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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Funding activism 
(en francais)

Much wailing and moaning over this latest report on government programs. Makes me think of that old infomercial "Stop the Insanity". Hopefully this is the first step of a wide-ranging review of all government programs.

The Liberals have spent the last 13 years using your tax dollars to fund numerous advocacy groups who's main purpose is to lobby the government. Most times what these groups were advocating for was part of some phantom Liberal 'plan'.

The One Tonne Challenge was a dubious program at best. If we have committed $1.1 billion over the last 6 years to climate change, where are the results?
Ottawa stops funding One Tonne Challenge
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Environmentalists are worried that the new government, which they perceive as being hostile toward actions on climate change, is poised to slash global warming projects set up by the Liberals. The Liberals pledged about $1.1-billion to fight climate change from 2000 to early 2006.
Here are some good examples of the Liberal's past funding practices:
Government Cash Skews Greens' Lobbying
Mark Milke, Vancouver Sun, September 21, 2002

Case in point? Environment Canada gave the Sierra Club over $175,000 in "grants and contributions" to that lobby's British Columbia and Alberta branches in 2000 and 2001. According to ministry lists, much of the money Sierra received was "to support activities which contribute to the objectives of the Climate Change Action Fund." (The Sierra Club also received over $213,000 from the BC government when New Democrats were in charge.) In another example, the Alberta-based Pembina Institute, recently critical of Alberta Premier Ralph Klein for his Kyoto stance, received at least $230,000 in 2000 and 2001 from Ottawa to push the federal government's view of Kyoto.

But those two examples are the tip of the funding iceberg for green activists. Environment Canada's category dedicated just to pro-Kyoto activists (the "Climate Change Action Fund") disbursed $6.7 million in 2001. A complete accounting of how much money such groups receive from taxpayers is impossible to calculate; other federal ministries and every level of government in Canada also subsidize such activism. But Environment Canada itself handed out $51 million in grants and contributions last year. Some money probably goes to worthy environmental projects but much also goes to fund green activism. Thus, instead of federal politicians seeing a true indication of what Canadians think on environmental issues, the letters, faxes, e-mails and calls are driven in part by Environment Canada's agenda which just happens to support advocacy organizations which see issues in the same way as the federal bureaucracy.
How governments fund their very own lobby groups
Excerpted from "Tax Me, I'm Canadian"
Mark Milke

Naturally, while such lobby groups receive government funds, it is of course easy for them to oppose and kill off development and the accompanying jobs in the country's mines, forests, and at the figs. But if forced to live in the real world and raise support there, many groups would wither up and die and lose their jobs Instead of being able to put others out of work. When governments fund lobby groups, it gives the public the mistaken sense that more Canadians support the views of such groups than might actually be the case. That is helpful to governments who may hold unpopular views or are themselves unpopular.

A provincial example of this occurred in British Columbia. Through out the 1990s, the New Democratic government funded the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), an organization with offices across the country who, not coincidentally, constantly press for higher taxes and more spending.

To say that a fair majority of Canadians would disagree with the Centre's heavily redistributionist policies is an understatement. The CCPA, which has tax-deductible status, is solidly in favour of higher taxes and more government intervention in the economy including, oddly, corporate welfare. (Curiously, its call for higher taxes, if implemented, would negatively affect high-income workers on the auto assembly line who are probably unaware their labour bosses at the Canadian Autoworkers Union also fund the group.)

In British Columbia, the New Democrat government in power between 1991 and 2001 funded the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives over the last decade to the tune of at least $410,231.10 And $200,000 of that was doled out in the last three months of the NDP's mandate in 2001. Freedom of Information requests to government reveal that in some cases the CCPA gave 25 copies of each study they produced to government ministries or Crowns in exchange for funding.

This enabled the Centre to argue that it performed contract work or sold goods and services to the government. What it did do, in fact, was charge several hundred dollars per report for 20-page opinion pieces produced by the Centre that were available free on its website.
These are just a few examples. I don't even want to think of the various advertising campaigns and polling conducted over the last 13 years. All of this activity created the sense that something was being done, when in actual fact the Liberals were simply playing a game of three card monte with taxpayers.

Sara at Choice for Childcare has some interesting numbers on the Childcare issue that demonstrates further examples of the government paying for advocacy:
How much do we really pay the daycare lobbyist?
1 -NOTE - some groups are listed more than once - do the math:

* Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada Ottawa Ont -- $204,526
* Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Toronto Ont -- $110,000
* International Child Care Canada Inc Mississauga Ont -- $286,458
* Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research Alberta
Centre for Child, Family & Community Research -- $100,000
* BC Aboriginal Child Care Society West Vancouver BC -- $820,132
* Healthy Child Manitoba Winnipeg Man --$100,000
* Canadian Child Care Federation Ottawa --$310,000
* Canadian Institute of Child Health Ottawa Ont-- $110,695
* Our Children our Future Chelmsford Ont --$506,237
* Voices for Children Coalition Inc Montague PEI -- $212,286
* Canadian Child Care Federation Ottawa --$369,591
* Canadian Child Care Federation Ottawa --$750,000
* Child Welfare League of Canada Ottawa Ont --$200,000
* Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada Ottawa -- $160,251
* Child Care Connection - Nova Scotia Halifax NS -- $121,738
* Early Childhood Development Association of Prince Edward Island Charlottetown PEI -- $129,390
* Canadian Child Care Foundation Ottawa Ont --$199,969
This information was obtained by way of application under the Access to Information Act. Our request for information was made to the Women's Program at the Status of Women. I am not aware whether these child care lobbyists also received corporate or union funding. It is important to note, however, that these child care lobby groups have received funding from the Status of Women on a regular basis since 1983.

Ø Child Care lobby groups, such as the Canadian Child Care Federation, and the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, received $1,362,209 between 1992 and 2002. These organizations form the pressure group for a national child care plan as recently proposed and implemented by the former Liberal government.

In the fiscal year 2004 - 2005 these child care lobby groups received a further $483,753 from the Women's Program. This large grant was given during the time that the former Liberal government was negotiating with the provinces for a national child care program.

On February 16, 2006, the tax funded Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada launched a Canada wide campaign called "Code Blue" to lobby for and work with the provincial / territorial governments and parliamentarians to prevent the present Conservative government from
cancelling the federal / provincial agreements on child care made last year by the former Liberal government.

It is significant that these child care lobby groups have the most to gain from a national child care plan since such a program would provide them with financial security by placing them on the government payroll with secure income and benefits.

I counted over $4.5 million dollars.
They want to fund the spaces, $10,000 to $20,000 a year, open the center $40,000, subsidize the parents $14,000 a year and subsidize the workers first $$4,000 a year!
The NDP want that plus the $1200 a year per child to go to every parent. That should shut up the stay at home parents. Well not this one!

Remember they say this is being built for every kid across Canada, even the ones who have stay at home parents. Why? Because they need to free the women!
This information was given to me by

Kids First

REAL Woman of Canada
If you want to do some further research of your own, take a look at the amount of American money flowing into Canada from evironmental and animal rights groups. That's right - American money! The same greenbacks that various groups on the left raised a hue and cry about when the possible source of the money was the NRA or Christian advocacy groups. I guess some American millions are cleaner or better.

Another interesting avenue to look at is the number of non-profits and charities who have been contributing to the Liberal party, both National and at the EDA level, over the last 13 years.

H/T to Styky at FD for the Frontier Centre links.

WE Speak at 3:10 a.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|

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