Immigration Minister Kenney ending funding to Canadian Arab Federation

Posted by admin on Mar 19th, 2009

Thu, March 19, 2009. By THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is making no apologies for ending funding to the Canadian Arab Federation. He says the organization has expressed support for terror groups. In a speech to University of Toronto students, Kenney said federation president Khaled Mouamar believes Canada should regard Hamas and Hezbollah as “legitimate organizations.” Both Hamas and Hezbollah are on Canada’s list of groups “associated with terrorism,” according to the Public Safety Department’s website.

A Toronto newspaper reports Kenney added that people in Canada “need to exercise freedom of expression responsibly” and should be wary of the rise of a new form of anti-Semitism.

The federation’s executive director, Mohamed Boudjenane, was surprised by Kenney’s comments, noting they have a government contract to provide English to newcomers that runs until March 2010.

“I don’t know what he is talking about,” Boudjenane said.

Immigration Department officials in Ottawa say the CAF has two contracts with them — a LINC (language instruction for newcomers to Canada) contract for $2.1 million that ends March 31, 2009, and another for
about $475,000 that runs until March 31, 2010.

Neither will be renewed, said director of communications Alykhan Velshi in an e-mail.

Newcomers to Toronto will suffer most if the funding is removed, Boudjenane said.

“Most of the people that use our services are Chinese,” he said.

“You aren’t going to punish CAF but these immigrants.”

Kenney said he is an “unapologetic supporter” of Israel.

He reportedly first threatened to review funding for the CAF after Mouamar criticized politicians including Kenney in January amid the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Comments are closed.