The Globe and Mail:
Health Canada has turned down funding for an HIV/AIDS charity for
fear it might result in advocacy – an indication of a growing tendency
within the Conservative government to steer clear of groups pushing
causes out of step with its policies.
The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal
Network, whose mission is to promote the human rights of people living
with or at risk of contracting the virus, has received a significant
portion of its funding from Ottawa over its 20-year existence.
But in this year’s round of funding applications, 16 of its 20
proposals were rebuffed. Fifteen of those were rejected citing an
identical reason: “It was unclear from the details provided in the
proposal whether the resource would be used for advocacy purposes, which
is ineligible for funding,” the health agency wrote in an April e-mail
to the group.
That came as a shock to the network’s executive
director, Richard Elliott. But beyond the cuts and layoffs his
organization now faces, he worries this policy of declaring anything
related to “advocacy” ineligible for funding is broad and confusing, and
will spur organizations to avoid any projects that might be seen as
objectionable in order to secure the cash they need.
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