Stephen Harper’s hit list, organizations whose funding has been cut or ended

Stephen Harper, gov't of Canada photo
Stephen Harper, gov’t of Canada photo

The Conservative government has thrown us into the 2011 election campaign. This is perhaps a good time to take stock of who the Harperites have spent their time attacking in the past several years. (They have also lavished favour on their own, appointing them to be judges, to the Immigration Review Board, the CRTC or other federal agencies). The list of organizations that have been shut down and cut back, and the individuals bullied, is a long one and we can expect it to grow if the Conservatives are re-elected. I have written extensively about some of these actions, including the government’s attack on the ecumenical group KAIROS and the shameful treatment of the Rights and Democracy organization, but the following list, culled from on line sources, is more comprehensive.

Organizations/ watchdogs whose staff have been fired, forced out, publicly maligned, or who have resigned in protest:

Canada Firearms Program (Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak, Director General)

Canadian Wheat Board (Adran Measner, President and CEO)

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (Linda Keen, chair)

Foreign Affairs (Richard Colvin, diplomat)

Military Police Complaints Commission (head, Peter Tinsley)

Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (Yves Cote)

Parliamentary Budget Officer (Kevin Page) (funding cut)

RCMP Police Complaints Commission (Paul Kennedy, chair)

Rights & Democracy  (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development Remy Beauregard, President)

Statistics Canada (Munir Sheikh, Deputy Minister)

Veterans Ombudsman (Col. Pat Stogran)

Victims of Crime, Ombudsman (Steve Sullivan)

Community organizations, NGOs and research bodies reported to have
been cut or defunded 

Action travail des femmes

Afghan Association of Ontario, Canada Toronto

Alberta Network of Immigrant Women

Alternatives (Quebec)

Bloor Information and Life Skills Centre

Brampton Neighbourhood Services (Ontario)

Canadian Arab Federation

Canadian Child Care Federation

Canadian Council for International Cooperation

Canadian Council on Learning

Canadian Council on Social Development

Canadian Heritage Centre for Research and Information on Canada

Canadian International Development Agency, Office of Democratic Governance

Canadian Labour Business Centre

Canada Policy Research Networks

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women

Canada School of Public Service

Canadian Teachers’ Federation International program

Canadian Volunteerism Initiative

Centre de documentation sur la education des adultes et la condition feminine

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)

Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (Toronto

Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Specialink

Climate Action Network

Community Access Program (internet access for communities at libraries, post offices, community  centres)

Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)

Court Challenges Program (except language rights cases and legacy cases)

Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).

Democracy Council

Department of Foreign Affairs, Democracy Unit

Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).

Environment: Youth International Internship Program

Eritrean Canadian Community Centre of Metropolitan Toronto (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010)

Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program

Forum of Federations

Global Environmental Monitoring System

HRD Adult Learning and Literacy programs

HRD Youth Employment Programs

Hamilton-based Settlement and Integration Services Organization (Ontario)

Immigrant settlement programs

Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services (Peel)

International Planned Parenthood Federation


Law Reform Commission of Canada

Mada Al-Carmel Arab Centre

Marie Stopes International (a maternal health agency) has received only a promise of  conditional funding IF it avoids any and all connection with abortion.

MATCH International

National association of Women and the Law (NAWL)

Native Women’s Association of Canada

New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity

Northwood Neighbourhood Services (Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).

Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses

Ontario Association of Transitional Housing

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

Pride Toronto

Reaseau des Tables regionales de groupes de femmes du Quebec

Riverdale Women’s Centre in Toronto

Sierra Club of BC

Sisters in Spirit

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

South Asian Women’s Centre

Status of Women (mandate also changed to exclude “gender equality and political justice” and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying)

Tropicana Community Services

Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)

Women’s Innovative Justice Initiative (Nova Scotia)

Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program

York-Weston Community Services Centre Toronto


Published by


Dennis Gruending is an Ottawa-based writer, blogger and a former member of Parliament

61 thoughts on “Stephen Harper’s hit list, organizations whose funding has been cut or ended”

  1. You missed the Aboriginal Healing Foundation…. which (after an audit) was lauded as one of the most fiscally responsible, well managed programs in Canada.

  2. I don’t believe it’s on the list, but the Aboriginal Healing Foundation also had it’s funding reduced in 2010, negatively affecting the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal and many other important services/organizations.

  3. I think an acknowledgement of the people who compiled this list is required and I’m surprised you didn’t include this:

    “Compiled primarily by Judith Szabo and by Pearl Eliadis for ‘Voices’, a coalition of organizations and individuals ‘united in defence of democracy, free speech and transparency in Canada.”

    It would be much appreciated if you would post this acknowledgement in the body of your post.


    Dennis replies: Thanks for your comment. I have added that information.

  4. Truly astounding. I hope Canadians will come to realize the extent to which Mr. Harper has dismantled our civil society.

  5. For Harper, government’s job is to make war and put people in jail. Any program that helps people needs to be defucted. Dennis thanks for making this list. It is something that we only may hear pieces of in the news.

  6. too bad you don;t have a list of the high level public servants who got a better position after following one of the PMO’s demands.

  7. Of the 72 community organizations, NGOs and research bodies whose funding was cut, TWENTY-FOUR have “women” or “child” in their names.

    A telling example of Harper’s determination to put women where he thinks they belong, under the control of individual men.

  8. another thing to add are those groups who got the ‘actively passive’ treatment: their concept papers and applications to CIDA lost and misplaced, no one returning calls, emails for months. and the comments that it would be best not to talk about human rights in proposals, or that the term human rights has been scrubbed from almost all government documents on CIDA and other places.

  9. Wow – what a list. I’m sure a small portion is normal attrition and changes in focus, but that still leaves a scary collection. This just emphasizes his policy of “my way or the highway”, if you don’t conform you’re gone.
    Retweeted this, but I’ll add to my blog later, to point others to.

  10. Hey, Dennis, I think you have a typo or forgot something there in the first sentence. Shouldn’t it read the Harper government (TM)? 😉

    Dennis replies:

    Thanks for your comment,. Believe I do refer to the “Harper government.”

  11. When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can always count on the support of Paul.

    Poor Paul, Peter is being robbed less.

  12. Wow, cut backs in a recession? Imagine that. Maybe if we wouldn’t be wasting billions on elections every other day our goverment would have some money available to fund some of these organizations. With many being very exclusive and localized, funding should not be coming from our federal goverment in the first place. Budgets are a zero sum result. If these organizations were funded then cutbacks would have to be made in education, health care, public safety/law enforcement and other sectors that apply to all Canadians.

  13. This list needs a comparative listing for other past gov’ts. I would like to know just how much of this is normal, and how much has come about just since harper.

  14. Re Daryl’s thoughtless comment: If we can cutback on wasteful and unnecessary spending on prisons and on fighter planes we will end up with savings that make the election spending look like small potatoes. What about cutbacks on corporate taxes? And Jordan; Have you been to Russia lately and enjoyed Putin’s majority government? Next to Machiavelli, I understand that Putin is the man that Harper most adulates.

  15. CBC? WCB?! The fact that Disabilities are currently earning approx $5.35 pr hr in Canada and NOT minimum wage?! .. Homelessness has sky rocketed while social housing has been stripped for more years than it has been accountable.. Your List is SHORT 🙁

    Dennis replies: Thanks for your comment. I invite you and others to add to the list if you have solid information.  

  16. …all while increasing money for the Legion and VAC to spend on themselves. Both groups at the upper levels have all but abandoned our veterans since April 2006 when they force fed the House the New Veterans Charter.
    Veterans for a Royal Commission on Veterans Affairs.

  17. This is really helpful in putting the carnage of the “Harper government” in perspective. You have some really good articles on your site… I will be following it closely Thank you

  18. Too bad the Star article Nadine refers to in comment #42889,
    entitled ‘Changing Canada, one backward step at a time’ is no longer online.

    I did find it in the Star archives though, for anyone else interested. It was published June 19, 2010, written by James Travers. The abstract is available free at the long URL below and the full article can be purchased ($3.95).

  19. Thanks for the list. It is shocking, but many knew the backroom stuff (non-democratic change) was happening. We need to protest loud/long enough about anyone who does it.

    Daryl, I disagree; but I also want to hear what you have to say.

    Harper has also suppressed free speech and independent thought both in his own party and in the press. How many talented PCs have walked away or been forced to repeat his words? Wasn’t Bev Oda a scapegoat?

    List addition, if not already: closing the prison farms.

  20. stephen harper has hurt many canadian organizations already. i hope and pray that he caanot win a majority. if he does it’s game over for many many social programs.

  21. Go Mr. Harper. I hate paying taxes for all of these self serving groups to have funding for their personal causes. Cut them all and fund what really matters to Canada. Slash and burn the public sector who live off of us hard working Canadians who take pay cuts or job losses due to the poor economy while public servants go on strike for additional pay on top of their overinflated salaries for workers unlikely to work even 35 hours per week.

    Lets get back to reality here. If you want a special interest group, go out and fund raise yourselves, if the group is of any value you will find someone to fund it.

  22. You should have a connection to social websites like facebook to allow more discussion on these matters.

    Dennis replies:

    Thanks for your comment. It’s coming soon.

  23. This is a useful approach. Citizens who don’t have special skills or positions in society with which to fight fascism, but who could be there to support those who do, need information.

    However, I’m fairly certain one organization (excluding those that are religious) in that list is problematic. Rights And Democracy, I believe, serves power. If it’s the case that it lost a caring man to the uncaring servant of power who runs our federal government, then that – the nature of the organization and the reason for it’s inclusion on this list – should be made clear.

    As for Catholic organizations being defunded by the Harper government (I’m okay with confessions), I don’t support religious organizations being supported by taxpayers. I don’t believe it could ever be done fairly. Do the people reading this list support taxpayer support for Jehovah’s Witnesses? I didn’t think so. (For the record, the Watchtower Society I know – which may no longer exist, I don’t know – wouldn’t allow itself to be ‘tainted’ via financial support from organizations, and presumably, governments, that are against Jehovah.)

    More specifically, I don’t support religious organizations having political power. Let their individual members possess political power – in normal ways. But I don’t want politicians who don’t see things my way spiritually to be in a position to punish me for my ‘deviation’ from ‘their’ righteous course.

    State and religion must be kept separate, not because God is a fantasy, but because he isn’t. (We will all be corrected in due time.) Those religionists who say otherwise, I can’t support.

  24. Harper has abandoned even the pretense of democracy. Remember Hitler and Mussolini were also elected

  25. This is a great list and an important one, Dennis. For all those who, like me, have been trying to keep track of this on their own, compiling big files of clippings and/or cluttering up desktops, I thank you. I had missed several of these orgs.

  26. Too bad the list is so short. Harper needs to stop slacking off and dump more of these slugs eating off the public purse. Let them solicit the public like all other charitable organizations.

    Dennis replies: Thank for your note. The government gave generously in its infrastructure spending to Conservative friendly organizations such as Trinity University and the bible college in Briercrest, Saskatchewan. I wonder if you would also include them as “slugs eating off the public purse”?

  27. What a list of hysterical reactionary comments!

    First of all you don’t include in your list a number of orgs that are “christian” or had “conservative” connotations and were cut. Cuts are cuts, its a recession and its public funding has gone on far too long.

    Why? because the whole nature of your list is politically motivated. That being the case, its rather to see through your motivations and am rather pleased that these groups were cut so we could get back to work!

    Agree with at least one sensible comment here:
    Do your own fund-raising,
    instead of using our tax-dollars.
    Let people chose who they want to fund themselves.
    Interestingly enough its the conservative Canadians that are the most generous when giving money to humanitarian causes here and abroad.

    Think about it. You need a change?
    YOU are the one who has to change first, don’t just expect the gov’t to do it for you.

    What are you doing for Canada and for your local charity? Do you volunteer your time?
    Do you give money?

    No? Oh.

    Dennis replies:

    Thanks for you comment. And to answer your questions re volunteering and donating: Yes and yes.

  28. Puzzled as to why not funding a group is considered an attack. No one funds the groups I belong to and I don’t consider that an attack. One might consider funding such organizations – when others aren’t – as government patronage or favoritism. There is a proliferation of special interest groups, many with the same aims. Where does it stop? I also don’t like my tax money going to groups whose aims I don’t agree with. This should be personal choice. If these groups are worthy they should be able to attract private funding from members or the public at large.

  29. For all of the people lamenting these cuts, how many of you have any idea what these groups actually do?? A LOT of them should have been cut ages ago — and having “women” or “children” “immigrant” or “democracy” or “social justice” in your name does not exactly entitle you to government funding. Example of where people are ill informed: Quite a number of those listed are immigrant groups — I believe settlement funding was cut recently — but this happened only AFTER settlement funding was raised over several years from from $111 million (under Liberals) to $340 million (under Conservatives.) The most recent cut of around $58 million is aimed at rationalized settlement services where there is a LOT of groups doing essentially the same thing. Another example:Native Tobacco was cut because it was thought to be not working. A NEW program now is in place which attempts to address the issue at the band level. Another example: Women’s funding has shifted from academic research to community projects — on and on if anyone cares to look more closely. Many of these programs are out dated and ineffective — or they are lobby groups that simply should not be funded by government at all. Some of these groups have been doing nothing but collecting government largess for 30 years!! This list is nothing but a smear job.

    Dennis replies: Thanks for your comment. I cannot claim to know all of the groups involved but could easily take issue with several of your claims. We are quite familiar with the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Ottawa and know that there will be needs such as language training going unmet because of the federal cutbacks that have occurred in that area. And what of the list of those who have been hounded out of their jobs, people such as Linda Keen and Adam Measner, not to mention the government’s attack on Richard Colvin, who testified about his witness in Afghanistan? Now, that is a smear job. Perhaps we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  30. Lets vote in anyone but Harper. We are going to look just as bad as the US with stripping our right to work, collective barganing rights, privatizing public sectors, and cutting back on social housing across Canada. We need to get things right!!!! not just for us but more importantly what are we leaving for our children?????? Besides a huge deficit to pay back, this is not right!!! GET HIM OUT!!!

  31. As the director of a rural adult literacy centre that has recently been devastated by the federal funding cuts, I can attest to the fallout of the Conservative’s indifference to meaningful social programs. We help folks get their GED, OSSD, upgrade their skills in many ways, including computer classes, all for free. Many we help get jobs or go on to higher education. What could be a better program than this? We start cutting days next week! What we could have done with the G8/20 funding!

  32. I didn’t see any mention about cuts to Seniors OAS Gains as I have experienced last year, even though I am below what is considered to be poverty line. I am tired of having every nickel and dime removed from my cheque. And receiving information that costs more to the tax payers than the amount removed.

    Winston Roy

  33. I to wish for a like button. I would like among others comments by Jenn, Errol and also CL. an interesting discussion here. To me this isn’t really a funding is about democracy! It is there for all to see, what half the world is fighting and dying/killing for, harper is dismantling before our very eyes. total disrespect for individuals and the very fabric of our Canadian Democracy is so evident it is startling. This is not the conservative government of Canada’s Canada.. this is ‘Our Canada’ let’s take it back.

  34. Have you sent this to the Governor-General?

     Dennis replies: Thanks for your note. I wonder if you might expand a bit on your comment for the benefit of all readers.

  35. Truly disgusting! sad that we elected this guy in the first place..why don’t more people care about these issues?!

    1. No one cares. Or maybe didn’t catch it as fast as you did. It seems it fooled most of the members in parliament , except for those that were in on it. The Law of the Land was still breached. Impeach, fire, express that their seat is no longer needed as long as they occupy it. Demand a resignation. Or have them formerly charged, tarred, and run out on a rail. Some good ole processes are still effective to get the message out to the elected personalities.

      Dennis replies: Thanks for your comment Graham. Don’t know that I would go quite that far (tar and feather!). Pleased to have you as a reader.

  36. Comment by Literacy is for Everyone says: “As the director of a rural adult literacy centre that has recently been devastated by the federal funding cuts,”

    But the “literacy” cuts were for national programs — mostly research, conferences, newsletters, etc. Groups actually offering literacy programs are funded provincially and municipally. Can you explain what your group did and how it was “devastated” by federal cuts. I myself worked with one of the literacy agencies funded by the feds (there was a lot of money in this pot). I am guessing that they also were “devastated”, but I don’t think too many people miss them.

  37. Dennis…WOW what an article…thanks so much

    While cutting Kairos funds (they dared to criticize Israel) Harper gave $8 million to the Khalsa School in Vancouver South which is owned & operated by Singh Malik the accused financier of the Air India Bombing. So now the Harper government is giving public funds to a terrorist organization right here in Canada.

  38. Half this stuff shouldn’t be government funded anyway.
    I know at least a few of those crying should be out working for a living instead of looking for government grants to fund their ‘academic’ lifestyles.
    I can’t say it any better than “Mr. Conservative” above. The other two ‘choices’ will leaved middle class Canadians once again footing the bill for all these special interest groups.

  39. This is a joke. Does nobody realize we are in a global recession? Stop comparing Canada to what it used to be under a wasteful liberal government back when the world’s economy was good. Look at where Canada is now compared to other countries. We are doing well thanks to a conservative government. An NDP liberal coalition would wreak havoc on our recovering economy.

    Dennis replies: Thanks for your comment. Seems I’ve heard these lines repeated somewhere else recently.

  40. A good example is the CBC. If most people saw what waste there was from the inside, most would agree that something needs to be done!
    You could cut 1/3 the budget and with proper restructuring you would not notice any difference in the look of the few CBC shows that are left. 1/3 of the CBC budget is a huge amount of money.
    If you compared the CBC budget to private stations that put out as much programing as the CBC you would be shocked!

  41. Isn’t the cutting of funding to advocacy groups similar in nature to the impending elimination of the per-vote federal subsidy to political parties? Groups must then appeal to the general public for direct financial support of their advocacy positions; what’s wrong with that?

    Dennis replies: Thanks for your comment. The per vote grant to political parties means that every Canadian contributes a modest amount to the financing of elections in our country. The grant costs citizens a grand total of $27 million per year. That is an infinitesimal amount of the federal budget but it is important to the health of the parties. Another way of paying for elections is to allow individuals to contribute to political parties and then to provide them with a generous income tax deduction for doing so. There has been a lot more money spent on this option, in the form of income tax deductions, than on the per vote subsidy. Those who can afford to make contributions in this way benefit from the tax deduction. Fair enough, but that still means that everyone pays because the tax deduction is a cost to government and therefore to all citizens. The per vote subsidy is actually a more equitable way of having the public contribute to elections than is the donation and subsequent tax deduction.

  42. A pattern has appeared, 35 years ago our cajoined problems arose. The year 35 years ago, 1976, was when Britain announced. To Canada that they would be drooping Canada from its protection and stepping away from creating laws. Which meant Great Britain as a last hooray as most politicians do as a seting something straight as a policy Britain chose to amend the Constitution Aact of Canada as a debt owed to Six Nations and Other Aboriginal Nations who fought and died in the successful defeat of Unted States in th War of 1812,, the War of Independence, and the Seven years were all won by Six Nations thus creating the border between Canada and the United States having defeated the 13 Colonies on three fronts at the same time, on the Plains of Abraham, Fort Erie, Fort Detroit, Long point, Lake Erie, and Lake of Pines , North of todays, Detroit. Thus keeping the Great Lakes within then Canada. It was the two countires declared themselves as such by agreeing on two new boundary lines, one through the Great Lakes and the other at Vancouver Island. So since because they dealt with each other as countries would then that they then are countries dispiye not owning any land base as per definiyion by the United Nations. That being the case that since Six Nations made a treaty with the Dutch in 1612, and the United States still honors that Six Nations / Dutch Treaty it is then keeping with precedence that Six Nations was a country with a land base, governing political bodies, and a standing army, are and is still a country over 200 years before 1867 when Upper Canada assume Ontario land without Consultation or Accommodation of the Haudenosaunee, Hereditary Chiefs, and Clan Mothers of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

  43. Thanks for the list but this WordPress Blog looks in tiny font on my computer. It also has some jibberish that looks like symbols that should be cleaned up. This site is integral to a complete trail of reductions in ministries which provided information. Someone posted that no one needs such entities like Stats Can, Environment Can. As a former teacher-librarian, these were the most authoritative instruments we could rely upon for recent date on climate, air, water use etc. My own search for data leads me to auditor general reports that are highly critical of missing data and poorly maintained environmental information. Please continue to add to this site. You might consider putting docs on google scribd so we could all have a look. Thanks so much.

    Dennis replies: Thanks for your note. Re the gibberish: For some reason that occurred when I updated my website and moved the blog over. Fixing it involves the time consuming task of going in and making the changes one at a time — but I do hope to get to this. I will also consider other platforms. Can you please give me more info on google scribe (I am assuming it is scribe and not scrib as written)? Best wishes, dg

Comments are closed.