous far-right movement supporters in America, due to their vast wealth that they plow into rightwing causes.

Together, Charles and David Koch control one of the world’s largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system

But reports throughout the years have shown that the Koch brothers are intimately involved in shaping Canadian public opinion. They do this by funding the Fraser Institute, an influential, often-quoted think-tank that publishes disproven theories supported by disproven information.

Two foundations under the Koch family‘s auspices – the Charles G. Koch and the Claude R. Lambe Foundations – gave the Fraser Institute large grants to conduct “international work,” its former executive director Michael Walker told the Vancouver Observer.

I know the grant from the Koch Foundation is for our international work, but I can’t tell you which of the projects that it’s funding,” Walker, who co-founded the institute in 1974 and remains a Senior Fellow, told the Vancouver Observer. “Before the Koch Foundation, we used to get funding from Koch Industries, when they had extensive holdings in Canada.

“Years and years” prior to receiving grants from the Koch family foundation, Walker said, a Canadian subsidiary of Koch Industries made regular donations to the organization as a corporate member.

Now you might think the Faser Institue isn’t influencer. But they are far more dangerous than you think.

In 2017 they were rated the top think-tank in Canada and the 11th best independent think-tank worldwide:

Among independent think-tanks, which the University of Pennsylvania report defines as having independence from any one interest group or donor and autonomous in its operation and funding from government, the Fraser Institute ranks 11th best worldwide.

This is outrageous considering that they receive more funding from international organizations than most large progressive Canadian think-tanks.

They are also constantly quoted by the media, even when their research findings are clearly wrong. Sun News, Canada’s largest newspaper chain, even featured their incorrect research findings on their front page.

The mainstream media loves them, just look at these quotes:

“Taxes eat up 42% of average Canadian family’s income: Fraser Institute”

– Toronto Sun

“Average Canadian family spending more on taxes than basic necessities, Fraser Institute says”

– National Post

“Canadian families spend more on taxes than food, shelter: report”

– Globe and Mail

“Fraser Institute report says average Canadian families spend more on taxes than necessities”

– CBC News

They quote the Fraser Institute even though they have a history of making outrageous statements and using factually incorrect data:

  • They were criticized by the United Nations International Labour Organization for using “very misleading” methodologies.
  • They attacked Mary Poppins as communist propaganda (we’re still trying to understand what that has to do with research)
  • They consistently misrepresent data to support their theories, like stating the average Canadian household makes $105,236 per year
  • They claimed taxes were rising due to health care costs, something disproven by their own data

Regardless of whether or the not the Fraser Institute is truthful, the mainstream media continues to cover the Koch brothers funded think-tank.

It’s a reminder that we must stay vigilant about the creeping influence of American rightwingers, like Trump Conservatives, on Canada.

It’s more clear than ever: rightwingers in Canada are increasing in influence. Our opponents are well-organized, they have money and they are winning. If we are going to build a country that is fair, works for the many, and stands up to rightwing hate, we need to fight back. We are a volunteer team trying to fight back against the far-right – click here to donate as  $1 /month to support North99 as we build a movement that can defeat Canada’s radical right.