Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bruce Lourie: Canada's Environmental Guru

Bruce Lourie: Canada's Environmental Guru
Parker Gallant, May 9, 2012  

An invitation to receive a $100 rebate in a print ad, simply by bringing an old gas powered mower to Home Depot and purchasing a “Eco-Preferred[1] lawn mower turned into an obsession to find out who was going to pay for that rebate. The ad referred to “Summerhill Impact/A proud partner of The Home Depot”.

It turns out Summerhill Impact (formerly Clean Air Foundation) is a not-for-profit and shares it's name with Summerhill Group a “for profit” and a “charitable” Summerhill Foundation. These three entities are overseen by an “Executive Advisory Board” that includes David O'Brien, retired CEO of Toronto Hydro, Peter Love, Ontario's first Chief Energy Conservation Officer with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Annette Verschueren, former President of Home Depot Canada. Summerhill Impact lists as partners, these taxpayer funded entities; the Province of Ontario, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Toronto Hydro and the City of Toronto.

Summerhill Impact, or it's predecessor, received funding from Trillium Foundation ($121,000), Toronto Atmospheric Fund ($98,700), Environment Canada ($24,500) and signed a recent contract with Health Canada for $350,000. Without going through the process of a FOI (freedom of information) process one must assume that the Province of Ontario, Toronto Hydro and the City of Toronto have contributed dollars either “in kind” or directly that are somehow connected with that “rebate”.

Two of three Summerhill websites are active but the “Foundation” site was “under construction”. No search capabilities can be found on the sites and no reference to Bruce Lourie appears even though his biography states he is; “a founder of a number of for profit and non-profit organizations including Summerhill Group, a prominent market transformation consultancy in Toronto specializing in energy conservation and renewable energy.“ Lourie is described as “one of Canada's most influential leaders and thinkers in the environment sector.” and listed as “President of The Ivey Foundation, a private charitable foundation focusing on environmental policy change.” His bio also states; “He is a Director of the Ontario Power Authority, a (former) Director of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Chair of the Board of Environmental Defence Canada”. The latter has Rick Smith as Executive Director who Lourie collaborated with in writing the book, “Slow Death by Rubber Duck.”

Lourie, via the Ivey Foundation, played a significant role in the creation of the Green Energy Act (Act) as a founding member of the Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA) that lobbied George Smitherman former Minister of Energy & Infrastructure to create the Act. The GEAA was/is still active and their website is listed on many web pages including CanWEA and Environmental Defence, but can't be accessed when a search is conducted. A call to a contact at Environmental Defence seeking clarification as to why the site is no longer available went unanswered.

Lourie's presence on the Boards of both the OPA and Trillium Foundation represents major conflicts as it relates to both the OPA's original mandate to create a long term energy plan for Ontario and a further conflict with the Trillium Foundation's penchant to grant millions of dollars to Lourie related entities, such as Environmental Defence ($943,000), Tides Canada where Lourie sits as an “adviser” ($1,328,300), Clean Air Foundation ($121,000), the Sustainability Network ($997,100), which Lourie also founded and $27,100 to the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network (CEGN) another of Lourie's charitable creations. Lourie has played a role in establishing more then a dozen of these entities in addition to being a named “adviser” to several others including Premier McGuinty's “Climate Change Advisory Panel.”

Summerhill Impact, one of Lourie's premiere creations used a US private sector company's trademark (aimed at US public utility service companies) as a means to construct a rebate program in Canada and this program has earmarks of subsidization by the Canadian taxpayers. This is one of many displays that demonstrate Lourie's success at influencing politicians and bureaucrats; putting him on level that exceeds David Suzuki despite only getting 34,000 hits versus Suzuki's 5 million plus when you do an internet search on the two individuals.

Stay tuned for more insightful information on Bruce Lourie's influence on how he has changed the electricity sector and influenced the thought processes of our politicians in Ontario and the rest of Canada.

Parker Gallant, May 9, 2012

1. Ecopreferred® is a registered trademark used for Public Utility Services and owned by Exelon Corporation, Exelon Ventures Company, LLC.


  1. A similar topic is covered at the Sun Network:
    "Ezra Levant with yet another exposé of dirty money tricks by the Tide Foundation"

    And at the Globe And Mail:

  2. Trading in a "working gas mower, string trimmer, hedge trimmer or chainsaw" for a newer one is the antithesis of conservation. The amount of steel and plastic needed to create one of these new devices and the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill from getting rid of an older model that is not even worn out is wasteful. Tsk, tsk, tsk

    Thanks Parker for this bit of information. Looking forward to your next installment.

  3. Parker many of the day to day people i forward your comments to are not up to speed with ALL the references you give as to who is working behind the scenes with Government / tax payer's funds that is not quite on the up and up . Maybe a layman's easy explanation to wrap things up might see more concerns and interest from those we all need to get onside.

    1. You'd really get people's attention if you were to sum it up as, "The bastards are stealing from us."

  4. Fellow Canadians,

    As you may or may not be aware the Ontario Provincial Liberal Government has been funneling money into so-called environmental groups. These groups then use their resources to promote the Liberal Party’s agendas. As well they often campaign for the Liberal Party during elections. This is called partisan politics. Under Canadian Federal law it is illegal for registered charities to participate in partisan politics.

    These types of environmental groups are all across Canada and are doing many things that are outright illegal or extremely questionable.

    Many of these environmental groups are also promoting wind turbines along with the Ontario Liberal government.

    The Sun Media is currently giving a great deal of coverage to this issue. And the Federal Government is attempting to clamp down on these illegal practices.

    Please send a letter to the Federal Minister of Revenue, The Honourable Gail Shea,
    Contact page:

    All you need to send is one or two short sentences just to let them know the public supports this, a couple of examples at the bottom.

    If you wish write more that is great.

    This is NOT an attack against legitimate law abiding registered charities, which the vast majority is.

    Please make use of this and pass it along to others.

    “It is illegal for charities in Canada to participate in partisan political activities. Please start enforcing this law.”

    “When charities do partisan political work, they STOP being charities. They also violate charities law; which prohibits charities from engaging in partisan political activity.

    Why should taxpayers subsidize the political agenda of radical environmental groups? It’s time to put an end to this.

    Please do the right thing.”

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