Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gruending On The KAIROS Cuts

KAIROS (the Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives) is a Toronto-based alliance of social justice coalitions. Within the past couple of days, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)--Bev Oda's department-- has cut all funding to KAIROS.

In his latest, Dennis Gruending speculates as to why:

Minister Oda did not communicate with KAIROS about its fate — she rarely communicates publicly with anyone about her portfolio except in the most controlled of circumstances. But the “trouble at the top” may well have had more to do with the work of KAIROS within Canada than with its overseas projects. KAIROS has questioned, on environmental and hence ethical grounds, the rapid development of the tar sands in Western Canada. KAIROS hosted a forum in Calgary in October 2008 and organized a delegation of Canadian church leaders to visit the tar sands in May 2009. The Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance, prior to their takeover of the Progressive Conservative Party, were beneficiaries of generous support from the oil and gas industry. The Harper Conservatives exist on similarly friendly terms with the carbon industry and will not hear of any proposal that would scale back rapid development – despite the environmental problems such development is causing. The implied criticism from KAIROS may have excited the ire of Conservatives at the top, even though most of the KAIROS budget is provided by the organization’s own donors and not by CIDA.

Just by co-incidence, within hours of defunding KAIROS which, among other things, helps women in the Congo who have been brutalized (often raped) by local militias, the Harper government indicated that it wanted an extra 1.7 mill set aside so that the PM can shoot video of him getting on and off military helicopters, and riding on navy vessels, and pass that off as news.


Raging Ranter said...

If KAIROS felt it could use it's funding to oppose the oil sands, then the government was right to cut them off. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has people working full time just countering the lies and propaganda that numerous NGOs make up about the oil sands. They don't need the federal government working against them too.

George Monbiot's recent column, for example, was full of inaccuracies supplied to him by his NGO friends. The tar sands have destroyed an area as large as England. Sure they have. That's precisely the kind of "factoid" the NGOs come up with and disseminate to various gullible media mouthpieces.

The lying doctor who was falsifying reports about rare cancers and other diseases, to the point of actually creating false case histories on people who didn't exist, also had links to numerous NGOs. Fortunately he's been dealt with by the Alberta Medical Association, which was had the good sense to "leak" their report on his conduct after he refused to approve its release.

wilson said...

''...Ms. Oda's statement said those priorities are food security, children and youth, and sustainable economic growth focused in 20 countries...''

KAIROS protesting bottled water in Canada and the Oilsands doesn't look like defending human rights in far away countries to me.
They seem to have lost their way, and thusly their funding.

penlan said...

How much in funding was KAIROS getting on a yearly basis, do you know? Is it equal to the amt. that Harper has appropriated for video-ops?

bigcitylib said...

Gruending says 7 mill over 4 years. Almost the same.

Holly Stick said...

Kairos is concerned with the oilsands' effect on the aboriginal people; also with the treatment of migrant workers there. So maybe they got up Chuck Strahl and Jason Kenney's nose as well. Also Glen Pearson says they are concerned with behaviour of Canadian mining companies abroad (the recent murder of an activist in Mexico by employees of a Canadian company might be relevant)

As for Raging Ranter's vicious lies about Dr. O'Connor, Andrew Nikiforuk explains the dirty politics behind the smears against him:

"... Of six suspected cases identified by Dr. O´Connor, the Alberta Cancer Board confirmed two cases of cholangiocarinoma; three that were closely related biliary duct cancers; and one that was not cancer. Two of the biliary duct cancers (bile duct adenocarinoma and adenocarcinoma of Ampulla of Vater) are often recognized as cholangiocarinoma by medical authorities. In total the Board confirmed that five out of six bile duct cancers were indeed bile duct cancers..."

Anne Peterson said...

They need the money to pay Harper's communication bills. See Globe article today. LEFT ME SPEECHLESS.

Ti-Guy said...

As for Raging Ranter's vicious lies about Dr. O'Connor...

Raging Ranter's comment is actionable, in fact. I suggest BCL remove it.

Backseat Blogger said...

Interesting points regarding KAIROS' Canadian activities.

On those grounds alone I support the funding cut off of KAIROS (since when is it the government's role to fund opposition to its policies?)

Given that it is CIDA funding that was cut though, I think there is more of international angle to explain KAIROS funding problems.

Ti-Guy said...

BB thought this had something to do with Cairo and therefore, must have a Middle-East/Muslim/antisemitic angle, which he has now found.

Ok. You're Conservative, you're Jewish, you're gay... a triple-threat, in other words. We get it. But your act has grown stale. I suggest you take up tap-dancing.

Raging Ranter said...


One would think action would have already been taken if that were the case:

Ti-Guy said...

Lean to code a link in html if you want someone to click on it. As it stands, copying and pasting a link from you, to The National Post no less, is really not worth the effort.