...this weekend, Conservative MPs got a much longer, more detailed Alerte-Info-Alert-bot memo about the situation involving International Development Minister Bev Oda, who stands accused by her political opponents of the serious charge of lying to Parliament. Some Conservative MPs have told me they are uneasy at best, and unhappy at worst, with the situation.They have somehow been able to spin the story to suggest that she didn't lie after all. Phew! That was a close one. (yeah, I believe it)
Doesn't explain why Jason Kenney told a crowd in Israel that they had defunded KAIROS because they supported sanctions against Israel. They didn't. He got them mixed up with someone else.
This could very well have an impact on Conservative support from the Christian community. I don't mean the Religious Right who are judgemental kooks, but legitimate Christians. Those who care about the same things that KAIROS care about. Social justice and human decency.
Our government's blind support of Israel, that borders on the fanatical, is costing us. Haroon Siddiqui has an excellent column in the Toronto Star, that shows how, not only in terms of losing our respectability in the world, but also in dollars and cents. Well worth a read.
And Gerry Caplan says:
THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEV ODA. Of course she baldly lied, just as Jason Kenney lied about Kairos policy on Israel and Tony Clement lied when he claimed Statscan approved his crusade against the long-form census. This government lies as routinely as it maligns, and it never apologizes. But Ms. Oda, like Messrs. Kenney and Clement, is just the organ grinder's monkey. Any CIDA minister would have been in the same boat. She just follows orders. And it's those orders in the Kairos case that remind us of the real Harper agenda.I think he nailed it.
The issue here is the reversal, by Stephen Harper, of a 60-year consensus shared by all previous governments about the central role of civil society in Canada. Every previous government has funded civil society groups and NGOs even when they espoused policies that contradicted the government's own. Governments might have done so grudgingly and not as generously as some of us hoped. But it has been one of the quiet glories of Canadian democracy that our governments have often backed groups that criticized them or had competing priorities. No more. With Stephen Harper, you either buy the party line or you get slapped down.