United Way affirms it will gladly accept legal ‘winnings’ from Nexterror SLAPP lawsuit

united-way-bannerSo it was asked of United Way if they would accept any cash NextEra Energy could scrounge up from their SLAPP suit against a fighting resident in rural Ontario. Here is their response. See if you think it matches up at all with their “promise”.

From: Sylvain Beaudry
Sent: Friday, November 22, 2013 9:54 AM
To: Harvey Wrightman

Good morning Mr. Wrightman,

My apology for taking sometime to respond to your email.

We are very sorry to hear that your daughter is experiencing legal difficulties and we are happy to respond to your questions.

1) We can confirm that we did not, do not, nor will have any contact with Nextera or its counsel, McCarthy Tetrault, LLP about this or any other lawsuit;

2) United Way is totally unaware of any lawsuit for which it is named as beneficiary and as such do not take any position nor take part in any court action or trial. As such, if a Court decision is made and the ruling indicates United Way as beneficiary, United Way will accept the award for damages that may result.

Should you need additional information, please contact the undersigned.

Sylvain Beaudry CPA (CMA), MBA

Vice-President, Finance & Operations
Vice-Président, Finances et fonctionnement

United Way Centraide Canada
Change starts here. | L’heure est au changement.
404, 56 rue Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5A9
613 236 7041 | 800 267 8221 EXT 2217
unitedway.ca | centraide.ca
Give. Volunteer. Act. | Donnez. Devenez bénévole. Agissez.
Reg. Charity Number: 119278141 RR 0001
Numéro d’enregistrement d’organisme de bienfaisance: 119278141 RR 0001


From: Harvey Wrightman
Sent: November-04-13 10:31 PM
To: United Way Centraide Canada

Dear Dr. Abray-Nyman

I attended a presentation at our the Adelaide/Metcalfe Council to listen to a United Way presentation , “…regarding the findings of United Way London & Middlesex’s County-wide needs assessment titled, Middlesex County: Impact of Social & Economic Changes on Human Service Needs, which was disseminated to you and your elected officials via email in early July. This research project was in response to the growing reality that residents and communities of Middlesex County are experiencing significant economic and social change. The final report, guided by a multisectoral advisory committee, identifies existing community assets and service delivery gaps, and provides four recommendations for further action related to human service needs.”

I can appreciate that the United Way is seeking to improve services and living conditions in rural areas such as our township – no objections there. However, I want to bring to your attention that a wind energy company, Nextera Energy Canada launched a SLAPP-type lawsuit against my daughter Esther Wrightman.  In Para. 42, United Way Canada is named as the recipient of any monetary damages awarded by the Court should Nextera be successful. Curiously, Nextera did not state a dollar amount of the alleged damages in its claim.

Esther has written and filed a statement of defense – she will defend, on her own behalf. She does not have the means to hire counsel. In other words, she could very well be a person who would benefit from the services of the United Way. She and her husband have 2 children, 7 and 9 years old.

What I would appreciate is a statement of clarification about any possible involvement of United Way Canada in this action. Specifically, answers to these questions:

1) Did Nextera or its counsel, McCarthy Tetrault, LLP contact United Way Canada about this lawsuit and possible award of damages to the United Way?

2) Would the United Way Canada accept any award of damages from this lawsuit that may result?

Para. 42: “…it is not Nextera’s intent to profit from this action or even to make itself whole. As such, Nextera undertakes to donate any damages it recovers in this action to United Way Canada.”

The lawsuit against my daughter is just one example of how wind companies are seeking to muffle stifle opposition to large scale wind projects. Unfortunately such heavy-handed tactics are not well received in the community and elsewhere. Sometimes it takes a 105 lb woman to face down the bully.

Please call or write if you have any questions, and I will do my best to answer them.

Thank you for your attention to review this matter. I look forward to your response.


Harvey Wrightman
Kerwood, ON, N0M 2B0

28 thoughts on “United Way affirms it will gladly accept legal ‘winnings’ from Nexterror SLAPP lawsuit

  1. It sounds as though a campaign is needed, to shame the United Way into retracting that statement. If they are willing to benefit from the suffering, and abuse of others, they get NO respect from me, and definitely not any contributions. I will make sure that I tell everyone about this fiasco. That is despicable.

  2. I wonder what his salary is. I give money to street people – never to large organizations.
    Given what they’re likely to get from Esther, NexTerror can afford to be generous. For the same reason, United Way could easily have said they wouldn’t take it, but that might set a precedent? Can’t do anything that might interrupt a future windfall.
    Are they building any turbines near your house, Mr. Beaudry?

  3. Pingback: Esther’s millions?….they’re fighting over the family’s groceries, utilities, and rent…..shameful! | Mothers Against Wind Turbines

  4. I wouldn’t necessarily expect Esther to “lose” this case, as Bob may have suggested.

    However, if she does and NextEra sends the proceeds to the United Way, any public boycott of that organization would surely be used by the wind companies to paint us as the bad guys.

    My suggestion would be to just send in your donation to the United Way as usual, only this time send a note along that you will be contributing much less this year as you will be needing to also contribute to the Esther Wrightman legal fund.

    Surely the UW would be understanding of your generous intentions.

    • Win or lose, they aren’t going to get much – and she might have a good chance given that this will be a real court instead of the ERT.
      My donation to UW will be the same as every other year. Zilch, but I like your idea of the letter.
      Dear UW – I’m giving all my charitable donation money to Esther’s defence fund. So you won’t get anything from me and you won’t get anything from Esther either. That makes UW a double loser.
      Publicly stating your willingness to accept dirty money might have been ill-advised, to say the least.

    • It might be better to have people emailing or writing the United Way with a pledge to donate x amount of dollars if the United Way were to publicly declare that they will no longer accept money donated to them from SLAPP lawsuits. As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar

      • I can appreciate your sentiment, Dan, but I think it would have to be a huge response either way before they would react.
        To paraphrase Richard Nixon, “Get a firm grip on their ‘wallet’ and their hearts and minds will soon follow.”
        We found with the wind companies that ‘polite’ and ‘respectful’ got us nowhere.
        Admittedly, calling them A-holes and wind whores didn’t stop them either, but it was much more fun. And more honest.

        Personally, I already had philosophical problems with UW and their ilk.

        I wonder, if we could set up a charity to help victims of wind, could we get in under the UW umbrella? That might be fitting.

  5. The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the
    Corinthians – Chapter 13

    – as revised for the United Way – because some things are just more important than childish morality (verse 11), and we know you have your priorities straight (verse 13), Mr. Beaudry.

    1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not MONEY, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, Mt. 17.20 ; 21.21 · Mk. 11.23 and have not MONEY, I am nothing.

    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not MONEY, it profiteth me nothing.

    4 ¶ MONEY suffereth long, and is kind; MONEY envieth not; MONEY vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

    5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

    6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

    7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    8 ¶ MONEY never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    13 And now abideth faith, hope, MONEY, these three; but the greatest of these is MONEY.

  6. Years ago I was interviewed for a job with United Way. During the interview I was informed that 75 per cent of all money collected by the organization was allocated to administration costs. I was so appalled that I have never given them a penny since. There are better charities to give to.

  7. Brian Gallagher, President of the United Way. He receives a $375,000 base salary (US funds), plus so many expense benefits it’s hard to keep track as to what it is all worth, including a fully paid lifetime membership at 2 golf courses (1 in Canada, 1 in the USA), 2 luxury vehicles, a yacht club membership, 3 major company gold credit cards for his personal expenses… and so on….
    This equates to about $0.51 per dollar of income going to charity causes.

  8. Instead donate to organizations where the money will be well used.

    A company comes to Canada and walks all over a Canadian over a compamy logo and this citizen’s objections to what the company is doing. then donates proceeds of the lawsuit to charity and thinks this is ok to do?
    This company can exit the scene and leave the law firm holding the bag with all the bad publicity and whatever other repercussions might bring in the future.

    • The information contained in some of the above comments plus the article itself should be widely disseminated in the press. Neither NextTerror OR United Way should benefit, in any way, from the travesty of what amounts to a SLAPP Suit!! Go get ’em Esther!!

    • I just emailed to Beaudry:
      Subject: NexTERROR vs Esther Wrightman case
      Mr. Beaudry,
      Regarding your reply to Mr. Wrightman, you have shown the United Way’s true colours. No more donations will come your way from me. You have just euchred yourself!

  9. I have phoned both Mr. Beaudry and the communications director for United Way in London, and left messages to the effect that they should be ashamed of themselves for agreeing to accept anything that is extorted by Nexterror from Esther Wrightman. My suggestion to them is that if they receive anything as beneficiary of the SLAPP suit, that they should commit to returning every penny to Esther.


  11. UW is one of the worst Charity organizations in Canada; it has huge administration costs that render actual charitable donations to, maybe, 10%? Companies often coerce their clients to donate to UW, exposing UW bona fides as suspect. Do they kickback to corps that do this? UW is bad business, not a charity.

  12. I still think they’d accept money from mafia if they have such little discretion about what to accept as charitable funds. This money is tainted by ill will and shouldn’t be accepted. United Way does not want to create a way forward for the average person if they accept funds gained by attacking citizens.

  13. This was sent by email to:
    Sylvaine Beaudry,

    After reading the article below you can be assured that neither I or any member of my family will ever give one red dime to United Way again. I can not believe you have responded that you would except more or less “blood money” with no research into this matter. This information has been good for us to hear and research has shown how little of the monies you do receive actually go to people who need it. Now,your organization is willing to take monies from a law suit connected to a person who has little but has chosen to stand up to the bully, in this case NEXT ERROR. It is indeed sad.

    I would suggest you do not start counting your money yet as I am putting my money on Esther.

    “United Way affirms it will gladly accept legal ‘winnings’ from Nexterror SLAPP lawsuit”

    Dr.Carol Droog Dac

  14. Don’t you just love these folk………..??? Just e-mailed the following to Beaudry

    To: Sylvain Beaudry,

    What a ‘smooth’ operator you are, and what a caring, concerned organization, United Way, the ‘charitable’ organization that you ‘moneygrub’ for, appears to be from your reply to Mr.Wrightman………….

    Are you are really serious when you admit you will accept a supposedly unsolicited donation from a foreign owned company, ‘NexTERROR’ , should they be successful in winning the SLAPP suit they have taken out against a Canadian housewife, wife, mother and small business owner because she dares criticize NexTERROR for deliberately harming the environment in her small Canadian community?

    I would suggest you take the time to visit the Ontario Wind Resistance website and have a look at some of the comments already appearing in response to United Way’s ‘concern and compassion’.

    They will only grow and you can have no idea where this appalling PR mess you yourself have initiated, by one brief paragraph, in just one short and heartless letter, may eventually place United Way and it’s now tarnished image in.

    You have given a whole new army of folk, many who may well have had sympathy with United Way’s aims in the past and even contributed in the past, an excellent reason for deciding never to support United Way again. I certainly won’t.

    Well done! NexTERROR will be proud of you…………………… 
    Andrew Watts

    PS. A CLUE for you, as a member of United Way’s Board, who claim to help the little guy and those in need:
    Do you know what NexTERROR’s assets are, not including the 20 year Canadian taxpayer paid profits they expect to take from Ontario?
    And do you know Esther Wrightman’s assets? You know – the source of the ‘donation’ from NexTERROR you will gladly receive………?

  15. Community organizing – is so confusing, and popular;
    and, it’s community oriented.

    United Way – Advances Common Good
    Premier Social Justice, always reaching for Common Ground

    United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for a network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality life. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action—to give, advocate and volunteer—to improve conditions in their communities.

    So organized…………it’s creepy.

  16. I can not believe it took something like this for people to realize just how bad a CHARITABLE organization the United Way is. The % of funds raised that actually goes to help the little guy is almost criminal when they call themselves a charity. Look at the % that groups like the Salvation Army and World Vision use in admin costs and compare them to the United Way. The combined admin of both these groups is less than half the admin costs of the United Ways. So why are people still giving support to this charity. Do some basic research before you give your hard earned cash away. Look around you and give to a neighbor in need ….. no admin costs there. Maybe this is the family you could help out this year .

  17. no more charities with million dollar leaders, your better off picking out a local family and walking a donation straight to their door.

    United greedy bastards! you just showed people your true colours!

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