Patrick Craine

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D&P to hear about $50 million grant from feds on Dec 1st

Patrick Craine

MONTREAL, Quebec, November 4, 2011 ( – The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the beleaguered development arm of the Canadian bishops, will hear December 1st the results of their five-year, $50 million funding request to the Canadian government, reports the Catholic Register.

Though the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) already approved the grant, the request’s size resulted in a review by the Treasury Board headed up by Minister Tony Clement, which will reveal its decision December 1.

D&P received grants totaling more than $40 million in the past five years, amounting to nearly half the organization’s budget.

But, while the request is only slightly more than previously received, D&P and its supporters are waiting on the edge of their seats after recent funding cuts by CIDA to some of D&P’s allies.

Particularly, in 2009 CIDA rejected a 4-year, $7 million grant to KAIROS, an ecumenical social advocacy group for which D&P serves as a founding member.  Many connected the rejection to the group’s vocal criticism of the Canadian government.

Michael Casey, D&P’s executive director, told the Catholic Register that they are “positive” about their chances.  “So far all our indications on it are positive. Our proposal (to CIDA) has been very thoroughly prepared and very thoroughly vetted,” he said.  “It’s now a policy-level decision more than anything else. We’ll see what happens.”

D&P has been swirling in controversy within the Catholic Church over the last two years after LifeSiteNews and pro-life blogs revealed that they were funding from two dozen to as many as 52 groups (so far) in the developing world who advocate legalized abortion or other practices contrary to Catholic principles. Some have criticized Development and Peace for funding groups that promote social leftist political ideologies.

Over the summer, the Canadian magazine MoneySense ranked D&P last in its category for “overall efficiency” and “governance and transparency.”  According to MoneySense, only 72.3% of D&P’s donations are allocated towards programs.

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