Why Bev Oda Torpedoed KAIROS Funding

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The Oda-KAIROS File
by Joe Hueglin
Minister Oda has admitted tardily she added the word "not" "to the memo in which CIDA staff strongly recommended funding for ecumenical group KAIROS."(1)

Unknown still is the rationale Minister Oda has for standing "by her decision to deny KAIROS funding".(2)
 
The only reason raised to this point, in that it was unrelated to priorities being met, is that Minister Kenney gave in a speech December 16, 2009 in Israel to the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism:
 
"We have articulated and implemented a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. What does this mean? . . . We have defunded organizations, most recently like KAIROS," (3)
A Minister denying adding the word "not" to a recommendation. then prevaricating about doing so, is an unacceptable precedent.  A Minister providing no rationale for canceling a decades long expenditure for no reason is unacceptable as well.  Another Minister citing a reason most pleasing to an international gathering he's addressing  - then withdrawing this statement as a basis for cancellation and replacing it with what proved to be an untruth, merits disdain.
 
Was he not informed he was inaccurate, that the request had been approved by CIDA? That in their view it had met their priorities? (4) That the funding cut was at the sole discretion of Minister Oda?

That "This issue reaches well beyond KAIROS; it touches on fundamental questions of democracy, transparency, and Canada's international commitments to all in the global community who struggle against poverty and for human rights. " (5), an opinion written in a KAIROS and CIDA Funding "CITA Update", 11 February 2011, is valid and must be addressed.

To date "KAIROS still not having received word on its second proposal to CIDA, submitted in March 2010.", raises once again the question "why?".  

What ever the reason the effect is to mute all criticism of Cabinet directions among those seeking grants . "NGOs are being positively invited to remain silent on key questions of public policy," (6) and know by the KAIROS example what speaking out will bring.
 
 
 
NOTES:

(1) Oda: I don't know who altered KAIROS memo
     http://www.embassymag.ca/page/view/kairos2-12-15-2010

(2) KAIROS: CIDA Funding Cuts - CIDA not responsible for cuts to KAIROS, President confirms December 16, 2010
     http://www.kairoscanada.org/en/who-we-are/cida-funding-cuts/

(3) Chris Selley: The KAIROS hoax
     http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/28/chris-selley-the-kairos-hoax.aspx#ixzz1DruYxLoB

(4) Ottawa starves climate critics of cash on eve of eco-summit
     http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/733939--ottawa-starves-climate-critics-of-cash-on-eve-of-eco-summit
     "After completing due diligence it was determined that the organization's project does not meet CIDA's current priorities."
     Jean-Luc Benoit, a spokesman for International Development Minister Bev Oda."
"
(5) New KAIROS proposal to test Oda's defunding explanation
     http://www.embassymag.ca/page/view/kairos-11-03-2010
     Federal Speaker finds Minister Oda's handling of the KAIROS file "very troubling"
     http // www.kairoscanada.org/en/who-we-are/cida-funding-cuts/

(6) Canadian aid groups told to keep quiet on policy issues
     http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-aid-groups-told-to-keep-quiet-on-policy-issues/article1465349/



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