“Green Cabal of tax-payer $$$ sucking organizations” disguised as “not-for-profit parasites”?

Posted: June 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

The same names keep cropping up every time someone like Parker Gallant “researches” where the $$$ has come into and where it has gone to within “Not-for Profit” organizations such as Summerhill group of entities run by Bruce Lourie.

Isn’t it amazing how much money ends up in these people’s pockets when they continually spout off that they are a not for profit company doing good work for the good of all.

I assume there has been something lost in translation along the way as I thought at one time a Not For Profit endeavour was one that was helping humanity without any return except respect and thanks.

Have I been wrong!!!!!

Bruce Lourie`s Spider Web Captures Prey and Our Tax Dollars

Exploration of the Lourie connections continues (refer attached spider web) with an examination of two more of the Summerhill Group. The following examines the Summerhill “not-for-profit; Summerhill Impact and the “charity”; Summerhill Foundation. As noted in a previous article the 32 programs run by Summerhill Impact presumably have a resultant revenue implication on the full Summerhill Group but as little financial information is available in the public domain it is difficult to quantify.
View this web in.pdf format here

The only financial information accessible is for the charity via the CRA filings (Canada Revenue Agency) and one of the “Impact” programs (buried in the website) that provides any clue on costs to taxpayers. The “Retire Your Ride” (RYR) program was closed effective March 31, 2011, but during it’s relatively short life (2009 appears to be the year it started) it has received in excess of $39 million from Environment Canada or $281 per automobile (138,671 cars claimed removed). Reviewing the financial statements of “Retire Your Ride” indicates that the Summerhill Group (not mentioned in the financial report) generated gross revenue of $406 per automobile. The excess of $125.00 per auto ($17,334,000) in the two years that the RYR operated paid for “Program delivery” ($8.3 million), “Marketing” ($5.5 million), “Professional Fees” ($1.6 million) and “Management Fees” ($1.3 million), and a few other expenses.

Traveling around the website the price for scrap metal varies widely but even the worst price noted was approximately $500.00 per ton which seems to indicate that if Summerhill simply passed on the full Environment Canada subsidy of $281 per auto the scrap dealers would still be well in the black. In the writer’s opinion it would appear that Summerhill Group simply upped the price to acquire the automobile passing their claimed expenses onto the scrap dealers. That $17 million would be more then enough to reward their staff of 66 in one of the reputed “Best Workplaces in Canada”. The $17.3 million in surplus non taxable gross revenue would place the average income level at $131 thousand per annum for this “not-for profit” organization for the two years it existed. Summerhill Group are not forced to disclose the revenue from the Federal and Provincial governments that are probably attached to the other 31 programs they run or we might be truly shocked to see how well those employees are rewarded.

It would be remiss to not mention that Summerhill Impact’s Board of Directors includes Joan King (former City of Toronto Environmental Task Force member) appointed to the Colleges of Nurses of Ontario by the McGuinty Liberals, Dr. Quentin Chiotti, Pollution Probe’s “Climate Change Director” and Paul Berto of Home Depot which use Summerhill for a number of their programs. Other partners touted by Summerhill Impact include; Toronto Hydro, the Ontario Power Authority, Ottawa Hydro, Environment Canada, Health Canada and Natural Resources Canada.

Examining the CRA filings for Summerhill Foundation brings you full circle to earlier articles on Mr. Lourie where the relationship with Rick Smith of Environmental Defence was highlighted. Summerhill Foundation was previously known as Clean Air Foundation (CAF). Their filings for the year 2006 indicate they gifted $149,710 to Environmental Defence yet only reported gross revenue of $1,748. Another gifted amount of $4,250 was made in 2003 and yet another in 2005 for $10,000. CAF itself received $121,000 in grants from the Trillium Fund where Lourie sat as a Director. CAF/Summerhill also received grants of $96,500 from the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and a minimum of $24,500 from Environment Canada.

The winner of taxpayer and foundation largess however is the charity, Environmental Defence (ED) where Lourie’s co-author of their book; “Slow Death by Rubber Duck”, Rick Smith, holds the position of Executive Director and where Lourie is listed as past President. Here is what the writer found ED has received from various parties:

Environmental Defence – Grants Received:
From                        (000’s) Private Public Total
Friends of the Greenbelt1. $2,200 $2,200
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (US) $390 $390
Ivey Foundation $646 $646
Metcalf Foundation $522 $522
Trillium Foundation $943 $943
Toronto Atmospheric Fund2 $75 $75
Oak Foundation3 $427 $427
Tides US $250 $250
Tides Canada $105 $105
EJLB Foundation $150 $150
McLean Foundation $35 $35
Salamander Foundation4 $35 $35
Global Greengrants Fund (US)5 $120 $120
Catherine Donnelly Fund6 $70 $70
Clean Air Foundation $174 $174
Total $2,804 $3,338 $6,142
1.Friends of the Greenbelt was founded with $25million in funding by the Ontario Liberal Government. 2. This is a City of Toronto owned fund with Mike Layton & Shelly Carroll on the Board as elected representatives. NB: Rick Smith was Jack Layton’s Chief of Staff for a brief period. 3. Oak Foundation is a Geneva based foundation, 4. A foundation that was originally established by Richard and Jean Ivey and split into two separate funds. 5. A public US charity that seeds environmental action through small grants primarily in the developing world and emerging economies. 6. David Love,Executive Director of Toronto Region Conservation Authority is Vice-Chair
NB: A number of indicated “Supporters” of Environmental Defence did not disclose their contributions/grants!

Environmental Defence has Bruce Lourie listed as a Director and Past President and Tom Rand of MaRS Discovery District (a charity that has received over $150 million in taxpayer funds) as a Director. Rand also sits as an “adviser” on the Tides Canada “Energy Initiative Advisory Board with Lourie and was recently named (along with Rick Smith, Annette Verschuren-a Summerhill Director and Tim Weis of Pembina) a member of the “Ontario Clean Energy Task Force”.

During the last provincial election ED were very active in their efforts to ensure a friendly government was returned to power. They founded a website called www.comeclean.ca jointly with several others including; OSEA, Pembina, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), etc. They also enlisted an 8 year old to tour the Province campaigning for their wish list to maintain the GEA and jointly launched a website with the United Steelworkers (www.bluegreencanada.ca) that promoted a CanWEA report favourable to retention of the Green Energy Act and the Long Term Energy Plan. Environmental Defence are currently under investigation by Elections Ontario to determine if their actions breached the Ontario Elections Act.

The above serves to highlight a small corner of Bruce Lourie’s web of connections and how they all play together using public and private funds to achieve their goals. More to come as the Lourie spider web expands with the addition of more of the entities he claims to have founded and their connections to others caught in the web!

Parker Gallant, June14, 2012

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