Who Paid for Mayor Nenshi's Europe Trip?
Last week, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was in Europe attending something called the "CityXCHange Summit", hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation. The conference, held in the picturesque Italian town of Bellagio on the shores of Lake Como, is described by organizers as "a venue for bringing together some of the world’s most forward-thinking leaders from ten global cities with technology innovators to unpack common urban challenges and identify new ways to leverage the latest tech in service of urban resilience."
The fact that it's held in a popular Italian vacation hotspot probably doesn't hurt attendance at the conference either.
But it wasn't clear who was paying for our Mayor to gallivant across the globe to meet with other "forward-thinking leaders" until today - when he revealed that the Rockefeller Foundation had picked up the tab for his trip.
So - who is the Rockefeller Foundation and why would they want to pay for a trip for our Mayor to go on an Italian getaway?
The Rockefeller Foundation - funded by members of the ultra-wealthy Rockefeller family - is a US-based foundation that advances "the well-being of humanity through-out the world." One of their initiatives is to provide funding for climate change groups - including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This group has championed carbon dioxide reduction and measures such as carbon taxes to force countries to cut their carbon emissions in accordance with global climate agreements.
This trip to Europe for our Mayor - which the climate change-opposing Rockefeller Foundation so generously paid for - what are they expecting in return from the Mayor and from Calgary?
This isn't the first time we've seen the name Rockefeller associated with influencing Canadian politics.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund - paid for by other members of the Rockefeller Family - have been huge contributors to anti-pipeline and anti-oil sands groups in Canada.
They've provided US funds to groups which campaigned aggressively against the Conservative government in the 2015 election - groups that include LeadNow and the Tides Foundation.
It seems that influencing Canadian politicians is a priority for the Rockefellers across several of their foundations.
The question remains - why did the Rockefeller Foundation decide to send our Mayor to Italy for a conference, and pick up the tab for his travel? And what do they expect in return?
At best, this was simply a travel junket for a mayor who sometimes feels more at home among the global elite than he does amongst everyday Calgarians.
At worst, it's another example of our City government being influenced by an international group with its own agenda - an agenda which might be hostile towards our city's energy sector.
We need the Mayor to come clean on why he went on this paid trip to Europe, and what expectation there is from the Rockefeller Foundation in exchange for their funding his travel. Sincerely, Save Calgary
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