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Our Foundation's Background
The Energy Probe Research Foundation – considered one of the most effective organizations of its kind by The Canadian Encyclopedia – first took form in 1970 as the Energy Team of Pollution Probe. In 1980 Energy Probe separated from Pollution Probe and became incorporated as the Energy Probe Research Foundation(EPRF).
The Foundation is often viewed as a maverick, taking positions that are sometimes out of step with other citizens' groups, and fighting for sound, democratic processes as much as against ill-advised projects. The Foundation has always championed property rights and market mechanisms to protect consumers and the environment, has been a critic of foreign aid and other forms of unaccountable international lending, and believes that an informed public can best ensure lasting environmental protection.
To inform public opinion, it has been a founder of numerous organizations: locally, Ecology House; nationally, Friends of the Earth Canada; and internationally, the World Rainforest Movement and the International Rivers Network.
The Foundation is comprised of several distinct divisions: Energy Probe, Probe International, Environment Probe, Consumer Policy Institute, Environmental Bureau of Investigation, Urban Renaissance Institute, and the Margaret Laurence Fund, established to celebrate the accomplishments of one of the Foundation's most celebrated directors and ensure the continuation of her work for peace and the environment.
The Foundation is an outspoken watchdog organization that is financially independent of governments and corporations. The bulk of its funds comes in the form of individual donations from the general public. Donations are tax creditable and may be directed to the general work of the Foundation or to Energy Probe, Probe International, Environment Probe, Consumer Policy Institute, Environmental Bureau of Investigation, Urban Renaissance Institute, and the Margaret Laurence Fund. Each has its own budget and each depends on the continued respect and support of the Canadian public for the funding of its operations.
Energy Probe was one of only two "pressure" groups cited by the inaugural edition of The Canadian Encyclopedia for being effective in influencing our country's policies. The Canadian Encyclopedia added: "despite its low budget, Energy Probe is respected for its scrupulous research."