CIDA's just full of surprises


The Globe and Mail is reporting on yet another long term project that the Canadian International Development Agency has decided to pull the plug on and there are a couple of common elements in this and previous reports. One of those is the vague explanation for the change of heart. More to the point is this:

The rejection came as a surprise to the [Canadian Teachers Federation], which had been collaborating with CIDA on the new proposal for 18 months, said Mary-Lou Donnelly, president of the CTF.

I seem to recall something similar in every story about CIDA deciding to deny funding to a long time partner. It isn't just that the agency is changing its priorities or its "effectiveness criteria" (whatever they are). It's as though the people at CIDA are going out of their way to punish previous recipients of financial support by stringing them along until the last possible moment and then pulling the rug out from under them as abruptly as possible. It's happened too often to be coincidence.

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Hmph! We've got plenty of money to spend teaching Mujahedin how to be more efficient killing machines; skills they will use against us at the first opportunity. We also managed to scrape together $41 million to pay hired guns (warlords, mercenaries, private security contractors.) When it comes to money for war, there's never a shortage. When it comes to money that will actually help improve the lives of poor, struggling bastards in the third world, the purse is empty.

The stringing them along is just despicable. That is 18 months of wasted effort that costs the organization money. Had they the courage to just say that this current government had other priorities from the get go, they could have used that time and resources to find funding elsewhere.

The thing is that most of the outfits this have happened to are people or initiatives the Cons don't just not have the money to fund, but actually want to see destroyed but can't officially admit it.
So, take the Canadian Teachers' Federation. The Cons don't like education. It gives people ideas, and ideas are inevitably the wrong ones. They particularly don't like public education. No matter what lip service they might mouth to new economies needing educated workers or whatever, they don't believe it in their hearts. A safe workforce is a workforce of peons. And finally, they really really don't like workers who get organized. So here we have an organization of education workers (most of whom are, HORRORS, unionized) who generally believe in public education and are likely to push for it. The Cons aren't just short of cash to help their development proposal. The Cons hate them and everything they stand for and would see them destroyed if they could, so if they can harass them in some minor way by giving them the impression funding will be forthcoming and then pulling out the rug, they will do so.

On the other hand it might not be the fault of the CIDA career bureaucrats.
Milliken's rebuke of Oda in the House for the insertion of the word "not" into the CIDA doc that actually did recommend refunding KAIROS last year - in effect making CIDA look like it was them who denied the funding by inserting the 'not' above their signatures - reminded me that CIDA recommended KAIROS be refunded in September and Oda didn't sign off till two months later, presumably after the addition of the 'not'.

This would explain why the various orgs who have been cut always express surprise, saying their interactions with CIDA up to the point of being cut off are always positive.


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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on February 7, 2011 7:59 AM.

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