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Harper government halts Kairos funding for overseas work

The Canadian Press reports that, “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 executive director Mary) Corkery said a CIDA official called Kairos on Monday to say the group’s application for $7 million to cover its overseas costs until 2013 would not be granted. The official told her Kairos no longer fit within CIDA’s priorities. Kairos and earlier church groups have been receiving federal money for such overseas work since 1973.”

Why might the Harper government have cancelled CIDA’s funding of Kairos?

“Last May, a Kairos delegation toured Alberta’s oilsands region to see how massive projects are affecting aboriginal people and to determine if the operations are environmentally sustainable. …The group met separately with officials from the four main federal parties in Ottawa last week and called for greater action on climate change and for a halt to new oilsands projects.”

“Last year, Kairos published a position paper that questioned the amount of taxes Ottawa allows the oilsands industry to defer on the capital cost of projects.”

“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.'”

For the full Canadian Press report, please go to http://www.am1150.ca/news/14/1031934.