Politics

Ecklund Philanthropy 'On Hold'

By RTH Staff
Published June 03, 2009

Entrepreneur and ex-philanthropist Chris Ecklund has told Hamilton Mountain News that his public activities promoting Hamilton as a 'City of Waterfalls' are "on hold" while he waits to see whether there are "any more articles" in the local media. He is also "watching what [the city's trnasparency and accountability committee] is going to do."

He decided to cancel his philanthropic activities after Joanna Chapman told the committee that two councillors meeting Ecklund in his private box at Ivor Wynne Stadium may constitute a gift from a lobbyist that violates the city's code of conduct. One purpose of the committee is to clarify what is and is not acceptable behaviour for a councillor.

Chapman suggested that Ecklund's activities constituted lobbying, arguing that his attachment to the causes he promotes boost his own business interests and implying that Ecklund may be planning to enter politics. She objected to the perception that someone "with money is getting private access to politicians."

Ecklund and his supporters argue by contrast that his activities are charitable and philanthropic. He says he found the public scrutiny over his meeting with Councillors Terry Whitehead and Scott Duvall "hurtful" and "upsetting". As a result, he has put all of his charitable activities on hold indefinitely.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 11:58:23

so let's get this straight. The transparency and accountability committee is never allowed to ask any questions??

Geez, wouldn't our old boys club love that.

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By Really! (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 12:37:14

The Spectator's Paul Wilson gives more to this community than this self-indulgent fool!

Go Google yourself into a new community, Chris Ecklund. I hear Niagara has some waterfalls that may need promoting?

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 12:49:58

I do not get this guy, so many in our community give their time and energy for many worthwhile projects and expect nothing in return, except to help the many to attain a life with social justice, equality and dignity.

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By pleeeease (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 13:17:46

Simple: he was in it for his own political gain and nothing else.
Why else would he partner up with The Don (DiIanni)?
psht, like DiIanni has any political credibility anymore (Remember the last Federal Election?!)

The Juravinsky's; how often do you hear about them parading around town in their 'Philanthropy Mobiles'? I know of a couple medical centres with their names attached (thanks to GENEROUS donations), yet I don't see them marching around Gore Park with a "I Just Gave $1,000,000 to Hamilton Health Sciences" sign?


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By JonC (registered) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 14:20:22

All he's doing now is ensuring his marketing company will never see a dime of city money if Hamilton does adopt the City of Waterfalls moniker.

What I love best about the current article is contrasting:

"Mr. Ecklund said he found the comments [from one single person] 'hurtful' and "upsetting""

with

"Mr. Ecklund said he has received over 500 email messages, and numerous calls from people"... "I've never felt this amount of love and support before," he said. "It's touching. I am really humbled by it all."

So humbled he continues to throw a hissy fit, punish unrelated third parties and hold a gun to the Spectator's head (leave it alone or else). My assumption now is that the million dollar figure he tossed out there before was completely fictional and his aim is to raise an uproar over Chapman and get her removed from subcommittee.

Reference for his million dollar statement is here http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/articl... "I was to make a major donation at 2 p.m. announcing, at the headquarters of the Hamilton Conservation Authority, a multi-year philanthropic donation covering the next 30 years ... This donation would in its entirety have exceeded $1 million in value."

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By not scared (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 16:15:09

my favorite is the implied threat, "Right now I'm seeing if there is any more articles, and watching what this committee is going to do" ie you all better start kissing up to me or no more money for ticat buses and waterfall suvs!

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By Courdeleon (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 17:19:58

I see Ken Audzsiss still follows RTH

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 17:51:29

Seems the Spec has been suitably cowed. They're not printing my pro-Chapman letter. This is why we need the CBC in Hamilton!

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 22:34:21

I wonder if Chris is the 'anonymous donor' that just stepped in to save the Living Rock drop in centre????

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By the boss (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2009 at 23:11:18

I have to agree, there are so many in Hamilton who have donated SO MUCH MORE - Ecklund's donations seem insignificant in comparison. Yet he toots his horn and hangs it over the heads of the ones receiving those donations. Even threatens to take them away prior to giving them.

The definition of Philantrhopist: Philanthropy derives from Ancient Greek, meaning "to love people". Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, services, time and/or effort to support a socially beneficial cause, with a defined objective and WITH NO FINANCIAL OR MATERIAL REWARD FOR THE DONOR.

Definitely not a philanthropist....he will have to give himself a new title.

Signed: Not in Grimsby anymore, time to move on from Hamilton too.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 04, 2009 at 00:36:33

An anonymous donor pledged $25,000 for limestone for City Hall. I have my suspicions about who it was. Hint - someone with a little class and dignity.

"Mr. Ecklund said he has received over 500 email messages, and numerous calls from people"...

Of course we only have his word on this, just like we only have his word that he intended to make a 'surprise' million dollar donation to the HCA. How very conveeeeenient.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted June 04, 2009 at 08:08:57

By my math, if one person's comments equal -$1,000,000, then then 500 positive comments equal +$500,000,000. What a boon for the HCA.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 05, 2009 at 12:51:06

Have to take back my previous comment. They're printing my letter tomorrow.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 05, 2009 at 12:54:12

I still chuckle everytime I log onto RTH and see this headline.

"Ecklund Philanthropy On Hold".
LOL. Too funny.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted June 05, 2009 at 16:40:22

I laugh when I search google news and that comes up. http://news.google.ca/news?pz=1&ned=...

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By I wanna be a mayor (registered) | Posted June 06, 2009 at 02:43:45

All

What I find most amazing is the ability of an individual to cascade a wide net of evasion to truth, logic or reality of his current situation. We have seen it all including an RV that has many sponsorship names, selective participation to several committees only to conclude that when it gets tough the only alternative is to deploy an attack.

Leadership is a privilege not a right in this community.

One cannot attach themselves to any/all reported developments of this community for the sole purpose of personal benefit or gain. Without claim.

More importantly attach such claim to every public/private event in and around the City of Hamilton for the purpose of publicity via a home grown Web page? Is this the true calling of philanthropy. Clearly amazing? Read between the lines.

I think this current event extends right into the laps of the City of Hamilton. The reality is that many more events will follow as matters are fully exposed.

It takes a man to declare that he has done something wrong.....but it takes a bigger man to leverage it. This is the current methodology and demenor that can only be described as a witch hunt.

Don't let this event die down. Get on board the RV or the Suv`s. We can call them the peoples free business expense or just plain party favours to all that will listen.

And if you have read this far, give me a chance before you pick-up your ball from the play ground and back pedal to Grimsby.

Try to remember my friends. Leadership starts with "Lead not BIG." Cash is short term.......integrity like Ms Chapman last a life time. Priceless.

I wanna be a Mayor Too.

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By Chris neighbour (anonymous) | Posted June 07, 2009 at 19:05:06

Chris is okay! I think alot of people don't undersatnd him or don't own a business, as business owners marketing is key if we don't market we don't make easy money. Put it this way! Donate $5000 etc., or hire a sales person for a monthly salary of $5000 dollars. Well in my eyes the donation is easier you get in the spot light faster for marketing your business and no long term liabilty being a sales person sleeping in the office or playing golf half the summer..................... So as a neighbour and a business owner I think Chris is making the easy and best decision.........

Good Luck Chris! Sometimes negative press is just as good as positive!

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By The truth (anonymous) | Posted June 07, 2009 at 21:15:00

"in my eyes the donation is easier you get in the spot light faster for marketing your business"

^Hey Chris neighbour, thanks for explaining clearly how mercenary and self serving Chris Ecklund's "philanthropy" really is. I guess Joanna Chapman was right, Chris Ecklund really is just promoting Chris Ecklund - and we're all supposed to feel like he's doing us such a favour that we should apologize and beg for forgiveness when he cancels his "philanthropy" on a whim.

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By Invidivity (anonymous) | Posted June 08, 2009 at 08:05:47

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 08, 2009 at 10:21:42

Boy some people on this site just can't stand success. Talk about jealousy and invidiousness.

This comment is hilariously misplaced. Many people who post on this site meet all the standard definitions of 'success'. What I can't stand is people who think their 'success' entitles them to insider access and insulation from public scrutiny. This was standard practise in Hamilton until Joanna Chapman laid it bare. The only people practising invidiousness now, are the ones who are trying to regain their entitlements by smearing Joanna Chapman. Thankfully most people on this site can see through their ham-fisted attempts to stifle democracy.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted June 08, 2009 at 10:43:53

What is the definition of success? Is it only monetary or is it something else? I, for one am very glad Ms Chapman stood up for the people in this city and there are many who are in agreeance.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted June 08, 2009 at 12:10:51

The success of his philanthropy? I don't fully understand your comment since he recently has failed in that regard. Would you care to elaborate?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 08, 2009 at 13:21:36

Chris is okay! I think alot of people don't undersatnd him or don't own a business, as business owners marketing is key if we don't market we don't make easy money.

As a business owner myself, I am deeply offended at your suggestion that business owners cynically manipulate 'philanthropy' as a marketing tool to make "easy money". If this is how you characterize what Ecklund is doing, then I would say that with friends like you, he doesn't need enemies.

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By I wanna be a Mayor (registered) | Posted June 08, 2009 at 21:30:53

"Chris neighbour"

I am not sure if you have previously resided in Grimsby by the Lake or are currently in the Allison Park area.

You must understand that most of these posts do not question how a business achieves exposure in the marketplace. Sales personnel, trade magazines, donations, etc.

This is not what is being called into question here. One can only draw a conclusion that the heighten activity is due in part to the self absorbed testimonials of this individual to which can only be described as historical rhetoric.

In any event.

The majority of these posts question the true meaning of your neighbour's intent. Furthermore surfacing the unfounded accusations towards Ms. Chapman and attempting to use the media to accelerate opinion before we all weigh in.

More importantly the ability to use or connect to events/people for the sole purpose of posturing in a "Philanthropy" disguise that is being exposed at all levels to date. I find it odd that such an individual would play this out in the media at the expense of Ms. Chapman.

However on the surface I am not surprised.

The cards are falling. This is not a form of positive exposure from a business perspective at all.

Leadership starts with "Lead not BIG." Cash is short term.......integrity like Ms Chapman last a life time. Priceless.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted June 09, 2009 at 11:13:48

Didn't Frank Miller just donate $1 million to St. Joes?

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