Vivian Krause

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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.”[1] 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.[2]

Education

  • B.Sc. in Nutrition from McGill University
  • M.Sc. in Nutrition from l'Université de Montréal[3]

Industry Affiliations

Farmed Salmon Industry Employment

Between January 1, 2002 and October 13, 2003,Vivian Krause served as Corporate Development Manager (North America) for Nutreco Aquaculture, then the world's largest salmon farming company.[4]

In February 2003, the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) launched a public relations counter-offensive by hiring industry giant Hill and Knowlton to combat environmentalists’ claims of health hazards caused by the raising of farmed salmon.
 According to the subscriber-only industry newsletter Intrafish, Krause sat on the committee that approved Hill and Knowlton’s hiring, saying that it was long overdue to explain to the public how the industry operates.[5]

In a blog post in November 2010, Krause described herself as “an ex-P.R. person from the salmon farming industry,” referring to her former employment at Nutreco.[6]

Nutreco terminated Krause in late 2003. But Krause says that she returned as a consultant for the salmon farming industry in 2007.

A February 2010 paper Krause authored on contaminants in farmed salmon contained the following disclosure: “In January of 2007, she served as a consultant to Millerd Holdings Ltd., which has interests in processing farmed salmon on Vancouver Island. In July of 2007, she served briefly as a consultant to an international salmon farming trade organization. Vivian Krause has not worked for the salmon farming industry since 31 July 2007.”[7]

Krause’s July 2007 consultancy was for Salmon of the Americas, an international salmon farming trade organization.[8] 
Krause further states on her website: “... You note that I used to work in the salmon farming industry. That's true. That was in 2002 and 2003, eight years ago. I also did two short consultancies in 2007. For those, I was paid $10,000 and $7,750, respectively. As I've said many times, since July of 2007 I have not worked for the salmon farming industry in any paid capacity. In January, I was the keynote speaker at the Nova Scotia Annual Aquaculture Conference but apart from my airfare and hotel costs, I was not paid.”[9]

Political Employment

Krause has stated that she had worked for the United Nations "for over 10 years" before returning to Canada in 2001.[10] Krause briefly held a job in 2010 as a Constituency Assistant for Conservative MP John Duncan.[11] In the April 2011 federal election for North Vancouver Island MP, John Duncan was the only candidate to support open-net salmon farms remaining in BC waters.[12]

Funding

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."[13] Recently (March 2011), CityCaucus.com 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…”[14]

Vivian Krause speaks to Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources

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.”[15]

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."[16]

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.[17]

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. [18]

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.[19]
 “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.[20]

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.” [21] 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.[22]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.”[23]

Publishers


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 on enviro group funding

Ezra Levant, a conservative political activist and controversial figure in Canadian conservative media, has covered Vivian Krause’s work on Sun TV.[24]

Additionally, her writing is published on CityCaucus.com, and some farmed salmon industry blogs and websites, such as SeafoodSource.com, which bills itself as a site for “industry insiders.”[25][26]
 Charlie Smith, a writer at The Georgia Straight, has repeatedly written about Vivian Krause and her allegations against Tides Canada, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and environmental groups.[27]

Views and Opinions

Krause focuses much of her recent writing on making allegations that the Tides Foundation is funding U.S. and Canadian nonprofit groups to “demarket” Alberta's tar sands oil industry.[28]

Vivian Krause speaks to Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources

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.”[29]

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.”[30]

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.[31]

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.”[32]

Her repeated focus on the Tides Foundation and its grantees is reminiscent of the special attention that former Fox News host Glenn Beck paid to the Tides Foundation on his TV show.[33]

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."[34]

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.

In a May 2011 article in the New Westminster News Leader, Kraus claims that closed containment farming operations are “about mitigating market impacts, not environmental impacts.”[35]

Her claims have been rebutted by the David Suzuki Foundation and other organizations.[36][37]

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”.[38]

References

  1. Vivian Krause LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  2. "Fair Questions." FairQuestions.TypePad.Com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  3. Vivian Krause LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  4. [www.nbsga.com/media_articles/vivian%20krause%20article.pdf Alaskan Marketing Behind Salmon Farming Controversy?] Krause, Vivian. Atlantic Canada Fishing Farmers Association. AtlanticFishFarmers.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  5. "BC salmon farmers hire PR firm for ‘long overdue’ media relations" Intrafish. Intrafish.No. Feb. 21, 2003.
  6. "My Story, Part 1: From UNICEF to Salmon Farming." Krause, Vivian. Fair Questions. FairQuestions.TypePad.Com. Nov. 28, 2011. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  7. "Research on Contaminantsin Farmed Salmon: Science or Marketing?" Krause, Vivian. Fair Questions. FairQuestions.TypePad.Com. Feb. 16, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  8. "Who is Vivian Krause?" Civic Scene. CivicScene.Ca. June 30, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  9. "RE: 23 Press Releases & Web-Pages No Longer On-line. My Response to the David Suzuki Foundation." Krause, Vivian. Fair Questions. FairQuestions.TypePad.Com. June 3, 3010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  10. Interview on "The Bill Good Show," CKNW radio. December 21, 2010.
  11. "Professional Protester Alexandra Morton." Positive Aquaculture Awareness. FarmFreshSalmon.org. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  12. "North Island MP John Duncan suppports fish farms." Morton, Alex. Sport Fishing BC. SportFishingBC.com. April 20, 2011. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  13. Interview on "The Bill Good Show," CKNW radio. December 21, 2010.
  14. Tides Canada Throw Legal Muscle at Vivian Krause. Klassen, Mike. City Caucus. CityCaucus.com. Mar. 21, 2011.
  15. "Canada 40th Parliament, 3rd Session Standing Committee on Natural Resources." Parliament of Canada. Parl.GC.CA. Dec. 7, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  16. Tweet from @fairquestions, Krause's Twitter account. Sept. 15, 2011.
  17. [fairquestions.typepad.com/files/follow-the-money-2.pdf "A persistent ex-fish farmer discovers that if youwant to understand what’s really going on inthe war against salmon farming, you’ve got to...Follow the Money." Pirquet, K.T. May/June 2010. Fair Questions. FairQuestions.TypePad.Com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  18. "RE: 23 Press Releases & Web-Pages No Longer On-line. My Response to the David Suzuki Foundation." Krause, Vivian. Fair Questions. FairQuestions.TypePad.Com. June 3, 3010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  19. Salmon of the Americas. Salmon Facts. SalmonFacts.org. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  20. [www.nbsga.com/media_articles/vivian%20krause%20article.pdf "Alaskan Marketing Behind Salmon Farming Controversy?"] Krause, Vivian. Atlantic Canada Fishing Farmers Association. AtlanticFishFarmers.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  21. "Rob Scagel." DeSmogBlog. DeSmogBlog.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  22. "61 Scientists Request a Review of Climate Science." Friends of Science. FriendsOfScience.org. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  23. "Demarketing Alberta." Krause, Vivian. Financial Post. Opinion.FinancialPost.Com. Dec. 15, 2010.
  24. "Ezra Levant." Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  25. "Vivian Krause." Seafood Source. SeafoodSource.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  26. "Blogs." Seafood Source. SeafoodSource.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  27. "Vivian Krause." Straight.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  28. "U.S. Foundations Against the Oil Sands." Krause, Vivian. National Post. NationalPost.com. Oct. 14, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  29. "Canada 40th Parliament, 3rd Session Standing Committee on Natural Resources." Parliament of Canada. Parl.GC.CA. Dec. 7, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  30. "Ezra Levant on enviro group funding." YouTube. YouTube.com. May 20, 2011. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  31. [1] Dogwood Initiative. August 16, 2011. Accessed August 25, 2011.
  32. "Letters: Nothing nefarious about Tides." Krause, Vivian. Financial Post. Opinion.FinancialPost.Com. Oct. 22, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  33. Glenn Beck and the Oakland shooter. Milbank, Dana. Washington Post. WashingtonPost.com Aug. 1, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  34. "Glenn Beck propaganda spreading to Canada?" Solomon, Linda. Vancouver Observer. VancouverObserver.com. Oct. 16, 2010. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  35. "Donnely confident fish farm bill will succeed." MacNair, Adrian. New West News Leader. NewWestNewsLeader.com. May 26, 2011. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  36. "The science on salmon farming is clear." Ritchlin, Jay. New West News Leader. NewWestNewsLeader.com. June 3, 2011. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  37. "David Suzuki's fish story." Krause, Vivian. Financial Post. Opinion.FinancialPost.Com. Mar. 14, 2011. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.
  38. "Junk Science Letters: I will be very hard to satisfy on oil sands." Schindler, David. Financial Post. Opinion.FinancialPost.Com. June 24, 2011. Accessed Aug. 5, 2011.

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