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Campbell's Bilderberg adventure remains mysterious

Why was B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell hanging out with global billionaires at the 58th annual Bilderberg Meeting in Sitges, Spain? And why didn’t he tell the world he was going?

After all, he went to a beautiful place, made some new friends, and the food had to be good. But Campbell hasn’t posted even a tweet’s worth about it on his Facebook page. Isn’t that something social media is for? To tell your friends about your latest neat trip?

A photo in today’s Guardian newspaper shows Campbell among a covey of other official Bilderburg participants. He was there with other political figures including the finance minister of debt bedeviled Greece (George Papaconstantinou), two past architects of U.S. war policies (Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle), and Larry Summers, top economic advisor to U.S. president Obama.

The list also includes powerful heads of giant multi-national corporations including Microsoft, Coca-cola, Google and Goldman Sachs International. The annual meeting of the Bilderberg group is secretive and by invitation only, and therefore ready fodder for conspiracy theorists.

The Georgia Straight first reported on June 6, that Campbell was on a "leaked list" of Bilderberg participants this year. (The Tyee today found the same list on the Bilderberg website.)

On Sunday, The Vancouver Sun gained what it termed a "brief interview" with Campbell, noting the premier would "not go into specific detail about what was discussed." Campbell did say, "We talked about the economy, we talked about trade, we talked about health care and the challenges that health care presents to all economies with the changing demographic." 

"We talked about how is it possible to feed the world and what are the barriers that are in the way of us actually accomplishing that goal."

"Everybody is connected now with international trade. Everyone will be affected by what happens with the European currencies and that's a significant issue everyone is concerned about."

UBC professor of international law Michael Byers, a federal New Democrat who has run for Member of Parliament in Vancouver, would like Campbell to be more forthcoming about the goal and results of his four days spent with the Bilderbergers, paid for by citizens of B.C.

"One doesn't need to be a conspiracy theorist to be concerned that the Premier of B.C. is attending secret meetings with the power brokers of global capitalism, including Henry Kissinger and Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs International. These are people who see countries as commodities, available for take-over and trade -- along with their natural resources -- without regard for the interests or opinions of their citizens."

Byers added, "The parallel with Paul Gross' 2004 CBC drama ‘H20’ is particularly disturbing. There, the Bilderberg Group engineered the rise to power of a Canadian prime minister -- and the incorporation of Canada into the United States -- in return for the commercialization and export of Canada's freshwater. Gordon Campbell is commercializing B.C.'s fresh water so that multinational corporations can export hydroelectricity to California. So what's the quid pro quo? Does it only come later, in the form of lucrative positions on the boards of Bilderberg-associated companies? Or has some of it already arrived?"

Maybe CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge will have the story. He attended this year’s Bilderberg meeting, too, along with fellow Canadians Indigo Books chair Heather Riesman and TD Bank Financial Group Deputy Chair Frank McKenna.

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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