Fraser vs Pembina, part 2: Funding

Funding Highlights [added May 31]:

Both the Fraser Institute and the Pembina Institute have some reliance on foreign funding (about 15%). Both organizations rely on foundations for more than half their funding; Fraser enjoys more corporate support, while Pembina has more funding and research contracts from government and other NGOs. In general, Pembina is much more transparent concerning individual funding sources than Fraser.

Nevertheless, this investigation reveals that the oil and gas industry funding plays a much bigger role in the Fraser Institute’s budget than previously realized. Previously unreported cumulative funding from Encana stands at about $1 million; founding CEO Gwyn Morgan gave an additional $1 million, for a total of $2 million. Other important donors have included the Koch brothers ($523,000) and Exxon-Mobil ($120,000), along with significant but unreported regular donations by an unidentified Canadian Koch subsidiary and Exxon-Mobil subsidiary Imperial Oil. There is also circumstantial evidence pointing to support by Keystone XL proponent TransCanada and oil sands operator Canadian Natural Resources. Meanwhile, Pembina has transparently reported support from Suncor (and formerly TransCanada).

This is the second in an ongoing series comparing and contrasting two prominent Canadian think tanks, namely the libertarian and Conservative-friendly Fraser Institute and the environmentally focused Pembina Institute. This follows Part 1, Introduction and Background; subsequent sections cover Funding Transparency, Research Quality, Political Dimensions and Conclusions & Recommendations.

SECTION 2: FUNDING

    1. Summary of Findings
    2. Breakdown of Funding Sources
    3. Foreign Funding
    4. Oil and Gas Company Funding
      1. Encana & Gwyn Morgan
      2. Koch brothers (Koch International)
      3. TransCanada Corp ->Pembina
      4. TransCanada Corp -> Fraser
      5. ExxonMobil & Imperial Oil
      6. Canadian Natural Resources
      7. Suncor
    5. Conclusion


A  FUNDING – SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Funding Breakdown: Fraser has a little more than double the revenue of Pembina ($10.8 M vs $4.8 M).  Both Fraser (54%) and Pembina (77%) derive more than half their donation revenue from foundations. Fraser also relies considerably more on the corporate sector for donations than Pembina (34% vs 7%). However, Pembina derives half its income from consulting fees, mainly with corporations, as well as other non-profits and governments, thus implying a higher corporate share of Pembina’s overall revenues.

Foreign Funding: Fraser and Pembina appear to have a similar level of foreign funding, about one-sixth of total revenue, based on 2010 tax returns and annual reports.

Oil and Gas company funding: Specific corporate or foundation sponsors, whether foreign or Canadian, are harder to identify in the case of the Fraser Institute, whose lack of transparency stands in sharp contrast to the openness of Pembina.

Nevertheless, Fraser’s major oil and gas company sponsor can now be identified for the first time. Canadian oil and gas giant Encana  has donated about $1 million to Fraser’s coffers since 2002, along with an additional $1 million gift from Encana’s founding CEO (and early Harper suporter) Gwyn Morgan, for a combined total of about $2 million.

U.S. based Koch foundations and are in second place and rising fast, having donated a total of $500,000 from 2007 to 2010. In addition, there were regular undisclosed contributions from an unnamed Koch Canadian subsidiary “years and years” before that.

Other oil industry companies associated with Fraser are ExxonMobil, ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil, and Keystone XL lead proponent TransCanada Corporation (also a former supporter  of the Pembina Institute). ExxonMobil donated $120,000 in 2003-2004. The amount and timing of Imperial contributions to Fraser remain unknown. There is strong circumstantial evidence of TransCanada support for Fraser, but no direct evidence or admission of funding, let alone amounts or timing.

The following table summarizes current knowledge of oil and gas industry funding of the Fraser Institute.

Company/Foundation_________ 2010__ Cumulative__
Encana__________________ Morgan-Trottier Foundation Encana/Gwyn Morgan Total $75,000 * N/A___ ______ $1,073,286 * $1,000,000 $2,073,286
Koch Foundations ____________ Koch Cdn. subsidiaries $150,000 None $523,221 Unreported
Exxon-Mobil_______________ Imperial Oil None Unreported $120,000 Unreported
TransCanada Corporation ** TBD TBD
Canadian Natural Resources ** TBD TBD

* Previously undisclosed Encana support given in response to author inquiries.
** Circumstantial evidence for support, without official confirmation as yet.

Suncor Energy, now Canada’s largest oil and gas company, is a long time supporter of Pembina, donating in five figures most years, as well as contracting for various consultant services.


B – BREAKDOWN OF FUNDING SOURCES

Note: This and subsequent sub-sections draw on information catalogued in Section 1: Introduction and Background. Among the resources there are links to 2010 tax returns and annual reports from 2007 to 2010 for both Fraser and Pembina.

The 2010 Fraser Institute annual report lists three categories of donors: foundations, “organizations” and individuals. I have assumed that the organization category consists of mainly corporate donors. Here is the 2010 breakdown in terms of numbers of contributors:

  • Foundations: 2%
  • Corporate: 12%
  • Individual: 84%

However, the breakdown by total dollar contribution shows the primacy of foundations.

  • Foundations: 54%
  • Corporate: 34%
  • Individual: 12%

The situation at Pembina is more complicated, as Pembina derives considerable revenue (about half) from consulting fees, rather than donations. Almost all of its revenue from donations, which are used to support actual grant programs,  comes via the Pembina Foundation. Their 2010 annual report gives the following breakdown of contributions.

  • Foundation Program Grants: $1,312,933 (77%)
  • Individual Donations: 266,150 (16%)
  • Corporate Program Contributions/Donations: $121,554 (7%)

Including the consulting side, however, would no doubt increase the corporate as well as show income from other non-profits and government sources. Nevertheless, it is clear that foundations remain the main source of Pembina support. Indeed, the top five donors in 2010 were all foundations, led by the Hewlett Foundation at more than $500,000.


C – FOREIGN FUNDING

Fraser

In their 2010 annual report, the Fraser institute reported that foreign sources accounted for only 9% of total revenue. However, the 2010 tax return shows $1.8 million of revenue “from sources outside Canada” out of a total of $10.8 million revenue, or 16%.

U.S. foundations known to have supported Fraser in the past include Scaife, Lynde & Harry Bradley, Olin, Carthage and Koch. The latter is discussed in more detail in the following section on oil company funding (along with another foreign source of funding, ExxonMobil).

Fraser also appears to receive funding from foreign-controlled (and majority foreign-owned) companies such as ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil. Such sources are eligible for Canadian tax receipts and are not considered foreign sources by Revenue Canada. If such foreign-controlled sources are counted as foreign, then the true percentage of foreign funding is presumably somewhat higher.

Pembina

The Pembina Institute operates with a combination of direct  funding (fee for service) and  “flow through” funding from the Pembina Foundation. Vivian Krause identified US$ 2.8 million of funding for the Pembina Foundation originating with the Hewlett Foundation since 2004, but has made no attempt to ascertain the percentage of revenue this might represent.

However, both Pembina Foundation and Pembina Institute publish comprehensive donor lists in their respective annual reports. In 2010, Pembina received more than $500,00 from the Hewlett Foundation, as well as significant grants (between $50-99,000) each from the National Resource Defence Council, the Bullit Foundation and the Townsend-Lamarre Foundation. There was also a smaller fee for contract work with the British High Commission.

In a recent statement, Pembina Executive Director Ed Whittingham, pegged year-to-year non-Canadian revenue “on the order of one tenth” of the total. However, the above figures suggest a somewhat higher percentage in 2010. Assuming roughly $800,000 of “foreign” sources out of total revenue of $4.6 million yields a 17% share, almost identical to the Fraser Institute.


D – OIL AND GAS COMPANY FUNDING

Both think tanks have evident support from oil and gas companies. However, the Fraser Institute does not list donors, let alone donor amounts, so funding sources and amounts must be imputed from other sources. Pembina does list all individual donations in its recent annual reports;  the exact amount is not always given, but relatively narrow ranges provide a good approximation of the level of support.

The following table summarizes current knowledge about oil and gas industry support for the Fraser Institute.

Company/Foundation_________ 2010__ Cumulative__
Encana__________________ Morgan-Trottier Foundation Encana/Gwyn Morgan Total $75,000 * N/A___ ______ $1,073,286 * $1,000,000 $2,073,286
Koch Foundations ____________ Koch Cdn. subsidiaries $150,000 None $523,221 Unreported
Exxon-Mobil_______________ Imperial Oil None Unreported $120,000 Unreported
TransCanada Corporation ** TBD TBD
Canadian Natural Resources ** TBD TBD

* Previously undisclosed Encana support given in response to author inquiries.
** Circumstantial evidence for support, without official confirmation as yet.

Details and sources concerning the above, as well as Pembina’s transparent reporting of support from  Suncor and TransCanada, are given in the following company-by-company discussion.


Encana and founding CEO Gwyn Morgan

Encana, Canada’s second largest oil and gas company, has contributed more than $1 million to the Fraser Institute since  the company’s formation in 2002. The Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation gave an additional $1 million to the Fraser Foundation in 2007 (Gwyn Morgan is the now retired founding CEO of Encana, and was a key fundraiser and supporter of Stephen Harper’s successful Conservative Party leadership bid ). Encana board member (and major shareholder) Michael Chernoff provided unspecified support for a biased and flawed contrarian climate science education  program, aimed at Canadian high school students. Thus contributions from Encana and its major shareholders total more than $2 million through 2012.

Encana does not provide charitable funding information in its annual report. However, the company does provide detailed information on request; the following information was provided to me in private communication in 2008, with slight additional details on more recent years communicated recently. In 2005, the year Gwyn Morgan retired, Encana entered into a 10-year $750,000 commitment with Fraser; thus each succeeding year has seen a minimum $75,000 membership contribution.

Year_of_don Amount
2002-3 $198,728
2004 $116,000
2005 $200,808
2006 $75,000
2007 $77,750
2008 $75,000
2009 $105,000
2010 $75,000
2011 $75,000
2012 $75,000
Total $1,073,286

Adding the Morgan-Trottier foundation 2005 gift of $1 million puts the total from Encana and Gwyn Morgan at $2 million and rising.

Moreover, this is likely an underestimate, as it does not include financial support from Morgan’s Alberta Energy Company prior to the merger that led to the formation of Encana in 2002. In 1999, Morgan joined the Fraser Institute board (1999 Annual Report PDF, p. 29). That same year, he described the Fraser Institute as a “voice of reason” and its work as “important to the future of this country” (Fraser 25 year retrospective PDF, p. 7).  Thus Alberta Energy was likely a corporate member and contributor, at least from 1999 on.


Koch brothers (Koch International)

The Koch brothers‘ web of influence on U.S. politics first came to widespread attention with the publication of  Covert Operations by Jane Mayer  in the New Yorker in July 2010. This followed the comprehensive Greenpeace report on Koch efforts to undermine environmental regulation, Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine (March 2010).

As U.S. 503(c) charitable tax-exempt foundations, the various Koch family foundations must report all grants and donations. Details of Koch foundation financial support for the Fraser Institute were given in Greenpeace’s 2011 update on the Koch climate disinformation effort, Still Fueling Climate Denial (2011 Update). The latest Koch foundation tax return shows that an additional $150,000 was donated in 2010, as recently reported in the Vancouver Observer.

Year_of_don Foundation_family ________Amount_($US)
1992 Lambe $18,221
1993 Charles G Koch $5,000
2007 Lambe $25,000
2008 Charles G Koch $150,000
2009 Charles G Koch $175,000
2010 Charles G Koch $150,000
Total $523,221

If the recent level of funding ($150,000 per year) is maintained or exceeded, then by the end of 2012 Koch foundation funding will have hit more than $800,000 (US).

At first glance, the long gap following the early donations in 1992-1993 seems curious. However, Fraser co-founder Michael Walker (now semi-retired, although still a Senior Fellow)  recently told the Vancouver Observer that an unnamed Koch Canadian subsidiary had also been a regular donor.

“Before the Koch Foundation, we used to get funding from Koch Industries, when they had extensive holdings in Canada”.

“Years and years” prior to receiving grants from the Koch family foundation, Walker said, a Canadian subsidiary of Koch Industries made regular donations to the organization as a corporate member.

Fraser corporate memberships are presumably agreed to on a case-by-case basis, but appear to be typically in the high figures (as noted above Encana gives $75,000 per year).

Koch Industries has a long history in the oil sands, although  its status as a publicity-averse, privately held company has obscured much of its activity. However, David Sassoon of Inside Climate News has pieced together much of this history from a number of sources, mainly various regulatory filings. Currently, Koch’s main Canadian operation is transshipment at the Flint Hills subsidiary’s terminal in Hardisty, established in 1998.  Koch has also been active in trading – and sometimes developing – oil sands leases through Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC and its affiliates.

In the late 1990s, there were two Koch subsidiaries active in Canada; one or the other of these may have been the Fraser donor referred to by Walker. Koch Pipelines was a public Canadian company established in 1997 and listed on the Toronto stock exchange. It  bundled Koch’s existing pipelines (three in Canada and one in the U.S.).

A second subsidiary, TrueNorth Energy,  held a 78 percent stake in the Fort Hills oil sands project. Sassoon takes up the story.

But in 2003, after investing years of effort and $125 million, Koch decided to indefinitely defer development of the project, closed its offices and terminated its staff, citing “general uncertainty regarding the potential impacts of the Kyoto Accord” as one of the reasons.

… When the Kochs pulled out of Fort Hills, Canadian media reports described it as the first casualty of Kyoto in Alberta’s oil patch. Koch eventually sold its interest in the project.

The Fraser Institute, with its libertarian bent and implacable opposition to Kyoto and climate science in general,  would have been a natural fit for either Koch subsidiary.

For now, the exact source and extent of Koch Industries support before 2007 must remain a mystery. It’s reasonable to infer however that “regular” donations from a Fraser corporate member might well have totaled in the vicinity of $400-500K (for example, six years at $75K per year yields $450K).


TransCanada Corporation and the Pembina Institute

Keystone XL proponent TransCanada Corporation gave no information about its support for think tanks or independent research in its 2010 annual report. However, previous reports (e.g. 2009) do note support for the Foothills Research Institute Grizzly Bear Program.

TransCanada was a strong supporter of Pembina up until 2007, starting at least as far back as 2003. In 2005 and 2006, TransCanada was a supporter of the Pembina education program for northern communities. Another Pembina project supported by TransCanada was the 2005 report Defining Corporate Environmental Responsibility.  In 2007, TransCanada gave a significant donation (in the range of $50,000–$99,999), but that appears to be the last major support for Pembina. In addition, TransCanada Ontario was acknowledged as a sponsor of the Pembina Green Learning program up until 2009. However, by 2010, TransCanada no longer appeared on the list of sponsors.

Other Green Learning founding sponsors who have since dropped out include the Alberta government and Environment Canada, leaving only Environment Ontario among governmental sponsors.


TransCanada Corporation and the Fraser Institute

TransCanada has never acknowledged any support for the Fraser Institute, and in general appears to have an implicit policy against releasing such information. Nevertheless, there are strong indications of past financial support on the part of TransCanada.

In November 2011, the Fraser Institute honoured TransCanada’s outgoing CEO, Hal Kvisle, with a Founder’s Award, meant to celebrate “outstanding achievements in entrepreneurship, the promotion of free markets, and philanthropic support for private sector, non-profit enterprises”. In retrospect, Kvisle’s acceptance speech reads like the opening salvo in the coming Conservative-Ethical Oil attack on environmental groups.

Similarly, we have global warming activists who sound the alarm bells with the most egregious hyperbole in history. These alarmists demand that internal combustion engines be banned and that coal-fired power plants be shut down immediately. I don’t know what the real agenda of these activists is, but I know their demands don’t reflect the energy system that keeps North America running.

The list of other recent Canadian recipients is a virtual who’s who of right-wing Canadian business leaders in finance and resource extraction.

  • Anthony Fell (RBC Bank)
  • Harley Hotchkiss (Sabre)
  • Peter Brown (Canaccord Financial)
  • Peter Munk (Barrick Mining)
  • Allen Markin (Canadian Natural Resources)
  • Norman B Keevil (Teck Resources)

Most of these, or their associated companies or foundations, have reportedly supported the Fraser Institute at various times. For example, the Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation donated $100,000 to Fraser and Munk’s Aurea Foundation gave another $50,000 in 2010 (the same year Munk was honoured with a Founders’ award). So it’s a reasonable to infer that TransCanada and/or Kvisle have also been generous to Fraser in the past.

But perhaps the most telling evidence of the Fraser-TransCanada connection came earlier in 2011, with the little noticed release of a Fraser report by Mark Milke. In America’s Interest, complete with a foreword by none other than Ezra Levant himself, dressed up the “ethical oil” argument in a social science “analysis” comparing Canada with other oil exporting countries. Much emphasis was placed on intellectually vacuous measures of “economic freedom” and “property rights” (a typical libertarian twist on human rights rhetoric).

In America’s Interest was clearly aimed at boosting the Keystone XL pipeline in the eyes of U.S. opinion leaders and received little attention or promotion in Canada. In fact, the study was  jointly published with the American think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, at least according to the CEI blurb. (The CEI PDF version appears to be identical to the Fraser PDF, except for the CEI logo slapped on the front cover).

But one Canadian company did take a special interest. That’s right – TransCanada breathlessly trumpeted the Milke report the day after its release.

TransCanada highlights the findings of a new report by the Fraser Institute that found the United States will have to rely on getting its oil from repressive regimes overseas if it shuns crude oil imports from Canada.

The short gap makes it virtually certain that TransCanada had advance knowledge of the study, which in turn implies prior connection. It is also noteworthy that this press release does not appear in the TransCanada news archive, seemingly the only one not retained among dozens of 2011 press releases.

In public, TransCanada has been careful to avoid the actual term “ethical oil”, but the rhetoric denigrating non-Canadian foreign imports to the U.S. has grown  increasingly strident and personalized as it moves in line with the memes put forth by Ethical.org and the Fraser Institute. In particular, some time in 2011 TransCanada leaders and spokespersons began using the term “conflict oil” in presentations to the U.S. public, as noted in a report by the LA Times in July 2011.

“All Americans would rather receive U.S. and Canadian oil from Keystone than conflict oil from [Libya’s] Moammar Kadafi or [Venezuela’s] Hugo Chavez,” Alex Pourbaix, Trans- Canada’s president of energy and oil pipelines, said recently in Montana.

The invocation of “conflict oil” from “unfriendly” countries as the unpalatable alternative to the oil sands has since become a staple of TransCanada press releases, for example in a September 2011 announcement of a press conference on “Why Keystone XL is in the National Interest of the United States”, and  CEO Russ Girling’s January 2012 announcement of the Keystone reapplication.

In summary, while TransCanada’s exact involvement and level of financial support for Fraser can not be ascertained at present, there is compelling circumstantial evidence pointing in that direction.


ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil

According to its annual giving reports, Exxon Mobil gave Fraser $60,000 in each of 2003 and 2004, for a total of $120,000. In 2006, then Fraser President Michael Walker acknowledged the money had gone to Fraser’s environmental initiatives (largely climate change commentary at that time).

Walker said the funding paid for the work of researcher Ken Green, who at the time headed up the Fraser Institute’s ”Environmental Literacy Council.”

Less evident has been the connection with ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil. However, the Imperial-Fraser association goes back at least to 1999.

On the occasion of Fraser’s 25th anniversary in 1999, Imperial CEO Rob Peterson praised the Fraser Institute’s role in moving Canada away from Trudeau era policies, such as the National Energy Policy.

That turnaround…was only possible with the policy shift away from increased regulation and toward greater reliance on market forces. The Fraser Institute has been a leader in contributing to the intellectual climate in Canada that has fostered that shift, not just in energy policy but in all aspects of public policy.

Unlike its parent company, Imperial Oil gives little information about corporate giving to public policy organizations (although it does have a separate foundation for more conventional charitable causes). However, the 2006 Imperial corporate citizenship report had this to say about industry association and think tank support.

We interact with government either directly or through a range of industry associations, including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chemical Producers’Association, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. We also fund public policy think-tanks, including the Fraser Institute, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Canada West Foundation and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. In 2006, we invested about $3 million in industry associations and public policy organizations.

It’s not known how much of that $3 million might have gone to Fraser, but the statement does seem to imply ongoing significant support, perhaps in the range of $75K-100K per year.

Similar statements in subsequent years, such as the 2007 Citizenship report (p. 31) and  the 2009 policy discussion statement, no longer refer to think-tank support. However, there is no reason to suppose that Imperial suddenly stopped such support for Fraser, C.D. Howe and the others after 2006. The 2008 Howe Institute annual report lists Imperial as a corporate member (p. 15) and shows Imperial as a sponsor of a special event entitled North American Collaboration on Energy Supply, Access and Infrastructure (p. 12). Thus it is reasonable to infer that support for Fraser would also have continued.

A possibly ominous new development is found in a recent list of recipients issued by the Imperial Oil Foundation, which, as previously mentioned, generally funds more traditional charitable activities. Fraser is listed as a 2011 recipient of Foundation largesse for an unspecified educational program, apparently for the first time.


Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL) is Canada’s third most profitable oil and gas company; its largest operation is the Horizon Oil Sands project.

Little is known about CNRL’s support for think tanks. However, as noted above, retiring chairman Allan Markin was honoured by the Fraser Institute with a 2010 Founder’s Award, which suggests past support by CNRL. Another Fraser connection comes through board member Wilfred Golbert, who has been a Fraser Institute Senior Fellow for Energy Studies since 2006.


Suncor

Following a blockbuster merger with Petro Canada, Suncor Energy is now Canada’s largest oil company. Suncor was one of the first oil sands developers and remains the largest single operator there.

Pembina and Suncor have a long association dating back to the 1990s, as described in The Suncor-Pembina Partnership, although the relationship has been somewhat strained by recent differences over oil sands expansion and other issues.

However, Suncor Energy Foundation continues to provide support for various Pembina educational and reseserch programs, while Suncor itself still turns to Pembina for various consulting services.

Specific projects funded recently by the Suncor Foundation include (along with range level):

  • 2007: Pembina Communications Capacity and Enhancement Project, $50,000-$99,999
  • 2009: Green Learning, $20,000-$49,000
  • 2010: Environmental Youth Education, $20,000-$49,000

Suncor Inc has had corporate consulting contracts with Pembina in each of the last several years, notably for “life-cycle value assessment training workshops and sustainability training” in 2008.

Other oil companies

Other oil companies supporting Pembina in recent years include Shell Oil and Conoco Phillips. It is not known whether these or other companies also support the Fraser Institute.


E – CONCLUSION

This look at funding for these two prominent think tanks shows a similar reliance on foundations, as well as a moderate level of foreign sources of support.

Previous media and research reports had identified funding from ExxonMobil and Koch Foundations, but Canadian based companies had little attention. Newly available evidence presented here indicates a much higher level of oil and gas company support for the Fraser Institute than previously appreciated.

In particular, the new revelation of $2 million in cumulative funding from Encana and its founding CEO Gwyn Morgan is striking, especially given Morgan’s strong ties to the Conservative Part of Canada and PM Stephen Harper. There are also compelling indications of funding from an unnamed Koch Industries subsidiary, ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil and TransCanada Pipelines. A key emergent concern here is the manifest lack of transparency exhibited by Fraser (in stark contrast to Pembina), and at least some of Fraser’s supporters.

That is why the next section will look more closely at funding transparency of both Fraser and Pembina, and their main oil and gas company supporters. Meanwhile, it is hoped that public and media pressure will begin to move the Fraser Institute and its supporters along the path of greater openness.

Indeed, it is already clear that concerns about foreign”special interests” and “money laundering” by environmental groups are at best misplaced and highly hypocritical. It seems that such concerns arise more from the groups’ disagreement with government policy than any legitimate concerns regarding foreign influence, special interests or lack of transparency. These are issues which are just as applicable, or even more so, to the Canadian government’s corporate and think tank allies.

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4 responses to “Fraser vs Pembina, part 2: Funding

    • As I mentioned in the section on foreign funding, there are different possible definitions of “foreign” funding. The charity section of the Canadian Revenue Agency uses the narrowest definition, namely foreign entities that do not file tax returns in Canada, and therefore are ineligible for charitable tax deductions in Canada. This would include Exxon-Mobil and the Koch Foundations. (Note however that since the Fraser Institution does have tax status in the U.S., these entities’ contributions are eligible as charitable donations in the U.S.).

      Then there are foreign-owned, foreign-controlled entities like Imperial Oil (more than 60% owned by Exxon-Mobil). For charitable purposes, such companies are considered Canadian. However, in statistics on industry ownership they are considered foreign-owned. There are quite a few such companies with operating in the oil sands, including Imperial, Total (France) and MEG (China).

      Finally, there are other public companies that are headquartered in Canada and have Canadian management, but have significant ownership outside Canada (large investor groups). For example, a quick look at the list of main holders of Suncor appears to indicate that the majority of this stock is held outside Canada.

      http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/su/institutional-holdings

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