Vivian Krause explainer
Vivian Krause, a resident of North Vancouver, British Columbia, is a controversial Canadian blogger who has worked in public relations for the salmon farming industry. She currently describes herself as an “Independent Public Relations and Communications Professional.” Krause runs a blog called “Fair Questions” primarily focused on defending Alberta’s tar sands oil industry from criticism, and continuing to defend the farmed salmon industry.
Although Krause states that she has not received funds from the farmed salmon industry since July 2007, she has stayed in close contact with industry and trade association leaders. Her current employment status is unknown.
In December 2010, when asked by a radio interviewer how she has financed her work, she stated: "It has been extremely difficult, frankly. I lived on a shoestring until I couldn't do it anymore, I borrowed money from my family, even friends. Finally, I sold my house… I had been living from my savings. I wish this had fallen in someone else's lap, but I couldn't look away." Recently (March 2011), a right-leaning Vancouver political blog referred to Krause as “a North Vancouver single mom” and claimed that “Vivian Krause has self-financed through mortgaging (later selling) her home, and accepting loans and good will from family members…”
In her December 7, 2010 testimony in front of the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources, Krause stated, “I am not funded by anyone, I am not part of any industry or any political party.”
In September 2011, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) paid Krause $5,000, plus travel expenses, to address its members during a luncheon talk. "I work from home on my own nickel," she stated in a subsequent tweet. "I'm not funded by anyone. $5,000 from CAPP is the first honorarium I've had."
In a November 24, 2006 presentation in front of the Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture of the B.C. Government, Krause claimed “no connection whatsoever” to the salmon industry, but stated that, “I was employed in the industry three years ago.”
Shortly after her presentation to the Special Committee, Krause said that she began to investigate the role of American foundations, in funding Canadian environmental and charitable organizations critical of the fish farming industry, all at her own expense.
On June 27, 2007, Krause published an article called “The Demarketing of Farmed Salmon by 35 Environmental Organizations in the United States and Canada” on salmonfacts.org, a website operated by the industry association Salmon of the Americas, which Krause later acknowledged paid her a $7500 consultant’s fee for work up until the end of July 2007.
In its Winter 2007 newsletter, Salmon of the Americas highlighted an article that Krause wrote in another publication as “a concerned citizen and consumer” defending farmed salmon, without revealing that the industry group had recently retained her as a consultant.
“In a recent article in the Westcoaster, Vivian Krause writes in as a concerned citizen and consumer regarding the negative publicity created by environmentalist organizations (ENGO’s) towards ocean farmed salmon,” the newsletter stated. “I no longer work in salmon farming, and am writing as a concerned member of the public…” Krause wrote in her September 28, 2007 article in the Westcoaster. In her article she mentions no employment by the salmon farming industry after 2003, omitting that she had worked for Salmon of the Americas, the organization of salmon-producing companies in North and South America, just two months prior.
Who are Vivan Krause's colleagues?
In her December 7, 2010 testimony in front of the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources, Krause mentions her colleague Rob Scagel: “I would also like to acknowledge the much-appreciated contributions of my colleague, Rob Scagel.” Rob Scagel, a well-known climate change denier, was affiliated with the now-defunct industry-funded astroturf organization Natural Resources Stewardship Project as an “Allied Expert.” Scagel is also listed as a co-signer on a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed by 61 scientists denying climate change.The letter was orchestrated by NRSP’s closely-affiliated ally, the “Friends of Science,” a front group that was "outed" by The Globe and Mail newspaper in August 2006 as being partly funded by the oil and gas industry.
In her December 2010 opinion piece in the Financial Post, Krause stated, “On the basis of U.S. tax returns that I’ve analyzed on my own nickel — with additional data from Vancouver consultant Rob Scagel — I testified that since 2000, U.S. foundations have spent upward of $300-million on “conservation” initiatives and the so-called “reform” of resource-based industries in Canada.”
Who publishes Vivian Krause's work?
Krause’s writing has been posted in several newspaper outlets in Canada, including the National Post, Financial Post, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, Business in Vancouver, and the Vancouver Sun. Many of these operate under the Postmedia Network banner, and represent a neoconservative, right-wing perspective.
Ezra Levant, a conservative political activist and controversial figure in Canadian conservative media, has covered Vivian Krause’s work on Sun TV.
Additionally, her writing is published on a small right leaning Vancouver blog and some farmed salmon industry blogs and websites, such as SeafoodSource.com, which bills itself as a site for “industry insiders.” Charlie Smith, the Editor-in-Chief at The Georgia Straight, has written four times about Vivian Krause and her allegations against Tides Canada, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and environmental groups.
Where does Vivian Krause stand on the issues?
Krause advocates for maximum exploitation of Canada’s tar sands. In her December 7, 2010 testimony in front of the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources, Krause stated that, “The development of Alberta oil is a billion dollar opportunity, and I hope that we will make the most of that opportunity.”
Krause says she believes that Canada’s natural resources make it “the pantry of North America” and that “there’s an American interest that’s served if the exports, especially of our oil to Asia, are blocked.”
Krause's theory that U.S. charitable foundations are working to protect "an American interest" in receiving tar sands oil from Canada by funding efforts to block oil tanker traffic along the British Columbia coast (i.e. Asian export routes) has been challenged by the Dogwood Initiative, which points to the fact that the same U.S. foundations are funding efforts to block the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.
Tides Canada Foundation President Ross McMillan responded to Krause’s allegations in a letter published in the Financial Post, stating that: “As a registered Canadian charity, operating in full compliance with charitable laws, Tides Canada will continue to unite diverse interests and forge innovative solutions to tough environmental and economic challenges, in Alberta and elsewhere. And despite Krause’s suggestions to the contrary, there is nothing nefarious about that.”
In an article in the Vancouver Observer, Linda Solomon – sister of Tides board member Joel Solomon - asserted that Vivian Krause employs “echoes of Beckian hyperbole. Claiming that Americans have funded Tides donations to the Canadian environmental movement to the tune of 6 million dollars since 2003, Krause says only paragraphs later that this "means the Alberta oil industry is up against a billion-dollar gorilla."
Krause has also campaigned against the David Suzuki Foundation’s work on open net pen salmon farming in British Columbia, accusing the organization of using bad science to bolster its position that closed containment salmon farming is more environmentally responsible than open net pen salmon aquaculture.
Krause suggested in a Financial Post commentary piece that David Schindler, a world-renowned water biologist at the University of Alberta, was part of a conspiracy to produce science matching the “agenda” of the Tides Foundation and others. Dr. Schindler responded to Krause’s allegations in a follow-up letter to the Financial Post. Schindler wrote that Krause “ignored some basic facts about the funding for the [contaminant] study,” and noted that, “all major universities have policies to protect scientists from pressure by funding agencies that attempt to bias or suppress their findings”.
With files and research from SourceWatch. Permission under Creative Commons agreement