Astroturf watch: CC4BC

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Now that election season almost upon us, I’m getting Facebook ads from a group calling itself “CC4BC”, or “Concerned Citizens for BC”, demanding that John Horgan clarify which portions of the “the NDP’s Leap Manifesto” he agrees with. This is a strange demand to make given that the Leap Manifesto has nothing to do with the NDP. It’s not NDP policy, it wasn’t written by NDP members, and it’s been openly criticized by the BC NDP’s leadership, including Horgan. It would make about as much sense to demand that Horgan clarify his stance on Justin Trudeau’s 2015 election platform. Why would an organization of concerned citizens make such a random request? 

To help explain, here’s a little history. “Concerned Citizens for BC” was founded shortly before the 2013 election by former Canfor CEO Jim Shepard, who had just resigned his position as economic advisor to Christy Clark in order to campaign on her behalf at arm’s length from the government and the BC Liberals — mostly by means of attack ads directed at Adrian Dix. Since the 2013 election, the “Concerned Citizens for BC” don’t seem to have found an awful lot to be concerned about. In fact it seems the only thing that ever concerns the “Concerned Citizens for BC” is the person who happens to be leading the NDP at election time. Shepard’s group doesn’t seem to have an awful lot of citizens in it either, and at the moment, the group’s Facebook page has a grand total of 24 likes:

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In other words, “Concerned Citizens for BC” is pure astroturf — a shell of an organization created by wealthy special interests for the purpose of appropriating the credence given to authentic grassroots activism. They know you won’t believe the BC Liberals any more, but they think you still trust your neighbours, so that’s who they pretend to be. Don’t let them make a sucker out of you.

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