Thursday, December 03, 2009

KAIROS funding cuts questioned in House of Commons

Watch Rae ask the question, watch Baird totally evade with a change of topic to Durban. Huh? A very effective contrast demonstrating the respective approaches to the subject that was raised.

There are legitimate questions here on this decision, which appears arbitrary and historically unaware:
A Canadian church-based group that does human rights and environmental sustainability work says the federal government has cancelled its funding for overseas projects without warning or reason.

Kairos, an ecumenical social justice group representing 11 different churches and organizations, said the decision by the Canadian International Development Agency will force it to stop operating in troubled areas such as Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, central America and the West Bank.
Kairos and earlier church groups have been receiving federal money for such overseas work since 1973.

"It is just shocking that after such a long relationship an organization of the size and scope of Kairos wouldn't have more than that phone call," she said.
Doing boatloads of humanitarian work around the globe but they may have crossed paths with the political imperatives of the Harper government, because they support efforts to achieve a climate change agreement in Copenhagen, for e.g.

The important fact, however, is that their recent CIDA application was deemed satisfactory, approved at each step of the process.
Executive director Mary Corkery said in an interview that CIDA indicated in July that there was no problem with the proposal, that funding would be approved and needed only the minister's signature.
What changed? Was their political interference from the minister or, say, the PMO? It is striking that a group doing humanitarian work around the world with a longstanding relationship like this one has with the government of Canada should have the rug pulled out from under it so arbitrarily.

More information here on the group and its work and another report here.