Alberta Sovereignist Group Backing Danielle Smith Funded by Wealthy Business Elites, Filings Show


Former Imperial Oil chairman amid top funders of 3rd social gathering group that is working billboard assault advertisements ahead of Alberta’s future election

A sovereignist team that is functioning third party attack adverts in advance of Alberta’s provincial election is funded by rich company persons, which include the former chairmen of Imperial Oil and Potash.

The Buffalo Job, a group introduced by disgruntled enterprise elites with enable from previous Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Calgary millionaire W. Brett Wilson, has advocated for higher autonomy for Alberta and praised Danielle Smith for the duration of the 2022 UCP leadership race for putting ahead her controversial Sovereignty Act.

In a 2022 letter to Saskatchewan Leading Scott Moe and former Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, the team called on Saskatchewan and Alberta to “exert sovereignty in excess of provincial affairs like immigration, trade, transportation corridors and taxation.”

Buffalo Project

Buffalo Task

On the group’s internet site, which lists no get in touch with information and facts or names of employees, the Buffalo Venture claims that Alberta and Saskatchewan’s “identity is under assault.”

“Just like the Buffalo, we will stroll into the storm and struggle all those wishing to destroy our id and heritage.”

The Buffalo Job is now running a billboard campaign titled “Alberta’s Not Heading Again.” The campaign echoes Smith’s regularly recurring messaging tying NDP Chief Rachel Notley to Primary Minister Justin Trudeau, and Federal NDP Chief Jagmeet Singh.

Photograph: Robb Aishford

The Buffalo Challenge, which formally registered with Elections Alberta as a Third Social gathering Advertiser, lately produced fiscal disclosures that give a glimpse at who is guiding the group.

In accordance to Elections Alberta filings, the Buffalo Job has raised $62,500 this calendar year by yourself from just 7 persons.

At $10,000, a single of the Buffalo Project’s top donors is Tim Hearn.

Hearn is the previous Chairman of Imperial Oil, the Canadian subsidiary of the multinational ExxonMobil Corporation, one particular of the major stakeholders in Alberta’s oil market. He has held a amount of govt positions with Exxon about the decades.

Hearn has a record of donating to proper-wing results in in excess of the several years by means of The Hearn Spouse and children Foundation, a personal foundation he operates with his partner Gracie. According to CRA information, these include things like donations to The Fraser Institute, The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms and controversial anti-abortion disaster pregnancy centres in Calgary.

Another $10,000 backer of the Buffalo Project is Rafi Tahmazian, a portfolio manager with Canoe Economic, a organization chaired by celebrity millionaire W. Brett Wilson.

Other names on the donor listing involve previous Potash chairman Dallas Howe ($10,000), Calgary philanthropist Sharon Siebens, wife or husband of oil government Bill Siebens ($10,000), oil executive Stan Grad ($7,500) and WestJet co-founder Don Bell of Airdrie ($10,000).

Both of those Hearn and Howe beforehand served on the board of Viterra, an agri-organization that features it is Canada’s most significant grain managing business.

The Buffalo Undertaking did not react to a request for remark from PressProgress.

According to CBC Information, the Buffalo Project’s founding associates integrated:

  • Monthly bill Turnbull, Calgary serious estate developer
  • Don Chynoweth, previous SNC Lavalin government
  • Brad Gustafson, rich Calgary trader
  • Stan Grad, Alberta cattle producer
  • Dallas Howe, former chairman of Potash
  • Grant Fagerheim, CEO of Whitecap means.

In advance of the 2019 Federal election, Fagerheim despatched an e-mail to workers of his Calgary-dependent oil company warning them that Alberta could different from Canada if Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives unsuccessful to gain the election.


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