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Canadian Conservatives Look for End of Liberal Founded Court Challenges Program

LifeSiteNews.com

By Hilary White
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  OTTAWA, September 7, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Harper government may be including the controversial Court Challenges program in its review of federal funding for government programs, according to comments made by Justice Minister Vic Toews.
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  Court Challenges is a program, founded in 1973 under the Trudeau Liberals, that has given millions of dollars to exclusively leftist special interest groups to make legal challenges to existing laws. It has especially been used by homosexual advocacy groups for their successful court battles to gain special rights that eventually resulted in the redefinition of marriage in Canada to include same-sex partners.

The program has been an extremely useful tool for previous Liberal governments to fund legal challenges against themselves to force controversial and unpopular social changes that they could not bring about through parliament. Court Challenges has been a successful way of completely bypassing the elected Members of Parliament and the democratic system to impose desired policies for which the Liberal governments wanted to avoid political accountability.
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  In the August 25th edition of Lawyer’s Weekly, federal Justice Minister, Vic Toews, said that he had no idea where the money for Court Challenges was going and indicated that the program could be included in a review of federal funding currently under way by the Department of Finance.
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  He said the program was using the solicitor/client privilege to sheild from public scrutiny who is being funded and for what purpose.
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  Toews said, “At this point I certainly don’t have the ability to say, whether the program has been meeting its objectives or not. Because quite frankly that information isn’t accessible.”
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  He added that a review did not mean the end of the program. “Simply because a program is being reviewed doesn’t mean it’s on the chopping block,” Toews said.
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  Founded under the Trudeau Liberals originally to deal with language rights cases, it was expanded, after briefly being dissolved by the Mulroney Tories during their reign, to include court challenges under section 15 equality rights of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
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  The new Court Challenges program, restarted after Chretien’s Liberals came to power in 1993, is funded through the Department of Canadian Heritage, at about $2.85 million a year and has been the main financial support of the legal activism changing the definition and legal protections of the family.
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  The equality branch of the program has become a “closed shop” of radical leftist, homosexual and feminist groups funding their own activism. Gwen Landoldt, vice-President of REAL Women of Canada, told LifeSiteNews.com that the program’s board of directors reads like a who’s who of the national and international activists in homosexual politics and gender feminism.
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  The program’s website lists the members of its Equality Rights Panel that includes two representatives of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, (LEAF), Lorena Sekwan Fontaine and Dianne Pothier, as well as Linda Moreau an activist in the radically leftist British Columbia anti-poverty organization, End Legislated Poverty.  LEAF, a hard-left feminist organization and major homosexual activist group has been a major engine pushing for the redrafting of laws defining and protecting marriage. One of LEAF’s greatest claims to fame was the inclusion, in the Vriend case, of “sexual orientation” in the Charter’s equality provisions.
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  Court Challenges Equality Rights Panel members are also active at the international level lobbying for the anti-family and so-called “gender feminist"agenda at the UN.
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  Landoldt told LifeSiteNews.com that the Court Challenges program has funded most of the major assaults against the family since the early 1990’s.
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“You have homosexual and radical feminist activists doling out funds to their own activist organizations without the slightest public accountability,” she said.
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  In the same-sex “marriage” cases, Canada’s pwerful homosexual activist group, EGALE, was granted federal funding to pursue the same-sex marriage cases that resulted in the abolition of legal marriage in Canada.
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  In order to avoid being disbanded again by the federal government, the Court Challenges program, in 1993, reorganized themselves as a new not-for-profit organization, completely independent of the government. Since then, the organization has not had to announce its funding grants or the criteria for its decisions.
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  In its current form, the Court Challenges program is not subject to Access to Information laws or to Parliamentary review, major flaws given the Conservatives’ concerns about accountability of public spending.
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  Landoldt states that millions of public funds have been spent through the program to fund the legal activism of leftist, homosexual and feminist special interest groups since 1973.
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  The whole purpose, said Landoldt, who has been at the forefront of the fight for the cause of life and family for decades, has been to ensure that the Liberals continued to win elections.
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“The constant flow of federal money, our money,” said Landoldt, “to every imaginable special interest group on the left is one explanation why the Liberals have been in power so solidly through the last half of the 20th century. It’s simple: ‘Work for us and the money will keep coming. Vote conservative and the money will be cut off’.”

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