|David Suzuki. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency Files)
OTTAWA - Conservative MP and staunch oilsands defender Brian Jean is calling for environmental and other charitable groups to be more open about the source and purpose of their foreign funding.
"People don't just give money for no reason," said Jean. "People give money for specific objectives and we need to know what those objectives are and where that money is going."
Currently, details of foreign charitable funding are filed with the Canada Revenue Agency, but the public can't view the information.
Jean's comments come as environmental groups who take millions from wealthy American foundations come under increasing scrutiny because of their activities against the oilsands and various pipeline projects.
One of the charitable groups often criticized for its political activity is the Suzuki Foundation.
Its CEO, Peter Robinson, appeared before the Commons finance committee Tuesday as it studied ways to increase charitable giving in Canada.
But Robinson also addressed some of concerns about his organization, saying only 6% of its funding comes from the U.S.
He adds that money is "almost exclusively for projects related to scientific research related to harvesting seafood and strengthening marine planning systems on the west coast."
Robinson also stressed the Suzuki Foundation's political work is less than 10% of its operating costs.
Still, the organization has two "climate change campaigners" on staff and its website talks about stopping "the reckless expansion of the tar sands."
Robinson denied QMI Agency an interview after his committee appearance, while his assistant threw her coat over a Sun News Network camera taping him.