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As Kenney’s spokesperson put it, ridiculous!

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is facing a possible investigation by Parliament’s ethics commissioner in the wake of his threat to axe funding to a group whose president called him a “professional whore.”

Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis has filed a complaint against Kenney with Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, saying he believes the minister violated the parliamentary ethics code.

“I believe for the Minister to use his position and exert undue influence and or in this case instruct his officials to hold funding from such an NGO; this sets a bad precedent which clearly should not be allowed to stand,” says a copy of the complaint obtained by Sun Media.

“With this move the Minister sends out a signal to community-based NGOs to toe the line or risk losing their funding.”

‘RIDICULOUS’

Karygiannis, whose Toronto riding is served by the federation’s settlement program, said funding for groups should be decided by civil servants based on the group’s performance — not on the basis of partisan politics.

Alykhan Velshi, spokesman for Kenney, described the complaint as “ridiculous” and said it was “disturbing” to see a Liberal MP standing up for a group that has made anti-semitic comments.

(read the rest here)

Kenney and MP Calandra shot back in Parliament yesterday:

Mr. Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, Jewish students across the country are under siege as anti-Semites unveil their plans for Israel Apartheid Week. Liberal MPs have been quoted in the media and even today in the immigration committee saying that anti-Semitic organizations like the Canadian Arab Federation should receive taxpayer support.

Will the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism explain why the government believes that Israel Apartheid Week is anti-Semitic?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are free to express different views about the policies of foreign government but Israel Apartheid Week is not about that. It is about a systematic effort to delegitimize the democratic homeland of the Jewish people, a country born out of the Holocaust.

We find very troubling this resurgence of the old slander that Zionism is racism. That is the notion that lies at the heart of Israel Apartheid Week.
Jewish students at campuses across the country are subsequently feeling increasingly vulnerable. We condemn these efforts to single out and attack the Jewish people and their homeland in this terrible way.
I’m obviously not an expert at all on how funding is supposed to be dolled out to special interest groups. All I can do is hope that the Conservatives have the legal legs to stand on to prevent the CAF’s grant from being renewed.
For more information, be sure to check out this post and have a look at the CAF’s website. Your tax money funded this, and all the events it lists.
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