Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Happens When a Tyrant Holds the Purse Strings and a Harridan Carries the Purse

During the Haiti earthquake relief mission, columnist Carol Goar wrote of a disturbing practice by the Harper government, when it came to charitable organizations.

We had already seen funding slashed to KAIROS, a Religious organization that advocated for the poor and disenfranchised, because they spoke out against Israeli aggression in Palestine.

But they were not the only group in Stephen Harper's crosshairs, brought to light during the Haiti crisis. Said Goar:
A shadow hangs over Canada's exemplary earthquake relief mission in Haiti. Several of the charities working heroically to deliver food, clean water, health care and shelter to the victims of the disaster fear their federal funding will be cut.

As long as they stick to pure humanitarian assistance, they'll be fine. But the moment they take a public stand – criticizing the government's decision to shift its foreign aid focus from Africa to Latin America, or its inaction on climate change, or its militant pro-Israel stance or its refusal to include contraceptives in its new campaign to improve maternal health – they risk losing access to taxpayers' dollars.
Several organizations had already received warnings.

Recently, Jason Kenney attacked OXFAM because of their opposition to illegal Israeli settlements.
One of Canada’s largest charities has found itself on the defensive after being singled out by a federal Conservative cabinet minister over its opposition to Israeli settlements. The apparent flap between Employment Minister Jason Kenneyand international development group Oxfam Canada is noteworthy because the Conservative government has previously cut funding to other charities that spoke out against the settlements.
Enter Kerry-Lynn Findlay

Bev Oda, the shrew behind the KAIROS defunding, may be out of politics, after scandals finally caught up with her, but not to worry. A new she-devil has taken her place: Kerry-Lynn Findlay, who is already outpacing Oda for controversy, opportunism, and pure malice.

Her riding of Delta-Richmond East has been a Reform Party stronghold since 1993, so Findlay only had to win the nomination to be assured of her position. Delta-Richmond is being split as part of the Conservative gerrymandering, and the new riding will no doubt go the Party, so we can expect another Neocon clone to join her in the House.

Although, Findlay herself may be vulnerable. Protestors opposed to the (un)Fair Elections Act, delivered a petition with 80,000 signatures to her office.

There was also a scathing letter in the Richmond News, drawing attention to a "ridiculously childish" notice she was sending to her constituents, in an obvious attempt to identify supporters; part of their taxpayer funded "patriotism" contest.

Findlay was not in her office to accept the petition. She was too busy sticking pins in the dolls of Canadian charity leaders, vowing to outdo Kenney and Oda, in her sweep of those who oppose her tyrannical leader and his policies.

No one is safe.

On her list of subversive activities: animal welfare, poverty, education, anti-Israeli sentiment, environment, healthcare, and human rights.

So don't even think of advocating for the poor. You will probably end up on a list and risk a tax audit.

These autocratic manoeuvres are being met with the expected outrage and concern.
The current crop of political-activity audits has prompted a sharp rebuke from the Canadian Council of Churches, which in April wrote directly to the prime minister about the "chilling effect of threats to revoke the charitable status of organizations that draw attention to policies that harm our world."

Similarly, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada wrote to a United Nations group about what it calls the "shrinking space for dissent in Canada."
We do need more women in politics, but Findlay and many of her female colleagues, are not so much women in politics as soft touches who just happen to be in politics. What a fine example she sets.

Besides, how did she qualify to run Revenue Canada anyway? In 2001 she declared bankruptcy, leaving her creditors on the hook for $382,000. Maybe she needs a little audit.

Or maybe the Fraser Institute that shills for tobacco companies, foreign and domestic. Of course, it's more likely that the Canadian Cancer Society would be scrutinized for opposing the Fraser Institute.

Remind me again why Canadians still believe they live in a democracy. If this isn't fascism, than nothing is.

1 comment:

  1. "..still believe they live in a democracy." Maybe a failing democracy. I'm just finishing Andrew Nikaforuk's "Tar Sands". His argument: Alberta has become a de facto Petrostate with all that implies. Suppression of opposition, lack of transparency, sycophancy, conflicted interests, buying off voters..

    Now. Where does Harper come from? Who is he in bed with? Ask the question, find the answer..