KAIROS - "Social justice group says Ottawa cut its funding..."

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hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture
KAIROS - "Social justice group says Ottawa cut its funding..."

[URL=http://bit.ly/59l1Kz]"...federal government cut funding over criticism of oil sands"[/URL]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Anglicans on the national mailing list received this email today:

 

This Call to Action is being sent to Anglicans across Canada.  Please act and keep it circulating. We are asking your support for KAIROS- Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, a key partner for the development and justice work of the Anglican Church.  Both the Anglican Church of Canada and The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund are member organizations of KAIROS together with nine other denominations and organizations.

On November 30, KAIROS learned - via a phone call - that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) would no longer fund KAIROS' work.

After more than 35 years of working with the churches to combat human rights violations around the world, CIDA cut its funding to KAIROS in spite of a very positive program evaluation. 

Implementing this decision would have devastating consequences for KAIROS' global partners, as well as for KAIROS' staff and budget.

We are asking you as Anglicans to add your voice to that of other ecumenical partners and help get this decision reversed.  Please know that questions are being asked in the House of Commons, articles are appearing in national newspapers and MPs are being contacted, make your voice heard too!

 

URGENT CALL TO ACTION

Please contact your MP to discuss this critical matter. A personal meeting has more impact than an e-mail, letter, or phone call, but these are good too. Note that Parliament recesses on December 11 so you must act quickly. 

To find out who your MP is by postal code, go to: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

Here are some tips for speaking to your MP:

·       Be respectful but firm.  (Murray MacAdam of the Diocese of Toronto says, "I REALLY hope for a BOLD and CREATIVE response to this outrageous act.   .. We really need to act boldly about this, not like a bunch of polite church people. I strongly doubt that that approach will get the government to change its mind. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple, did he act "politely"?)

·       Speak about your own positive involvement with KAIROS.

·       Express grave concern about this decision.

·       State that as an Anglican you support KAIROS and its development work and you wish to see its long standing relationship with CIDA restored.

·       Emphasize the impacts of this decision on KAIROS' global partners and on KAIROS' work in Canada.

Things to be prepared for:

·       Your MP may echo what was said by a CIDA official:  that KAIROS' programs no longer "fit" with CIDA'S stated priorities of food security, children and youth, and sustainable growth.  You can reply that KAIROS' work clearly reflects these priorities, naming projects in the attached "Briefing notes" and emphasizing that the Overseas Development Assistance Accountability Act (June 2008) calls for CIDA programming to fit with international human rights instruments.

·       Your MP may suggest that taxpayers' money should not go toward the mission work of churches.  You can respond that KAIROS' CIDA projects go towards development work, and that mission is carried out independently by the Anglican Church of Canada. 

The attached KAIROS media release and briefing document has more information.

Specifically, you are asking your MP: 

·       to find out why Bev Oda, the Minister of International Cooperation, turned down KAIROS' project proposal against the recommendation of senior staff

·       to ask Minister Oda to reverse this decision

·       to seek and offer an explanation of this departure from Government policy and practice for overseas development

·       to advise you on further actions you can take.

If your MP is on the Government side, ask him or her to apply pressure to the Minister.

If your MP is a member of the Opposition, ask him or her to ask about this decision in question period. 

Please also e-mail or write to:

·       The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, pm@pm.gc.ca or harper.s@parl.gc.ca

·       The Hon Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, oda.b@parl.gc.ca

·       Margaret Biggs, President of CIDA, Margaret.Biggs@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Please copy your letters to KAIROS at info@kairoscanada.org & pwrdf@pwrdf.org

Thank you for taking quick action, and please don't hesitate to contact one of us if you have any questions, or need more information or refer to the KAIROS website www.kairoscanada.org

In solidarity,

Cheryl Curtis                                                  Henriette Thompson

Executive Director                                              Director of Partnerships

The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund                The Anglican Church of Canada

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Any thoughts on why the Conservatives cut funding for KAIROS? The original Globe article (I believe it was updated since I posted the link) emphasized KAIROS's position on the tar sands as the likely reason. I wonder whether it's broader than that, and perhaps [URL=http://www.kairoscanada.org/en/rights-and-trade/focus-countries/palestin...'s involvement on Palestine-Israel[/URL] is a factor. KAIROS seems much more balanced on that issue than our Conservative government.

This occured to me as I was reading the [URL=http://www.united-church.ca/files/communications/news/general/091201_bri... Church of Canada's submission to the CPCCA[/URL]. According to the UCC it was well-received, but I wonder...

D V

Hs', how is it compatible with your apparent arch-secularist position to seemingly lament the cutting of funding to such an organization? I recall a bit on Kairos at http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/733/2009-05-24/what-would-jesus-drive#com... .

 

On the UCC, I recall some recent comments on a Green candidate's site, see http://www.christindal.ca/2009/08/31/claire-hoy-still-making-stuff-up/#c...

 

I had a look at Kairos stuff on Israel, they are trying to be very considerate and careful, but for all that they, like I'm sure almost everyone here, toss around the "illegal" word as well as err/sin by omission and assimilation to other, how shall I put it, unwholesome language. That does not stop me from wanting to encourage such groups' contributions on other shared issues of import. 

But, I am agnostic about government grants to such groups.  If what they do works somehow, why not?  If it is counterproductive to talk as they do around the mideast business, maybe the funding is counterproductive, hard to say.  Certainly promoting some fair-trade olive oil is not disturbing enough to cut funding!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

from the link in the OP:

 

excerpt: Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians said Kairos has a long history of promoting human rights and sustainable environmental policies in developing countries. It's also worked hard to educate Canadians.The funding cut is meant to send a message to non-government organizations ...that depend on the federal government for funding, she said."I believe that Kairos is being punished for taking a position on the eve of Copenhagen and on the tarsands," Barlow said."I think this is a declaration that they are not welcoming any criticism. They offended the agenda of the Harper government."

RosaL

[url=http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article.php?id=797]This source[/url] says the issue was divestment in Israel. It's possible there was more than one factor. 

thanks

It looks like there are lots of issues with CIDA at present;

http://www.embassymag.ca/page/view/cida-11-11-2009

namely political interference by the Harper gov't.

CIDA's website, under 'About Us', and regarding its 20 countries of focus, shows a focus on eg Afghanistan where it is subsidizing SNC Lavalin to rebuild a dam originally built by the US, and also on projects to control agricultural processing.  In the context of the rampant privatization inherent in the current Canadian 'trade' regimes, this will mean SNCLavalin also controls the water data, the distribution, effectively controlling the water, and electric power, in Afghanistan's central agricultural valley.  Further controlling agricultural processing through other projects will put Afghan farmers in the same position as farmers here- struggling under Big Ag companies that profit from and run the integrated seed and fertilizer and processing chain.

In Ukraine CIDA is giving millions of dollars to the "International Financial Corporation" and other entities to introduce the kind of agricultural insurance which farmers in Canada are rejecting. They're also pushing to promote a 'trade' model which has failed farmers miserably here.

In Haiti CIDA, with Bev Oda's picture everywhere, is giving money to 'improve governance' which is incredibly hypocritical given the fact they helped depose the elected president there in a coup.  Why not just help get the elected president back in power?

Oh, and though I don't often watch TV, I did see Wendy Mesley do a bit on the news the other day, saying that CIDA is giving 50 million to China, which as a global powerhouse at present, doesn't actually need that money, and one of her interviewees indicated the money was to grease Harper's political wheels.

So we have a picture where the Harper government is using CIDA to push it's own very narrow agenda, which has nothing to do with helpful development.  And its cutting funding to groups which do real good.

 

 

 

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

RosaL wrote:

[url=http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article.php?id=797]This source[/url] says the issue was divestment in Israel. It's possible there was more than one factor. 

Bingo! These Conservatives are outrageous.

remind remind's picture

Yep not religiously right wing enough, watch for McVety's org or one he is affliated with, to get this money

Green Grouch

It's not known what the exact reasons are. Tar sands advocacy doesn't help, but it looks like it *may* be mostly motivated by it being the first large NGO up for a CIDA contract renewal at time when the PMO (under the cover of Oda) wants to move CIDA into industry-focused aid and also may want to move CIDA funding into a new and as yet unspecified governmental agency to promote democracy. (The irony of which should be lost on no one.)

Now that the churches are hitting back and more and more NGOs are getting on board with the protest, there's some rumblings that the Conservative caucus is spreading rumours that KAIROS is "anti-Semitic" and that's why it was cut. Nothing has come out in the open yet, and this tactic  (if true) is almost certainly a response to the church-led protest and not an original justification for the cut.Watch this space for more news.

As for faith groups being involved in overseas work that has some government match funding-- why not, as long as that work has no religious restrictions or proselytising attached to it? Church partners tend to be pretty grassroots based by definition; any time I've travelled to church justice partners overseas, I'm put in the thick of community organising pretty darn quickly. And churches are cheap as hell-- you'll find no frills attached to their work, generally speaking. All the money goes to the basics: trainings, demos, and direct advocacy.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

remind wrote:

Yep not religiously right wing enough, watch for McVety's org or one he is affliated with, to get this money

They'll find some organisation that "NGO Monitor" approves of anyway.

swallow swallow's picture
swallow swallow's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If there's anyone at this late stage who doesn't believe the neocons have an extreme right agenda, this should settle it.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Boom Boom wrote:
from the link in the OP:

 

excerpt: Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians said Kairos has a long history of promoting human rights and sustainable environmental policies in developing countries. It's also worked hard to educate Canadians.The funding cut is meant to send a message to non-government organizations ...that depend on the federal government for funding, she said."I believe that Kairos is being punished for taking a position on the eve of Copenhagen and on the tarsands," Barlow said."I think this is a declaration that they are not welcoming any criticism. They offended the agenda of the Harper government."

 

This should have Harper and crew howling:

Church leaders from across the world unite against climate change

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

D V wrote:

Hs', how is it compatible with your apparent arch-secularist position to seemingly lament the cutting of funding to such an organization?

I don't have a definite opinion on the issue of government funding for faith-based groups such as KAIROS. I'd need to research and think about the issues involved, and I haven't done that. Without the benefit of having done that, I can say I'm inclined to not be supportive of government funding. However, given the fact that currently we do provide government funding to faith-based groups, I am very concerned with the political motivations behind this funding cut. Also, KAIROS does good work in a lot of areas I care about. If we are to fund faith-based groups, KAIROS would be high on my list of such groups I'd like to see funded.

remind remind's picture

Kinda where you are on this HS....

 

However, if the government is funding "other" distinct groups, for whatever societal function, then why not faith groups who are doing what they do...

 

thanks

While Baird tries to turn the Kairos cut into an Israeli -rights issue (buffoon video above), Kairos funds Bat Shalom, a group of Jerusalem women, Israelis and Palestinians, working together for human rights.

www.batshalom.org

"Bat Shalom is an Israeli national feminist grassroots organization of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli women working together for a genuine peace grounded in a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, respect for human rights, and an equal voice for Jewish and Arab women within Israeli society."

RosaL

swallow wrote:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-DhxTONUFg]Ridiculous buffoon foams at mouth in question period[/url]

I notice that his "Canada supports human rights" response is framed entirely in terms of support for Israel. That may be significant.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

remind wrote:

However, if the government is funding "other" distinct groups, for whatever societal function, then why not faith groups who are doing what they do...

Well, I don't think government funds should be used to support religious institutions. By providing funding for groups like KAIROS, the government is subsidizing the church. If government did not provide such funding, then the UCC and other members of KAIROS would have to foot the entire bill for the work they do. That is as it should be, for it is the church providing the services, and that is seen to be providing the services.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

RosaL wrote:

I notice that his "Canada supports human rights" response is framed entirely in terms of support for Israel. That may be significant.

I noticed that too. I wonder whether it was a slip, or whether he meant to be upfront about it. Perhaps this was also a factor in the Conservative's decision: [URL=http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/holy-post/archive/2009/09/17/un... Church helped fund ‘anti-Jewish’ group[/URL]

swallow swallow's picture

As expected, this is merely step one in a wider political attack on groups with active partnerships in the Global South that have so far been funded through CIDA. Next up: Montreal-based Alternatives, another very effective solidarity organization. 

Quote:
A CIDA spokeman refused to comment on the cuts but one source said Alternatives' request for renewal funding will not be approved. "It doesn't fit with our priorities," he said.

 

Alternatives' chief executive officer, Michel Lambert, said he had not been informed of any funding cuts. He said Alternatives submitted a three-year, $3 -million program request covering projects in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq.

Mr. Lambert said he was told it is now on the desk of Bev Oda, the International Cooperation Minister.

If confirmed, Alternatives will be the second NGO to have its funding cut in recent days.

[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=2e5f8e01-98... Post: "Funding for leftist group to be cut"[/url]

 

 

remind remind's picture

hsfreethinkers wrote:
remind wrote:
However, if the government is funding "other" distinct groups, for whatever societal function, then why not faith groups who are doing what they do...

Well, I don't think government funds should be used to support religious institutions. By providing funding for groups like KAIROS, the government is subsidizing the church. If government did not provide such funding, then the UCC and other members of KAIROS would have to foot the entire bill for the work they do. That is as it should be, for it is the church providing the services, and that is seen to be providing the services.

 

Then government funds should not be used to support arts and cultural endeavours either, nor sports etc.....

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

If anyone thinks government dollars are not acknowledged by NGOs, they ain't get out much.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

swallow wrote:
[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=2e5f8e01-98... Post: "Funding for leftist group to be cut"[/url]

Wow - what's next, I wonder? Haven't the Cons already made cuts to, for example, women's advocacy groups?

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

remind wrote:

Then government funds should not be used to support arts and cultural endeavours either, nor sports etc.....

You've lost me. I don't see how that follows.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

If anyone thinks government dollars are not acknowledged by NGOs, they ain't get out much.

Irrespective of whether faith-based NGOs draw attention to their sources of funding, the NGO itself is seen to be doing work and providing the service. Most of the goodwill will accrue to the NGO and by association the faith and religious institution(s) it is associated with.

remind remind's picture

hsfreethinkers wrote:
remind wrote:
Then government funds should not be used to support arts and cultural endeavours either, nor sports etc.....

You've lost me. I don't see how that follows.

Because the orgs/company/society by the very same token then, should fund raise and pay their own way...just as you said  religious orgs should.

 

Moreover, not everyone is into arts and cultural endeavours, nor sports,  but they are into social justice work through their church, so why should their tax dollars be wasted on things they are not into and may well be against?

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

remind wrote:

Because the orgs/company/society by the very same token then, should fund raise and pay their own way...just as you said  religious orgs should.

 

Moreover, not everyone is into arts and cultural endeavours, nor sports,  but they are into social justice work through their church, so why should their tax dollars be wasted on things they are not into and may well be against?

 

It isn't a question of whether people are "into" the group being considered for funding. Faith-based groups should not receive government funding, for reasons to do with the separation of church and state. Religious institutions are hardly comparable to arts, culture and sports organisations.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

hsfreethinkers wrote:
Faith-based groups should not receive government funding, for reasons to do with the separation of church and state.

We don't actually have a formal separation of church and state in Canada, do we?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

hsfreethinkers wrote:

Frustrated Mess wrote:

If anyone thinks government dollars are not acknowledged by NGOs, they ain't get out much.

Irrespective of whether faith-based NGOs draw attention to their sources of funding, the NGO itself is seen to be doing work and providing the service. Most of the goodwill will accrue to the NGO and by association the faith and religious institution(s) it is associated with.

That's true. And given they are doing the work, so what? And what religious institution is associated with a multi-faith organization? Also, if this was a matter of a government policy not to fund religious organizations at all, I might agree with it. But that's not what it is. It is a decision not to fund an environmental and development organization that has been critical of government policies on the environment and the impacts that has on the people the organization serves. So let's quit pretending this is anything other than the vindictive act of a mean spirited government led by small minded assholes.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

That's true. And given they are doing the work, so what? And what religious institution is associated with a multi-faith organization? Also, if this was a matter of a government policy not to fund religious organizations at all, I might agree with it. But that's not what it is. It is a decision not to fund an environmental and development organization that has been critical of government policies on the environment and the impacts that has on the people the organization serves. So let's quit pretending this is anything other than the vindictive act of a mean spirited government led by small minded assholes.

Hey, wait a minute! This was a thread drift in response to "D V" calling me out as the "arch-secularist". I know what this is about. As I said above, KAIROS does good work and given that our government currently funds faith-based groups I'd like to see this funding restored. That's why I started the thread. It wasn't to say, "hey isn't it great this faith-based group is losing its funding!" This is appalling what the Conservatives did here.

remind remind's picture

hsfreethinkers wrote:
It isn't a question of whether people are "into" the group being considered for funding. Faith-based groups should not receive government funding, for reasons to do with the separation of church and state. Religious institutions are hardly comparable to arts, culture and sports organisations.

All manner of faith based groups receive government funding.

Why aren't they comparable?

Unionist

How did this thread get to be about religion?

KAIROS does some good work and takes some socially progressive stands. That's why the Harper lowlifes cut them off. To fail to condemn this dirty act because KAIROS is run by some people of faith is to really be confused.

Come to think of it, it helps explain how Harper continues to govern as if he has a majority unanimous control of all seats in the House. He is a very smart man (albeit only by contrast with his confused adversaries).

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Consider the influence, and the nature of the influence, that these organizations have over individuals in society, and their influence on public policy: Catholic church; National Hockey League; Church of Scientology; Canadian Opera Company... Isn't the difference apparent? Are they really comparable?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

Hey, wait a minute! This was a thread drift in response to "D V" calling me out as the "arch-secularist". I know what this is about. As I said above, KAIROS does good work and given that our government currently funds faith-based groups I'd like to see this funding restored. That's why I started the thread. It wasn't to say, "hey isn't it great this faith-based group is losing its funding!" This is appalling what the Conservatives did here.

Sorry. It just such a familiar tactic to redirect the focus of the debate.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Unionist wrote:

How did this thread get to be about religion?

See posts #3 and #15. Perhaps it's time to get this thread back on-topic.

swallow swallow's picture

[url=http://www.kairoscanada.org/en/who-we-are/cida-funding-cuts/letters-from... of the overseas organizations affected, with letters from a few of them on the decision[/url]

[url=http://kairoscanada.org/index.php?id=650]KAIROS has updated its statements of support from organizations and parties in Canada - including from a former Placer Dome executive![/url]

No word from CIDA, yet, on Alternatives, but it's entirely possible this (non-faith-based) group is next for the axe. Or, the Nat Post may be joining a smear campaign against Alternatives....

Quote:
Le 4 décembre, c’était au tour d’Alternatives, qui apprenait par un coup de téléphone du journaliste John Ivison que, selon « ses sources d’Ottawa et non de l’ACDI », une décision similaire aurait été prise. Si cette information s’avérait vraie, elle couperait le financement de base qui permet à Alternatives de maintenir ses programmes tant au Canada qu’à l’étranger.

Alternatives attend depuis mars dernier (tout comme Kairos d’ailleurs) la confirmation de l’ACDI du renouvellement de son financement de base de 2,7 millions de dollars, dont 75% proviennent de l’ACDI et 25% proviennent de sources de financement autonomes. Ce financement permettra d’appuyer des groupes sociaux en Irak, en Haïti, en République démocratique du Congo, en Afghanistan et en Amérique Centrale. Les activités de ces organismes portent sur la lutte aux changements climatiques (Haïti), les droits des femmes et des minorités (Irak), l’accès à l’information (RD Congo), le développement rural (Afghanistan) et les droits des travailleurs et travailleuses (Amérique centrale - un projet qui doit se réaliser en coopération avec la Confédération des syndicats nationaux - CSN).

[url=http://www.alternatives.ca/fra/journal-alternatives/publications/nos-pub... victime de journalisme de propagande ou...?[/url]

[url=http://www.alternatives.ca/fra/journal-alternatives/blogues/michel-lambe... Lambert (of Alternatives) blogue on same subject[/url]

Meanwhile, CIDA officials, in private conversation, are now touting their "integrated partnership" with the army in Afghanistan as a model to be used in other countries. 

D V

Sorry about any misperceived thread drift initiated by myself above. I just thought I caught a possible inconsistency, and tried to widen the discussion not pull it askew.

I happened to be watching CPAC yesterday as Bev Oda fairly capably, on her government's terms, dealt with the repeated questions re Kairos.   I don't support the result.  But is it impossible that, for "international" development, a one-sided and misguided stance not be counterproductive to, let's call it, wholesome  intl. development?  If it's in part about Kairos' waywardness re Israel, why does supporting fair trade olive oil (I'm told it is of excellent quality, too bad not certified organic as well, I'd offer it, much as I am delighted to occasionally distribute Egyptian organic produce) need to go along with problematic anti-Israel rhetoric?  But it can't be about olive oil, or tar sands opposition; it's the culture of it all again, and the Cons. are getting away with bit by bit revamping of things.

 

 

 

swallow swallow's picture

Quote:
Yesterday, facing pointed questions in Parliament, Oda lamely noted that that CIDA still funds other church groups that deliver health care, schooling, food and water. "Tough decisions will have to be made," she added.

Maybe so. But organizations such as KAIROS deserve a credible explanation, a fair shake, and time to reshape or wind down programs. Otherwise Oda's "tough choices" will look like "payback" from a government that brooks no criticism of its agenda.

[url=http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/735488--harper-s-suspe... Star: "Harper's suspect aid cut"[/url]

Green Grouch

Jason Kenney in Jerusalem: Government defunded KAIROS over its Israeli Apartheid boycott. (Still waiting on the full text; that headline may not be fully accurate but the spirit of it sure is.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htRrQBjDpqU

KAIROS knew this was being floated in the Conservative caucus, but so many equally unreasonable reasons for the funding refusal are being floated by MPs and government sources that it was not clear which one was going to stick. At least this nasty little one is now out in the open.

Green Grouch

The fuller context...

In his speech at the Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism, Jason Kenney mentions Kairos:

To watch:
http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=58&ar=CanadianMinister-V&ak=null
(at 7:29 mn):
Transcript:
http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=58&ar=CanadianMinister-V&ak=null

However, in the government release, Kairos is not mentioned by name, but there is reference to funding:
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?m=/index&nid=502849

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2009/2009-12-16.asp

 

NDPP

hsfreethinkers wrote:

Any thoughts on why the Conservatives cut funding for KAIROS? The original Globe article (I believe it was updated since I posted the link) emphasized KAIROS's position on the tar sands as the likely reason. I wonder whether it's broader than that, and perhaps [URL=http://www.kairoscanada.org/en/rights-and-trade/focus-countries/palestin...'s involvement on Palestine-Israel[/URL] is a factor. KAIROS seems much more balanced on that issue than our Conservative government.

This occured to me as I was reading the [URL=http://www.united-church.ca/files/communications/news/general/091201_bri... Church of Canada's submission to the CPCCA[/URL]. According to the UCC it was well-received, but I wonder...

NDPP

I think you're right and that Palestine as much as Tar Sands (both involve Indigenous genocide) is responsible:

A Moment of Truth with Christians in Palestine:

http://www.kawther.info/wpr/2009/12/17/a-moment-of-truth-with-christians...

"Here is a brief of the Kairos Palestine document, which was signed on Dec 11, 2009 in Bethlehem city by a group of Palestinian Christians. If you are the member of a Christian church of any denomination please disseminate this information as widely as possible..."

Green Grouch

Just to note that the Kairos Palestine document is unrelated to KAIROS Canada. KAIROS here has some shared church and partner connections with the Kairos Palestine statement (notably Sabeel), but the two are not related. "Kairos" is a term used for statements and Christian movements worldwide who see justice as core to the Gospel. The movement began in South Africa and Central America and the tradition continues today.

PBandJOk

Interesting:

I had never heard of KAIROS until I read Colby Cosh's analysis of their partisan politics. That led me to some further reading, and I discovered that KAIROS had issued a denunciation of Alberta's oilsands, and then they went on their fact-finding trip to Fort McMurray. One might have thought it would have been in the reverse order.

A quick visit to KAIROS's website shows that their most important goal now is not actually anything to do with religion, let alone with Christianity. It's about getting back to the taxpayer trough. I say let them raise their own money through bake sales, like everybody else's church or synagogue has to do.

Poke around their site and try to find any substantive difference between their views and the NDP's foreign policy platform. They both have an unhealthy obsession with denigrating Israel, natch. And KAIROS has a special hate-on for, of all places, Colombia. That's no surprise -- Colombia is the Latin American country most resistant to Hugo Chavez's malign influence. (KAIROS obviously hasn't had a chance to add brave little Honduras to its hit list.) Between criticizing Israel and Colombia, KAIROS doesn't have a lot of time left to criticize, say, China and its brutal treatment of Christians and other religious minorities. But then, neither does the NDP.

But enough political debate -- this is about free money, not ideas. KAIROS has a massive staff of around 20. That's a helluva full-time political campaign squad. Without recession-weary taxpayers paying for all those "ecological justice" coordinators, a lot of sociology majors are going to have to find real jobs, and Greenpeace and the Canadian Arab Federation can only absorb so many of them.

KAIROS wanted $1.8 million a year from the government -- that's basically a fully-staffed political war room, dedicated to their radical point of view. If KAIROS really is, as its website boasts, the political voice of the Anglicans, Catholics, Mennonites, United Church, etc., that money should be a snap to replace -- not much more than a dime per member of its constituent churches, really. Because KAIROS really is speaking for its members, isn't it?

If you remain unpersuaded of the case to let KAIROS's members support it, rather than taxpayers, perhaps I can draw your attention to their last annual report. Here are some of the things they spend your money on:

Fundraising and overhead: $800K

"Energy justice": $500K

"Public engagement": $400K

That's all pure politics -- and it just happens to equal the amount of dough they're demanding from the government. By contrast, "anti-poverty grants" only account for $148K, or just 3.7% of their budget.

It's pretty grotesque when a so-called Christian organization is so busy beating up on Alberta, Israel and Colombia that it only has 3.7% of its money left over for Jesus-y things like helping the poor. But then again, according to KAIROS's honcho, Bill Phipps, Jesus wasn't God anyways.

 

Green Grouch

I'll bite: where does their annual report say $800,000 on fundraising and overhead? I can't find that anywhere.

Then again, you think a staff of 20 is "massive", so your grasp of numbers may be a little bit off.

As for Christianity.... who died and made you God, that you get to decide what Christianity is and is not?

To quote Brazilian (and presumably non-Christian) priest, Dom Helder Camara: 'When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist."  If calling governments out on human rights violations and totally avoidable poverty and eco-destruction makes you a non-Christian, I guess I'm Satan hisself.

 

Caissa

An e,mail I just received from the ACC

KAIROS responds to federal minister's comments on anti-Semitism

December 18, 2009 - The Minister of International Cooperation, Bev Oda, has been telling KAIROS, Parliament and the Canadian people that funding to KAIROS was cut because its work did not fit current Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) priorities of economic growth, food security and children and youth.

On Wednesday, however, a completely different reason was given in a speech by Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration. Addressing the Global Forum to Counter Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, Minister Kenney described his government's fights against anti-Semitism and, as an example, said the government had "defunded organizations ...  like KAIROS for taking a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign" against Israel.

Minister Kenney's charge against KAIROS is false.  KAIROS did not lead this campaign. In 2007, KAIROS took a public position opposing sanctions and a boycott of Israel.

(A recently released document, Kairos Palestine, 2009: A Moment of Truth, is not a document of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.  Kairos is a Greek word meaning "God's time" and is commonly used by Christian groups.)

A Minister of the Crown says that his government decided, for a highly political reason, to cut funds for a proposal developed in consultation with and approved by CIDA.

Canadians need the truth.

Two points must be made: criticism of Israel does not constitute anti-Semitism; and CIDA was developed to fund international aid and not to serve political agendas.

Minister Kenney's statement, in a highly charged environment, raises very disturbing questions about the integrity of Canadian development aid decisions.  If aid decisions are based on political rumour rather than on due diligence, development criteria and CIDA's own evaluation process then this is a matter of grave concern for the entire international development sector -- and for the Canadian people who pay for this aid.                                   

Many non-governmental organizations have proposals befo re CIDA that have been on Minister Oda's desk for months.  Others are about to apply for funding.  How can they possibly trust this decision-making process in the future?

In the past two weeks, Canadians from across the country have called for the restoration of CIDA funding to KAIROS.

People working for human rights are the true victims of the funding cut to KAIROS.  This decision cuts funding for a new legal clinic in the Congo to help women who have been raped in the brutal conflict there.  The 5,000 members of the Women's Popular Organization in Colombia will lose funding for life-saving protection against rampant human rights abuses in their country.

To label KAIROS criticism of Israeli government actions as "anti-Semitic" silences dissent and honours no one.  KAIROS has a clear position of support for the legitimate right of the Israeli people to a safe and secure state.

KAIROS asks that its funding be restored.

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

More on Charles McVety: [URL=http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2009/12/quick-notes-on-kairos-funding-cut... Notes On The KAIROS Funding Cuts[/URL]

ravenj

KAIROS does have international development as part of its mandate.  But their overall focus is social justice. 

“Anti-semitic” is a very heavy charge.  A month ago Harper was in China, and he criticized the state for human rights issues.  Would that make him "Anti-Chinese" then?

contrarianna

From the Toronto Star

Quote:

Fury grows over anti-Semitism charge
Churches want answers from PM after senior Tory levels accusation against aid group they support

Les Whittington Ottawa Bureau
Published On Sat Dec 19 2009

OTTAWA–The United Church of Canada and other Canadian churches are demanding Prime Minister Stephen Harper explain why one of his cabinet ministers accused them of being anti-Semitic.

The United, Catholic and Anglican churches are part of KAIROS, an aid group that was shocked to hear Immigration Minister Jason Kenney say its funding was lifted as part of the Conservatives' effort to cut off anti-Semitic organizations.

"It's a horrible charge to make, and to do it with so little thought cheapens the reality of anti-Semitism in the world and diminishes the very careful attention that it deserves," said United Church spokesperson Bruce Gregersen. "We're quite disappointed in the government on this....

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/740925--fury-grows-over-anti-...

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

I'm hoping this issue brews into another PR disaster for the Tories  like the Richard Colvin affair has. All the more reasons why they cannot be trusted and should not form the next government.

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