Aug 28 2015
CANADA: Media mostly silent after court backs government funding cuts to antisemitic Arab Muslim group
An appeals court has upheld the Conservative Harper government’s decision to cut funding to the “radical and anti-Semitic” Canadian Arab Federation, that once was headed by a Liberal candidate.
National Post (h/t Mars) In 2009, then-Citizenship and Immigration minister Jason Kenney cut $1 million in annual funding to the Canadian Arab Federation, arguing that the group’s leadership had repeatedly expressed support for Hamas and Hezbollah. The Federation had a long track record of “expressing hateful, antisemitic views, and glorifying terrorists,” said Kenney in a Wednesday email to the National Post.
The group has subsequently failed in two lawsuits to have the funding reinstated. The Federal Court upheld Kenney’s decision in 2014, followed more recently by the Federal Court of Appeal. The Canadian Arab Federation had been paid an annual sum of $1 million in exchange for providing language-training services to new immigrants.
In severing ties with the group, Kenney’s office had cited several specific incidents, including a CAF executive attending a Cairo conference where Hamas and Hezbollah delegates were present, and a CAF-organized rally in which the Hezbollah flag was flown.
Last year, a decision by Federal Court Justice Russel Zinn wrote that, based on the Ministry’s evidence, “CAF appears to support organizations that Canada has declared to be terrorist organizations and which are arguably anti-Semitic.”
The most recent court decision, released by the Federal Appeal Court in July, rejected CAF claims that Kenney’s decision was an “abuse of authority” or “a blatant attempt to suppress criticism of Israel.” Paul Champ, a lawyer for the group, said they are “seriously considering” taking the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.