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Tucker Carlson isn’t only adept at drawing crowds in Alberta – he’s also good for business, according to one Alberta credit union.

Membership at Bow Valley Credit Union has expanded after it was the headline sponsor for the conservative commentator’s widely publicized Canadian tour earlier this year. 

The credit union has seen a 3% growth in memberships since Carlson’s Jan. 24 talks in Calgary and Edmonton. 

Bow Valley CEO Brett Oland said the growth comes despite legacy media outlets saying the partnership negatively impacted the credit union. 

“Since the (mainstream media) started with their vitriol towards (Bow Valley), new membership continues to speed up as we hold firm with our position,” Oland told True North.

The growth totals 356 new business and personal accounts and equals more than $26 million in new deposits. In contrast, Bow Valley lost 17 accounts and just over $400,000 in deposits. 

In February, the Cochrane Eagle criticized Bow Valley for sponsoring the Carlson events and reported that the Airdrie-Cochrane NDP would be moving funds from the credit union in protest.

Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain Outlook’s Local Journalism Initiative reporter — referring to journalists’ whose salaries are paid for by the federal government — accused Bow Valley of “coming under fire for a so-called marketing strategy to expand its membership – and working – in socially conservative circles.”

The article referred to Carlson as a commentator who is “often criticized for disseminating harmful rhetoric and misinformation.”

It also quoted a letter to the editor published in the Outlook accusing Bow Valley of sponsoring a “high-profile U.S. conspiracy theorist who mocks Canadian diversity, opposes immigration, and preaches divisiveness, fear and hatred.”

Oland said there might be more account closures over the Tucker Carlson event, adding that dissenters “are principled to a point.” 

“As deposit or loan terms expire, they may exit but are not inclined to leave money on the table and break terms on deposits/loans to gain access to funds/loans immediately,” he said. “To me, this shows their commitment to their cause is pretty weak.” 

Bow Valley has also been lambasted by the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corp., which oversees Alberta’s 13 credit unions for stockpiling gold and silver. The credit union owns about one-third of a tonne of precious metals to protect against inflation and a federal bank collapse. 

In January, Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corp. told the Globe and Mail it had advised Bow Valley to cease publishing content that may undermine member confidence in the federal/provincial banking systems.

“We advised BVCU that the credit union legislation in Alberta does not support BVCU’s precious metals initiative.”