Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who objects to globally-respected evangelist Franklin Graham being the keynote speaker at this weekend’s Festival of Hope, is a former director of the left-wing and George Soros-affiliated Tides Canada.
Robertson has many connections with the left-wing advocacy group that promotes a variety of environmental causes. He became mayor under the banner of Vision Vancouver, whose treasurer, Martha Burton, has been a senior advisor to Tides Canada. Mike Magee, the chief of staff at Vancouver City Hall, was also on the Tides Canada payroll.
A special Financial Post investigative report has revealed that Robertson received $400,000 in campaign financing two left-wing charities: Tides and the Endswell Foundation. The former federal Conservative government of Stephen Harper was seriously examining the charitable status of Tides Canada, given its advocacy role.
The mayor has already strong-armed the Festival of Hope organizers — a major evangelical Christian event that has attracted over 100,000 of the faithful when it has been held at venues around the world — who have rejected his entreaties to to tell Graham he is not welcome in Vancouver for allegedly making “extraordinarily derogatory” comments about Muslims and the LGBTQ community.
Apparently, some liberal denominations are heeding Robertson’s warnings. An ecumenical “leadership group” composed of various Vancouver churches claiming to represent more than half of the city’s Christian population, is siding with the mayor. The ad-hoc religious committee of about 30 has put an open letter on a hastily designed website to broadcast their objections:
“Our concern is that the contentious and confrontational political and social rhetoric that Mr. Graham has used has the potential to overshadow the message of Jesus and incite hostility in our highly charged social climate,” says the letter that is signed by ministers of mostly liberal Protestant denominations, some Catholic priests and a smattering of evangelical pastors.
The groups continues, claiming that Graham “has made disparaging and uncharitable remarks about Muslims and the LGBTQ+ community, while portraying the election, administration and policies of U.S. President Donald Trump as intrinsically aligned with the Christian church.”
The ministers conclude their political statement by curiously suggesting, “Such blending of politics and religion is dangerous.”
Exactly 327 churches in the Greater Vancouver Area are supporting and have committed to praying for the Graham-led festival.
Graham issued a statement last week saying he plans to go ahead with his March 3 to 5 event at Rogers Arena.
“There has been some recent discussion and debate about the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope and my message. Graham stated.
“I’m greatly looking forward to being in Vancouver to share that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life… My message will be the … timeless message of God’s hope, love and redemption for all people regardless of ethnicity, age or gender identity — Christ died for all,” he said.
“Politics, policies, economics and commerce are significant matters, but for these three days we will come together in Vancouver to focus on the most important thing of all: God’s love for each and every one of us.”
The Festival of Hope is expected to draw between 25,000 and 50,000 participants.
The first version of this story incorrectly identified Mayor Robertson as the first openly homosexual person to be ordained by a Canadian church: that distinction belongs to Vancouver Councilor Tim Stevenson. The Daily Caller regrets the error.