Dr. Dawg

Government gag order a "mistake"--or premature?

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Harper gesture up.jpg

Immigrant services agencies, running on considerable volunteer labour, were ordered not to discuss impending cuts in funding by the Harper government.

Immigrant service agencies were horrified when they got a government email last week banning them from discussing recent federal funding cuts that may kill some of them — a memo Citizenship and Immigration Canada now says was all a big mistake.

Members of the York South-Weston Local Immigration Partnership (LIP), which coordinates newcomer programs to reduce duplication of services, had planned to discuss the $53 million funding cuts at its Jan. 13 meeting.

The 26 member organizations were shocked to receive a mass email from a CIC official ordering them to remove the topic from the agenda.

“I don’t believe that CIC settlement funding is a topic for the … meeting and therefore it should not be an agenda item,” said the note from federal settlement officer Nina Serrano.

I was going to stay silent on Dave’s hugely popular Godwin post on Sunday. But when low-level federal government munchkins feel empowered enough to tell Canadians what they may or may not discuss at meetings, I’m beginning to lean his way in spite of myself.

It was all a mistake, says Citizenship and Immigration Canada—now. Seems that the election propelling Harper to his first majority hasn’t yet taken place.

Can it happen here? I dunno. But a pretty ugly picture is emerging.

H/t CC

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 18, 2011 2:33 PM.

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