Remember a couple of weeks ago, the talk about KAIROS – a religious aid
agency – losing their CIDA funding? Well word is now out that it wasn’t
because of shifting priorities or “tough decisions” being made. It
seems that they’ve been labelled “anti-Semitic,” which is a very big
no-no as far as this government is concerned. And what earned them that
tag? Apparently they gave money to Sabeel, a Palestinian NGO, and that
has earned then the enmity of the government. But when you also find
out that Charles McVety is one of the people calling for their heads,
that’s when the warning lights should go off. McVety and his ilk are
Christian Zionists whose agenda for Israel is based on their
particularly apocalyptic religious beliefs – and why this isn’t more
strongly highlighted in the mainstream media is a problem. But this is
one more example of the hold that McVety has on this government. He
took credit for the censorship provisions in the C-10 bill of the
previous Parliament, his lobbying was responsible for the backlash
against tourism funding after Toronto Pride got federal dollars, and
now he’s getting the funding cut to a group that has a more nuanced
position on Israel than a black-and-white one. Why isn’t he being
called out more? And this growing influence of McVety – and his
Christian Zionist ilk – on this government is a very disturbing trend.
Michael Ignatieff is doing the rounds with his year-end interviews. While on Power & Politics (parts one and two), he talked about needing to show Canadians who he really is. He also wants to tell Canadians not to give up on politics, after Harper has driven expectations about politics and government “into the basement.” In The Canadian Press, he shrugged off the rumours that he’s ready to pack it in, and talked about preparing for his cross-country trip in January to have a series of town-hall style meetings that will culminate in a conference in Montreal in March. He also frankly talks about realising that he needs to present a credible alternative to the government if he expects Canadians to vote for his party. And over in the Toronto Star, he talks about the kindness of strangers, and that he feels the country is too big, too old and too proud to be rebranded by the Conservatives. (Apparently the polls say that this isn’t a big worry just yet).
Liberal health critic Carolyn Bennett is encouraging the health minster to take up the “urgent need” to regulate sex toys. After all, many of them are made with bisphenol A and phthalates, which may have negative consequences on women’s reproductive systems. Her staff wasn’t sure it was a smart political move, but Bennett sees the need to do something. So use silicone, metal or wood toys, and we’ll see if the government has the political will to regulate the sex toy industry in this country.
On the Afghan Detainees file, it looks like there were meetings between Conservative ministers and the International Red Cross back in 2006 – which would likely have brought up issues surrounding detainee transfers. More evidence that MacKay hasn’t exactly been truthful in his assertions, perhaps?
And finally, The Canadian Press details the fiasco that was the government’s last-minute plans to open a Canada Pavilion for the 2010 Olympics, which makes you shake your head reading about some of the apparent lapses in their decision-making abilities.