CSA’s 2019 Conference

March 18th, 2019

This year the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is holding its annual insiders conference in Ottawa.  “Mark June 17-21, 2019 in your Calendar!,” said CSA.

It seems they’re expecting the parishioners to descend on the nation’s capital under the theme of, ahem, “Holding the Future to a Higher Standard.” 

“Join us and over 800 delegates this June […] as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first CSA standard published in Canada.”  Wow.  Caught that? 

This is what’s called a climb-down.  Friends, the CSA was founded in 1917.  Their hundredth anniversary was in 2017, but they’re celebrating it in 2019. 

We’ve covered CSA’s birthday deceit several times, and our research has been well read, over several years now, and widely.

You see, the CSA was founded in London by the British Empire as a Crown Agency reporting to the Privy Council.  In a bilateral agreement between the governments of Canada and the British Empire, it was patriated to Canada at the end of WWI.  At patriation, the CSA lost its Royal Charter and was granted an equivalent Canadian Government Charter in 1919, thereafter reporting to the Minister of Industry.

Here’s the key;  If CSA acknowledges that it was founded in 1917 as a Crown Agency, then it must also accept its patriation in 1919, and that makes it a Government body.  If CSA’s part of government, then they’re under the Transparency and Accountability Act, the Access to Information Act -lots of inconvenient, profit-impeding legislation.  It would also strip from them their ability to operate commercial businesses. 

Well, not profiting is not profitable, so CSA claims instead to be founded in 1919 as a private not-for-profit.  Archival records of CSA’s founding, or original documents showing CSA at conferences during WWI, you know, don’t matter.

Just last month, the CSA issued a press release as follows;  “For the past 100 years, CSA Group has been dedicated to advancing safety and protecting the environment.”  Actually, even their purported purpose isn’t true.  Their charter doesn’t even mention the environment.  Anyway;  “Established in 1919…”.  And there it is.  “That is why, as a 100-year old organization,…”. And again.

The arrival of RestoreCSA changed the environment (pun intended).  After our coverage of CSA’s founding, it’s risky to claim a false founding date.  Too many people know too much.  So now, while CSA will claim the false founding date on a press release that, frankly, few will bother reading, they’ll not risk the same false claim on a Conference advertisement read by thousands.

On the advertisement therefore, “this incredible milestone” is the first CSA standard that was “published” in Canada. 

The CSA had planned to make a big deal of their 100th year this year.  They intended to use the anniversary as a marketing tool, as a PR tool.  Through a series of 100th anniversary events, the CSA would cement the date of their founding as being two years after their actual founding.

Well, we got in the way of that.  If you’ll permit a little self-congratulation here, it was RestoreCSA’s exposure of CSA’s false founding date that turned their big party into a muted affair.  So now it’s a happy anniversary of the first standard that they published after arriving in Canada.  Ha!

We’re a bit smug about it; they’re a bit cross.

They’ve had to make other changes too.  After we caught them false filing their US tax returns, they changed their website to describe their standards business as a not-for-profit, but their testing business as a regular, for-profit venture.  Well, nice try guys, but it won’t wash.  The CSA’s testing arm is still registered as a “Business League” in the US, making it a not-for-profit entity.  And they’re still in breach of IRS regulations by operating a for-profit business under a not-for-profit designation.  But, thanks to us, they changed their website to claim the opposite.

At CSA, truth means nothing.  Folks, if they won’t be honest about the basics, what can you trust them with?

Well, in June they’re be back in Ottawa, the location of CSA’s lobbying, to tell their SNC-style truth and bag a bunch of bags of money.  And they’ve been prepping for it.

In just the last six months, their CEO, David Weinstein has lobbied Canada Post, the Coast Guard, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Employment and Social Development Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Health Canada, the House of Commons, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, -are you sensing a pattern here?- Infrastructure Canada, Industry Canada, National Defence, the National Energy Board, the National Research Council, Natural Resources Canada, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, Procurement Canada, the Senate of Canada, the Standards Council of Canada, Transport Canada, and the Treasury Board Secretariat. 

All that, by just one CSA executive, in just six months.

Whatever could they be after? 

“The report,” said CSA of one of their many paper-based paper weights, “is one of seven climate change adaptation projects [funded by] the National Research Council”.  Ah, funding.  And the results of this taxpayer funded project enable CSA to “put forward 50 standards project proposals to support climate adaptation.”  Fifty.

One taxpayer funded project nets another fifty taxpayer funded projects.  That’s why CSA’s got so much of our money, and why they can’t risk being honest about their legal status.  Mustn’t risk the money. 

That’s also why they’re so pleased to conference in Ottawa, the source of all these ill-gotten gains.