May 4th, 2015
Statement from Frank Giustra, Founder and Chairman of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada)
Over the past few weeks, the Canadian registered charity I founded, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), has come under heightened scrutiny. Many questions have been raised about the Canadian charity, how our organization works with the Clinton Foundation, the various contributions and support that allows our organization to impact the lives of thousands of underserved communities around the world, and me – personally.
An article published in the New York Times (“Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal” April 23, 2015) suggests that my contributions to the Clinton Foundation were made to further my business interests. This is not true! I support the work of the Clinton Foundation because I believe in the Clinton Foundation’s mission and effectiveness. The world is a better place because of it. As a philanthropist, I am extremely proud of the significant work we do to help thousands of people all over the world. We are truly changing lives. I would like to take this opportunity to explain and clarify some of the questions that have been raised.
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) does not provide general operating support to the Clinton Foundation, but rather we contract with the Clinton Foundation to execute specific programs on our behalf, as they have the capacity, resources, specialized skill sets, knowledge, as well as established networks needed to successfully execute economic development activities in sometimes challenging environments. We provide ongoing direction on the use of our resources, holding the Clinton Foundation accountable for reaching established philanthropic goals that help further our charitable purposes.
On March 1, 2008, I held a gala event for the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) in Toronto, Ontario. Donations were made to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) to allow Canadian residents to receive a charitable tax credit while supporting our efforts. There were over 1,000 attendees who contributed and collectively pledged over CAD$16,000,000. Our donors contribute because, like me, they too, truly want to make a positive difference in the world. Empowering individuals and providing them with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty is an incredible feeling. This is why I am very passionate about the great work we are doing with the Clinton Foundation.
Some media outlets have asked us why we have not publicly disclosed the donors that have contributed to the Canadian charity – the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada). The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada)’s Board has followed Canadian laws and Canadian charitable best practices where donors have a right and an expectation of privacy which we have respected as a Canadian charity. We will not share or publicly disclose our donor’s information unless we received prior written consent.
Journalists have challenged this and have claimed we do not need to provide donors the right to privacy. Therefore, we have sought advice from our Canadian legal counsel and received a legal opinion which supports our statement, as per Canadian laws and Canadian charitable best practices, that donors have a right and an expectation of privacy. In addition, we have also sought independent legal advice from a leading practitioner in Canadian charity law and expect a second legal opinion to be forthcoming in the following days and which will be posted on the FAQs page of our web-site. Even though there is no formal requirement to disclose our donors, in light of these inquires, we are reaching out to our major donors requesting consent to publicly recognize their contribution. As a result of other media inquiries regarding our donors, I can confirm that the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) has never received donations from any foreign or Canadian governments or government-controlled entities.
Over 350,000 people have been positively impacted though market-driven opportunities created by our social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia. It is disheartening that all the great work we are doing is being unfairly tarnished in the press.
I have provided a large portion of my wealth towards many philanthropic causes, as I am very passionate about helping others and will continue to do so because I believe it is the right thing to do. The idea that anyone, including myself, would try to garner favours by donating to a charity is simply illogical and unethical. On June 21, 2007, in New York City there was a press conference with more than 20 reporters present where I announced my pledge of US$100,000,000 toward our joint work with the Clinton Foundation. I find it absolutely incredulous to think that anyone, specifically, the New York Times would think that I would want to hide my contributions to philanthropy. I have nothing to hide and wish to celebrate my philanthropic commitments and our many accomplishments.
In addition, I think it is important to note, The New York Times story presents no evidence of wrongdoing or impropriety, but rather is replete with innuendo and irresponsible, unfounded speculation. The article makes several errors of fact. The article is based in part on an earlier New York Times article published in 2008. Forbes Magazine wrote an analysis refuting many of the charges in that story, some of which are repeated in the current story (“Clinton Commits No Foul in Kazakhstan Uranium Deal” 12 January 2009).
Below are the relevant facts relating to me, personally:
- I began working to finance the purchase of mining stakes from a private Kazakh company in early 2005. The purchase was concluded in late 2005. The purchaser was a company called UrAsia Energy Ltd. President Bill Clinton had no involvement in this transaction.
- On September 2, 2005, I traveled to Kazakhstan to finalize UrAsia Energy Ltd.’s purchase of the Kazakh mining interests. President Bill Clinton arrived in Almaty, Kazakhstan on September 6, 2005 on other business. President Bill Clinton did not travel with me, nor on my plane, as the New York Times reports. President Bill Clinton and I travelled together from Kazakhstan to India on September 7, 2005.
- I sold all of my shares, which were mostly held by my charitable foundation – The Radcliffe Foundation, in UrAsia Energy Ltd. in the fall of 2007, after it merged with Uranium One Inc. I would note that the shares were sold at least 18 months before Hillary Clinton became the United States Secretary of State. No one was speculating at that time that Hillary Clinton would become the United States Secretary of State.
I have devoted my life to the work we are implementing through the Clinton Foundation and will continue to take our work to many countries around the globe, improving the lives of tens of thousands of people. I am dedicated and committed to honesty, transparency, and accountability both personally and in all of my philanthropic work.
I encourage you to read more about the incredible work we are doing by visiting our web-site www.CGEPartnership.com and for more information about the Canadian charity I founded, please visit our FAQ page HERE.
Founder & Chairman
CLINTON GIUSTRA ENTERPRISE PARTERNSHIP (CANADA)