In an original investigation, North99 has learned that a right-wing US activist group with connections to Donald Trump is expanding onto Canadian campuses.
The organization is called Turning Point Canada, and it’s a branch of Turning Point USA, a right-wing “student activist” group funded by the billionaire Republican mega-donor Koch Brothers.
Turning Point USA describes themselves as a nonprofit that organizes and trains students “to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.” They plan to launch a chapter at Simon Fraser University, with more to come:
Turning Point Canada is proud to announce our first chapter at Simon Fraser University!
Much more to come! 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/je2u4VY9Ti
— Turning Point Canada (@TPCAN) December 27, 2017
Turning Point USA is best known for their absurd media stunts. In one notable incident, a Turning Point USA representative at Kent State University donned a diaper and pacifier, apparently to mock “safe spaces”.
But investigative stories into Turning Point USA have uncovered the darker truth about the organization: far from a grassroots student group, Turning Point is a well-funded astroturf group acting as the campus wing of America’s right-wing.
According to Media Matters, the Koch brothers, through the Charles Koch Foundation, are a major backer of Turning Point. They are intimately connected to the Atlas Network, an organization we’ve written about extensively, which funds right-wing lobby groups in Canada.
In recent years, Turning Point USA has fully embraced Donald Trump, even featuring his son Donald Trump Jr. as a speaker at their Student Action Summit. Turning Point Canada even tweeted about it.
CONFIRMED!!! Come see Donald Trump Jr. at the 2017 Student Action Summit!
— Turning Point Canada (@TPCAN) October 16, 2017
The founder of Turning Point USA was also thanked personally by Donald Trump:
“The President has accomplished some absolutely historic things during this past year.” Thank you Charlie Kirk of Turning Points USA. Sadly, the Fake Mainstream Media will NEVER talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews. We are compiling a long & beautiful list.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2017
Turning Point Canada isn’t the only American-backed dark money group operating on Canadian campuses. As we’ve written about previously, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s “grassroots” campus group Generation Screwed is part of the Koch-funded Atlas Network. They were even featured on the Atlas Network’s website.
All of this paints a growing picture of American far-right groups funded by dark money trying to bring Trump-style right wing politics to Canada.