It’s Time to LeadNow(.ca) and MoveOn(.org) from the Robocall Rhetoric

There were a couple of things that truly shocked me at the initial Robocall Rally in Toronto. First, was the inclusion of Sherif Azir, a man who was supposedly an organizer of the “Arab Spring” in Egypt (but who doesn’t appear to be very Egyptian to me).

The second shock was when Mathew Carroll of Leadnow.ca introduced Azir, first saying: “It kind of feels like spring, don’t you think? Maybe a little bit of a Canadian Spring?”


Say what? Was that a call for a revolution I heard? Up until that moment, I had never imagined that LeadNow was a revolutionary organization. Time to investigate what is happening here…

LeadNow is an organization based in Vancouver, led by Jamie Biggar who started his career in activism in the Climate Change movement. Here’s a video of Jamie speaking a few weeks ago at the first Robocall Rally in Vancouver:

This organization has a rather curious set of advisors- let’s look at a three of the Americans who are on their advisory board:

Ben Brandzel – International practitioner & trainer in online organizing, Former Director of New Media for Barack Obama, Founding Adviser/Board Member of 38Degrees.org.uk and Avaaz.org, Advocacy Director for MoveOn.org

Ross McGregor – Director, Tides Canada & Waterfront Toronto

Judy Rebick – Journalist, author, political activist and feminist; Founding Publisher Rabble.ca, Former Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University

Wow, that’s quite a high-calibre set of sponsors! And, also, a list that raises quite a lot of questions. The deeper I look into this Robocall issue, the more I see Soros’ dirty paws all over it…

Ben Brandzel is an American who has deep connections to MoveOn.org, an American ‘grassroots’ lobbying organization that was founded in 1998 by a couple of Silicon Valley millionaires (and with deep Soros involvement). As you can see from the chart, he is also connected to Avaaz- an organization I mentioned here on a previous article.

Ross McGregor is the Director of TIDES Canada, the representation here for the US based TIDES Foundation. TIDES has deep connections with George Soros, and their reach into Canadian non-profit organizations is quite astounding. If you are curious to understand my issues with Soros’ involvement in Canadian politics, here’s an article that explains my position.

Ross McGregor of TIDES Canada

Shortly after I posted yesterday’s article about the connections of Openmedia.ca and the TIDES Foundation with the Robocall Rallies I was contacted by Jamie Biggar of LeadNow. He and I had a long conversation last night where he clarified a couple of issues about his involvement.

The first issue Jamie wanted to discuss was about his organization’s funding. He made it very clear to me that Leadnow is not funded through TIDES, nor do they have any major American donors- any funds donated from the US are only from individuals, and are a maximum of only a few hundred dollars with “a couple people who gave more than $1000”.

So, it appears we don’t have to worry about the financial influence. That said, with the head of TIDES Canada on his advisory board, and considering that Leadnow is structured after the Soros-funded MoveOn.org, this doesn’t leave me 100% comfortable with their independence. After all, the majority of Moveon’s activities are to do with influencing the results of political campaigns- and it is highly uncomfortable for most Canadians to imagine American billionaires are influencing them!

The last, and most important, subject I covered in my conversation with Jamie was about the revolutionary tone of the Robocall rallies. Between Mathew Caroll’s call for a “Canadian Spring”, and Jamie’s call to “dissolve this parliament” and “decertify” the Conservative party, it seemed their rhetoric was a bit incendiary. And, considering their deep connections with foreign interests, one could speculate they were on the borderline of calling for a treasonous coup.

Jamie admitted that “we overdid it” during our speeches, and expressed regret about the tone they took. He also told me that one of his donors said that, during his speech, he looked like “a shark that was looking for blood.” At the end of our conversation Jamie agreed with me that it is important that we have due-process before we call for dissolving parliament.

We can hope that the next rally will have less signs like this...

So, I’m more comfortable now that future Robocall rallies will become more realistic, and will have less incendiary rhetoric about tearing-down our government before there is due process. I have contacted Jon Allan of the Toronto rally and am waiting for his response- if he is ready to tone down the message I am still very willing to pitch-in and work towards a call for a thorough inquiry to the Robocalls.

Tomorrow I will continue my investigation into the parties involved with raising the tone of the rallies. My next article will be titled “What’s Judy Rebick Got to Do With It?” Then, we’ll MoveOn to the involvement of the Council of Canadians…

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