Patricia Maloney with constitutional lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos, left, ARPA Canada in-house counsel John Sikkema and ARPA Canada’s Director of Law and Policy André Schutten after they argued their case in in 2017 to have an Ontario law restricting access to abortion statistics struck down. Photo by Deborah Gyapong

Pro-abortion groups cashing in on grants

  • August 8, 2019

OTTAWA -- Pro-abortion groups have received more than $152 million in government funding since 2016, according to an examination of government databases by an Ottawa pro-life blogger.

Patricia Maloney, who has operated the Run With Life blog since 2010, conducted her study after statements from Joyce Arthur, head of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, about the amount of government funding going to pro-life organizations.

Maloney said Arthur had complained last year that pro-life groups had “raked in” $1.8 million in Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) grants over a period of eight years, an amount Maloney described as “a pittance” compared to the millions pro-abortion groups have received since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came into power in 2015.

“Joyce Arthur is always going after us,” Maloney told Canadian Catholic News. 

She decided to investigate what pro-abortion groups received in grants after Arthur drafted an open letter in February 2019 to federal leaders from Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights praising this year’s changes to the CSJ program.

The changes removed the controversial 2018 pro-abortion attestation from the CSJ application, replacing it with a new attestation and criteria for funding.

“These new safeguards are designed to ensure that federal grant monies are not used to fund discriminatory activities that undermine human rights, including as they relate to bodily autonomy, sexuality, gender identity and expression,” the open letter said. It had 91 signatories representing a range of organizations from abortion advocacy groups to sexual health clinics and victims shelters.

“Let’s look at all the people that signed your letter and see how much money they received,” said Maloney, who has operated her blog since 2010.

The blogger, who specializes in access to information requests, examined the federal Grants and Contributions database to determine all the federal funding these groups received. Then she examined what they received in provincial and municipal contributions by going to the Canadian Revenue Agency charitable database.

Her research found the organizations received $152,471,526 in government funding since 2016. About $23 million came from CSJ grants.  “These people who make a concerted effort to ensure pro-life people do not get federal funding all receive huge amounts of federal, provincial and municipal money,” said Maloney.  “That’s how they run. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t get this funding.”

Arthur did not contest Maloney’s figures on funding but said in an e-mail: “ . . .there’s no moral equivalence between anti-choice groups and pro-choice groups.”

“Anti-choice groups deserve zero government funding — and should not be charities either — because they seek to remove human rights from women and LGBTQ2 people, thereby undermining charter protections and human rights legislation in Canada,” she said. 

Maloney began blogging and filing access to information requests in 2010 when former Conservative MP Ken Epp advanced a private member’s unborn victims of crime bill.  Maloney asked to see the e-mails the government was receiving both for and against the bills.

The government sent her “pages and pages of e-mails” with the names of the senders redacted.  Maloney counted them and found support for the bill was “overwhelming.”

“The pro-aborts were very loud, but they didn’t seem to be well-organized,” she said.

The blogger has since used provincial freedom of information requests to obtain information on Ontario and Quebec abortion statistics. She recently discovered the number of abortions in Quebec as  reported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information is about 20 per cent lower than numbers supplied by the province’s health insurance board.

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