BC Charity Caught Promoting Political Party (Feat. Hollyhock, VISION Vancouver)

Hollyhock, a New Age retreat with more fake Pulitzer's than any other...

Hollyhock, a New Age retreat with more fake Pulitzer’s than any other…

Update: Since this article was written, Hollyhock has now deleted the tweet from their account- interesting…

In January, 2012 I had the pleasure of staying at Hollyhock, a charity owned training resort on Cortes Island BC; one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Hollyhock is a contentious place; some view it as (literally) magical, others see a dark side. My month there was dual purpose- both to get some rest and relaxation, and to try and dig through the myths.

What I’ve learned since then has astounded me, the stench of corruption is hard to miss. Hollyhock is both a New Age and activist training centre- their organizers and teaching staff has included not one, but two fake Pulitzer Prize nominees. Other instructors have included a white plastic shaman selling “indigenous knowledge” for $525 per head. I’ve read complaints to the local government about the polution coming from their septic tank system. But more important, there are many indications Hollyhock may be breaking CRA rules for partisan political support.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has a close relationship with the charity, and was once on the board at Hollyhock Farms Ltd. Hollyhock’s main supporter TIDES Canada is also close to the mayor- their leadership have personally contributed to Robertson’s campaigns, TIDES USA raised the property value of the mayor’s Cortes Island home by purchasing 150 acres next-door. But, until yesterday, there has been no smoking gun about Hollyhock’s political activities.

The Canada Revenue Agency rules about partisanship are incredibly simple, saying “charity may not take part in an illegal activity or a partisan political activity”. This means that it is completely forbidden to promote a candidate or political party- either during, or outside of an election. The CRA defines partisan activist as “one that involves direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, any political party or candidate for public office”.

Ultimately, it will have to be left to the CRA to decide if Hollyhock has contravened partisanship rules- but, the message they sent on Twitter yesterday comes across as outwardly blatant:

hollyhock-vision-vancouver-promo

VISION Vancouver is mayor Gregor Robertson’s municipal political party, Hollyhock’s link directs their followers to VISION’s website. The first thing one sees when clicking this link is a promotion to vote for Gregor Robertson and his party:

vision-vancouver-recruiter-id-805

This is entirely in contravention with CRA rules

 

If you’re observant, you may have already noticed the screenshot includes the link’s URL, and that it contains an identifier called “recruiter_id”. VISION hosts their website with NationBuilder.com, a US website for managing political campaigns connected to the Democratic Party (this site previously covered how NationBuilder was used to take funds by the people who co-opted Idle No More).

A NationBuilder Recruiter ID is used to track the activities of an organization’s close partners who promote their campaigns- in this case the Recruiter ID is number 805 (a very low number). Without VISION’s cooperation (or a warrant) there’s no way to determine who Recruiter 805 is, but it just may be the smoking gun- does it belong to Hollyhock, or perhaps one of their directors?

If there was ever a clear and easily defined argument for why Hollyhock needs to be investigated for their political activities, this must be it. There’s no ambiguity in the CRA’s rules, partisan activity is absolutely forbidden- linking to a page asking people to pledge to vote, featuring a graphic saying “Go forward with VISION” and promoting the mayor is clearly in violation. Using their powers, the CRA could identify who “Recruiter 805” is too- the public needs to know.

Anyone in Canada can file a complaint, they’re handled by the CRA’s Complaince Directorate– I’ll be filing mine today. If you’d also like to see the CRA get to the bottom of this, you can submit your complaint to [email protected] They’re registered with the CRA as the Hollyhock Leadership Institute.

It’s time to clear things up…

Dana Bass Solomon is Hollyhocks CEO

Dana Bass Solomon is Hollyhocks CEO

Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/10/16/registered-charity-flagrantly-promotes-political-party-feat-hollyhock-vision-vancouver/

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  1. I think everything on Nationbuilder should get an audit, not just hollyhock.

    1. Well, I can certainly think of a list of groups that should. The “recruiter ID” could make for a seriously interesting investigation- if the CRA decides to take action, there could be a wealth of information to be discovered.

      Have you sent in your complaint yet?

    • Dean on October 16, 2014 at 17:09
    • Reply

    Good story but unless I missed something, you don’t provide any background confirming Hollyhock is a registered charity. A quick perusal of its website shows that the Leadership Institute, a registered charity ( See CRA record: http://bit.ly/1F6lIa1 ) runs Hollyhock and accepts donations. Just a loose end that I think was missing.

    1. Thank you for the advice, and the link. It’s probably also good to share this link on Hollyhock’s site where they explain how all US & Canadian donations are tax deductible.

      http://www.hollyhock.ca/cms/donate.html

    • A Canadian on October 22, 2014 at 09:37
    • Reply

    Hollyhock runs a shell game on Cortes Island. A Non profit… a charity??? —– hahaha thats a story sold to hollyhock dimwits coming to the island. Hollyhock’s been pretending non profit status since Rex (Phoney Pulizer Prize) Weyler started it. Its always been a for profit enterprise . Now we have Joel Solomon “Yankee Doodle Bandit” running the place. He’s the american version of an eco (economic) terrrorist. Running the canadian economy into the ground …. so his Renewal Partner investors can buy it up…. at fire sale prices. Pivot legal is simply the gentrification wing of Tides and doesn’t give a sh.t about DTES people. The Tides Foundation is a clever instrument of death for canadians. This american invasion of foul mouth locust is overwhelming the canadian economy pretending to care about the environment. The only environment they care about is their own wealth… securing Power and control over canadians. Look at Gregor… The Happy Planet “import concentrate” king. What happened to the 100mile pretension that started it off …. sold out for money..eh ….. Sustainability???? Not at Hollyhock. Vision ??? for whom? Tides USA investors??

    1. Very well put, I’m going to have to steal your phrase calling pivot the “gentrification wing of TIDES” it’s perfect. I agree with you they don’t care for DTES people – they’re often using them as cannon fodder, or backdrops. Something needs to change – particularly the fact it’s still legal to accept foreign donations in Vancouver elections…

    • A Canadian on October 22, 2014 at 10:12
    • Reply

    Nextwave Foundation revenue 2.5 million but no employees?? Mailing address Hollyhock Box 127 Mansons Landing
    http://bit.ly/12brvMB

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