The ecumenical justice group, Kairos, has questioned the “transparency and accountability” of the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) granting process after it was recently revealed in the House of Commons that an unknown party had intervened to have its funding cut.
CIDA initially said in Nov. 2009 that Kairos’ grant application of $7.1 million had been rejected because it “no longer fits CIDA priorities.” But a parliamentary committee was told on Dec. 9 that CIDA had actually approved the Kairos application.
Minister for International Cooperation Bev Oda was questioned by the committee after documents obtained by journalists through Access to Information requests showed that the Kairos 2009-2013 proposal was strongly supported by CIDA in recognition of its “strategic alignment with CIDA objectives.” The recommendation page bore the signatures of the president and vice-president of CIDA and of the Minister of International Cooperation. But, a handwritten “not” was added to the sentence related to the recommendation for approval.
Minister Oda testified that when she signed the document, it had not contained the word “not” but that she stood by her decision to deny funding to Kairos, which lobbies for peace and human rights in Canada and around the world.
The Anglican Church of Canada has been actively campaigning to restore the organization’s funding. Ω