New film probes funding of anti-oil activism

The documentary film Over A Barrel focuses on the work of researcher Vivian Krause, who has studied the links between wealthy American foundations and Canadian environmental groups who oppose oil and gas development. (YouTube image)

The documentary film Over A Barrel focuses on the work of researcher Vivian Krause, who has studied the links between wealthy American foundations and Canadian environmental groups who oppose oil and gas development. (YouTube image)

The work of researcher Vivian Krause has been compiled into film format with the new documentary Over A Barrel.

Through her writings and research Krause has uncovered financial links between deep-pocketed American philanthropic foundations and Canadian environmental groups opposing oil and gas development.

The new, 30-minute film opens up a wider audience to Krause’s ideas beyond natural resource industry watchers and activists.

Her message is familiar for many people in the northwest, such as the audience who came out to see Krause give a presentation in June in Burns Lake.

LOOK BACK: Rich U.S. donors fund anti-oil activism, meeting hears

But the documentary adds more layers of detail and perspective by including interviews with such figures as Wet’suwet’en First Nation councillor Karen Ogen-Toews; Russell Tiljoe, a hereditary chief from the Burns Lake Band; Ellis Ross, Skeena MLA and a member of the Haisla Nation; and Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman, among others.

Ross explained that the work of anti-logging environmentalists he encountered several years ago helped save the Kitlope rainforest but brought no jobs to local First Nation communities who were facing problems like drugs, unemployment and suicide.

He notices similarities between those environmentalists and activists today who support the Great Bear Rainforest – where logging is mostly prohibited – but who also oppose pipelines and oil tankers.

“The people who are organizing the Great Bear Rainforest are proposing to set up the Great Bear Sea. Is it a coincidence that the Great Bear Sea includes a shipping lane that LNG tankers will travel to take LNG from Kitimat over to Asia? I think it’s another tactic. Let’s sterilize land, let’s sterilize waterways. Indirectly, we can shut down industry.”

Krause is interviewed several times throughout the film and she speaks about her main thesis: that organizations like the Rockefeller and Hewlett foundations have for several years been giving millions of dollars to Canadian charitable groups like Coastal First Nations, Tides Canada and West Coast Environmental Law to oppose oil and gas development.

The ultimate aim of bankrolling those groups is what Krause calls the “landlocking of Canadian energy industries” to hold an American monopoly on Canadian oil and keep it out of international markets.

Ackerman has sharp words for this situation.

“[These are] charitable organizations that have ulterior motives that damage Canada. Their charitable status needs to be pulled. They need to be banned from working in Canada. Our national government needs to audit them and look deep into where the money is coming from and where it’s going.”

Notably absent from the movie are the voices of 19 environmental organizations and foundations, which did not respond to interview requests or declined to be interviewed, according to the documentary.

Over A Barrel was produced by filmmaker Shane Fennessey, who told Lakes District News that the film sold out on its opening night in Edmonton on Oct. 5, followed by three more sold-out shows in Calgary.

“We originally released the film online for sale ($4.99) but were inundated with pleas to make it free in advance of the Canadian federal election,” he said.

Since it was uploaded to Facebook and YouTube on Oct. 16 it has been streamed hundreds of thousands of times.

It is free to watch online until Oct. 31.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

DOH
Provincial grant tapped to finance downtown project

Butler and 10th next on improvement list

RDBN. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Houston Soccer club. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston Soccer gets record number of registrations

Club will have a soccer season amidst COVID restrictions

District of Houston
Safe Restart grant spending firmed up

Will help cover losses from recreation fees

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read