Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Premier Gordon Campbell salutes Fraser Institute as Honourary Chair of 35th Anniversary

BC Premier Gordon Campbell saluted the right-wing Fraser Institute think tank last night as it celebrated its 35th Anniversary - by serving as Honourary Chairman of the event - which also honoured Canaccord Capital chairman Peter Brown.

Tickets to the event at the Hyatt Regency included "premium tables" at $7000 each and "premier tickets" at $500 each, plus standard $5000 tables and $350 individual tickets.

Among those attending along with Campbell, according to Urban Mixer, were former Ontario Conservative Premier Mike Harris, mega-millionaire Frank Giustra, and surprisingly even Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu.

Sponsors of the event included Canaccord Capital, Bayview Residences of Victoria, Teck Corporation, Haywood Capital Markets and Business In Vancouver newspaper.

Brown and Canaccord Capital are longtime financial and political supporters of Campbell and his BC Liberals - in the 2009 election Canaccord donated $36,000 to the party and $139,890 in the 2005 election year.

And Brown was on the private jet with Campbell that was hired by the late Jack Poole, chair of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to fly to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Brown sits on the Fraser Institute's Board of Directors, which is chaired by former Future Shop owner Hassan Khosrowshahi and includes other right-wing corporate leaders like Brandt Louie - CEO of London Drugs, Gwyn Morgan - former CEO of Encana,

Brown received the T. Patrick Boyle Founder's Award - Boyle being a former MacMillan Bloedel Vice-President who helped fund the Fraser Institute's beginnings during the term of the Dave Barrett BC NDP provincial government.

The Fraser Institute has a long and controversial history since it was first established in BC by Michael Walker, its first executive director, as a free market and near libertarian think tank that has cleverly used its influence to move political discourse to the right.

Its "Tax Freedom Day" uses faulty logic to argue that a day around the middle of the year is when taxpayers stop "paying the government and start paying themselves." Many media dutifully report this "news" year after year without examining the research behind it or noting that taxes pay for roads, education, medical services etc.

Recently Campbell has been criticized mildly by the Fraser Institute for not cutting corporate taxes enough and failing to eliminate the Agricultural Land Reserve that protects farmland from housing developments.

The Fraser Institute wants more "balanced" labour laws - i.e. balanced for employers, does not believe in global climate change or taking action to stop it, among other controversial positions.

But none of that discouraged Campbell from being Honourary Chair of the big event.



DPL said...

Money talks and the talking seems to be going mostly in Gordo's direction. I recall many years ago having a beer down at the Longshore Hall in Vancouver. The guy next to me was the, then NDP AG. A lot of underpaid folks were all around us in the crowd. I had just handed over some money for the election campaign. Alex told me that he had spent a long day of collecting a few dollars from supporters , he knew of one socred dropping into a couple of offices on Howe Street who pulled in about a million bucks. That sort of money is hard to fight against for sure. Back then the Frazer Institute was getting prefered postal rates as a "independent" interest group. The fear of the NDP in many circles in this province takes an awful lot of little people putting up a few bucks each to pass the word along. But once again, The socialists are at the gates"

Anonymous said...

Your list of evil doers doesn't mention that Fazil Mihlar, Vancouver Sun editorial pages editor, managed the Fraser Institute regulatory studies program for years. I'm sure other readers can point to more examples of the insidious reach of Fraser Institute alumni and activists.

The new Preston Mannining Center for Building Democracy is another example of the extensive infrastructure supporting the popularizing of right wing/elitist policy. I'm hard pressed to think of much equivalent on the left but for the CCPA - and they are more policy wonks than communications and marketing experts.


Anonymous said...

The Fraser Institute . . . The Brain of the Campbellite Greed is Good, Evil Empire.

Walk the halls of the Walker/Gibson/Manning bunker and you will bump into the ghosts of Franco, Pinochet, Marcos and one day . . . Gordon Campbell, Kevin Falcon & Dennis Schulski.

That the Fraser Insitute even exists is proof that corporate feudalism rules in BC and that representative-democracy thanks to the likes of Carol James is a failed myth in British Columbia.


Anonymous said...

Gee-zuz there's another picture,popped out at me shouldn't that be on a wanted poster?

Norm Farrell said...

The Premier responsible for the lowest minimum wage rate in Canada (unchanged since the NDP established it in 2001) shows who he really aims to serve. Donald Gutstein's book "Not a Conspiracy Theory" gives much detail about corrupt workings of the Fraser Institute.

My blog has a couple of pieces that tell a little more about the objectives and the people behind this anti-social "think-tank":



BC Mary said...

Fraser Institute is a Propaganda Machine.

Quote: "A draft media plan leaked in 1997 revealed a rare glimpse of [the Fraser Institute's] ambitious plans for media presentation, tailoring the Institute's activities to attract the most coverage ..." [P. 172, NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY, How Business Propaganda HIJACKS Democracy. By Donald Gutstein. 2009. Key Porter Books.]

What a perfect example this is, as "Premier salutes Fraser Institute as Honourary Chair of 35th Anniversary" ... with about 6 messages conveyed in that one headline.

Gordo seems wild-eyed with joy at being allowed to look important by the government behind the government of BC.

He has no idea how most people view these optics.

Here's another view of Campbell's world which seems closer to the mark:


By Alastair Haythornthwaite
[Citizen Camera-man]

Anonymous said...

The Fraser institution and their inmates, Walking Eagle, the chamber of commerce and others all embrace corruption as a way of doing business If you can steal money and get away with it you get a bonus.
It wasn't that long ago that they would be referred to as the scum of the earth. When your principals go down the tube your bank account is on the rise.Hell we have quit buying lotto tickets. Who's filling their pockets with that cash.
Why is a religious person like Manning getting into bed with a very corrupt group of business people. Why did that chinese cop attend this meeting ,and who picked up his tab. This was a group of the sleaziest people in BC. That's why they and the Campbell gov get along so well

boomy said...

Gordon Campbell, the Brownwashing environmentalist pretends to be concerned for our environment with carbon taxes and purportedly green, run of river projects that supposedly show this man's concern for Climate Change.

Truth be known, he worships at the feet of the Climate Change deniers, The Fraser Institute!

Just goes to show that with good Public Relations support, you can convince the general public that Gordon Campbell is not the biggest two faced "---r" this province has ever seen.