Although Alberta premier Jason Kenney has recently announced his government is investigating “foreign-funded environmental groups” in the province, left-wing groups only make up a small portion of those who are receiving international dollars. In most cases, foreign donors are giving their money to rightwing groups to influence Canadians. Below, we look at all the groups who are getting funded by American billionaires.

The Koch Brother money that’s shaping public opinion in Canada

Through foundations they fund, ultra-conservative Republicans Charles and David Koch have been regular donors to the Fraser Institute, an influential Canadian think-tank that publishes disinformation regularly. In 2017 they were rated the top think-tank in Canada and the 11th best independent think-tank worldwide, and their research is frequently quoted in CBC, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. Koch Industries has also made regular donations to the organization.

The influence of the Atlas Network in Canada

The Atlas Network is a rightwing American nonprofit that aims to “win long-term policy battles that will shape history.” The organization is funded by several different conservative foundations in the U.S., including the John Templeton Foundation, which aims to “integrate religious beliefs and free-market principles into the classroom.” 12 different Canadian organizations receive financial support from the Atlas Network, and it gave over $200,000 to Canadian groups in 2016. 

Rebel Media’s Kenney coverage funding from an anti-Muslim billionare

It was revealed in early June by PressProgress that Rebel Media’s coverage of Jason Kenney is funded with foreign money. According to Rebel Media’s own website, two of their employees and early Kenney supporters are listed as “Shillman fellows.” Bob Shillman is a wealthy philanthropist who supports US far-right groups that have railed against Muslims and refugees.

Scheer’s strategy session that included top oil executives and a Trump official

In April, it was reported that Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer gave the keynote address at a secret election strategy session attended by Big Oil executives and Trump administration officials. Mike Roman, a special assistant and director of special projects and research under Donald Trump, was one of the attendees, along with the CEOs of some of Canada’s biggest oil companies. 

While Conservatives often pretend that the left is influenced by foreign funders, the truth is that Canada’s right-wing movement is much more driven by foreign backers and funders. American billionaires are actively working to influence Canadian politics and elect right-wing politicians.


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