Monday, October 13, 2014

Open letter to Justin Trudeau - honouring conscience rights

Update Oct 16: Since I sent this letter to Justin Trudeau, I've received additional names which I've added to the bottom. I now have over 100 signatures. If you would still like to sign the letter please send me an email at maloneyp64@gmail.com and I will add your name to the letter. In a couple of weeks I will send Mr. Trudeau another letter with the updated names. The more Canadians who voice their displeasure with Mr. Trudeau's attack on democracy, the better.

Dear Mr. Trudeau,

We the undersigned, are very concerned about your recent edict to exclude pro-life people from being candidates for the Liberal Party. We are also concerned that you say you are doing this, because you are a strong believer in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We must confess, we find it impossible to reconcile the two.

First, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of conscience (See section 2(a) freedom of conscience and religion). This is a fundamental right and the Charter is very clear in that it promises that all Canadians have this right. This would include all persons who wish to run for political parties. How can you in good conscience, exclude people because their consciences guide them differently, than yours does?

Second, when some honourable ex-Liberal MPs wrote you, you dismissed their concerns because you felt the writers were "old men". This dismissal is also against the Charter, since your comments are both ageist and sexist, and so discriminatory based on same.
("See section 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability).

Would you likewise discriminate against a young female's opinion? Or conversely, perhaps you are implying that you would only listen to a young female's opinion? In either case, this would still be discrimination based on age and gender.

If you do not agree with these men's arguments, I would love to hear what your counter arguments would be. Instead you chose to ignore their arguments, preferring to attack the speakers instead of the subject at hand. This is not helpful in furthering honest and intelligent discussions on any issue including abortion.

Finally, on many occasions you have stated that a woman's right to choose is guaranteed by the Charter. But this is not the case at all. The Supreme Court Justices in the 1988 Morgentaler decision never stated that a woman had a constitutional right to abortion. How can you believe then, that her right to abortion is guaranteed by the Charter? It isn't. Please see here for a detailed discussion what is in that decision, as well as what isn't.

We must admit we are very confused by your understanding of the Charter. On the one hand, you ignore what is clearly guaranteed in the Charter, and on the other hand, you invent something that is clearly not in the Charter and say that it is. With all due respect Mr. Trudeau, your sentiments are logically incoherent.

We respectfully request that you welcome all persons into the Liberal Party regardless of their beliefs about abortion and that you respect their right to vote in accordance with their conscience.

We believe all persons deserve the same respect regardless of conscience beliefs, of gender, or of age.

Let the people decide if they wish to vote for these differing viewpoints. That is why we hold elections. It really isn't for the leader to decide this. We believe this is what democracy is all about.

We respectfully request that you respond to this letter, and we look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Sincerely,
Patricia Maloney
Frederick Tremblay
Maureen and Michael Ward
Jennifer and Cliff Snell
Andrea Mrozek
Cynthia Bredfeldt
Theresa Winchester
Debbie Ward
Chantel Drew Ward
John Ward
Lorraine MacPherson
Paula Maloney
Chris Ward
Lois and Gordon Duncan
Joan Lemieux
Donna and Gordon Verner
Pat Laviolette
Gillian Keenan
Susan Duguay
Delores Doherty
Colette Stang
Larry and Louise Chretien
Anastasia Bowles
Wanda Hartlin
Helena Szakowski
Betty and Francis J. Barrett
John Hof
Joan Lepage
Elizabeth (Betty) Donnelly
Gerard and Twilight Beltran
Lorraine and Ken Martin
Kim Tran
Susan Ditmar
Mariane Louis-Seize
Ulrika Drevniok
Lise Anglin
Frank LeVay
Tom Mockler
David Darwin
Linda Tensen
Craig Read
Brian & Judy Smith
Rick Stankiewicz
Ellen Chesal
Marie Vanbergen
Natalie Hudson Sonnen
Jan Davidson
CĂ©line d'Etcheverry
Elva and Bob Riley
Marie and Joe Stalmach
Malcolm and Moncia Roddis
Joyce C. Allison
Carrie Peters
Joseph van der Vegt
Alida van der Vegt
Cynthia Connolly
Miranda D. Reis
George Olliver
Carm Scine
Bob Rudy
Tony Gosgnach
Ken O'Day
Patricia Balis
Elizabeth Doucette
Rita Magny
Donald Andre Bruneau
Linda Cobb
Joe Thottungal
Suma Joe
Edward and Mary Olszewski
Linda Laperle
Gail Goshko
Bernadette McCormick
Joan Wills
Cyril Winter
Anna-Marie Kean
Angus MacDonald
Peggy Kelly
Joanne and Ted Sabourin
Joan Langtry
Deacon Rick Gervais
Dr. Robert Walley
Fr Yves Marchildon
Julie Culshaw
Jim Vandervoort
Bob Du Broy
Ron Trent
Carol Roch
Charles Saso
Patricia Trites
Marc & Phyllis Dennis
Ernestine Fronc
Rev. Mr. Rudy M. Ovcjak
Kay Newbold
Tess Sturgeon
Savio Leon DeSouza

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Government of Bangladesh dismisses board of FPAB

Two more interesting things from my recent ATIP to DFATD and the $6 million grant to IPPF.

1) FPAB is the Family Planning Association of Bangladesh. In other words, FPAB is IPPF's member association in that country

Apparently the entire FPAB board was dismissed by the Bangladesh government.

DFATD refers to page 5 of the semi-annual report (ATIP page 67), which I also had from my last ATIP. (See ATIP page 119 below).

This is what DFATD asked in their question to IPPF:
"Could you provide some information about why the Government of Bangladesh dismissed FPAB's Board in August? Also, I don't know if you informed DFATD about this when it happened. However, this is the sort of thing we should know about when it happens, so that we are able to respond to any questions that may arise."

I looked at page 5 of the semi-annual report (from my previous ATIP) to see what IPPF reported there (see below ATIP page numbers 66 and 67. I also include page 66 for context). Well that part of the ATIP is blacked out on the semi-annual report.

So what does IPPF respond to DFATD's question? I don't know, because that paragraph is completely blanked out citing s.21(1)(b) of the Access to Information Act*. Which mean we have no idea, why the Government of Bangladesh dismissed the entire board, of an organization that operates on IPPF's behalf, using dollars from Canadian tax payers.

2) Note this question from DFATD to IPPF, and IPPF's response, also on page 119:
"DFATD: In addition, I would be curious to know how IPPF CO monitors project activities. Much of the report seems to be based on the self-reporting of the MAs. While I have no reason to doubt their reports, given the level of interest in the project, it would be helpful to learn how you track progress on the less quantitative aspects of the project. (emphasis mine)
IPPF: Regional Technical Officers are in regular communication with Member Associations (MA), and take regular visits to each MA to monitor their activities and progress. It is during these visits that the more qualitative aspects of the project are monitored and reviewed. In turn, Regional Technical Officers are also in regular contact with the Access Team in the Central Office to ensure MA. activities are in compliance with IPPF technical guidelines as well as IPPF's Strategic Framework.

"Self reporting" of member associations. I find this a bit worrisome. Especially when the entire board of one of those organizations has been dismissed and we don't know why.




* s.21(1)(b) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains...an account of consultations or deliberations in which directors, officers or employees of a government institution, a minister of the Crown or the staff of a minister participate

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DFATD and IPPF - purchased and provided are different

More on my DFATD ATIP for the $6 million funding to International Planned Parenthood.

Suzanne asked who is using all this contraception, and wondered about the 15000 IUDs? So I decided to review the numbers to find out.

Below are the list of "Commodities and Clinical Consumables" (purchases) and the "Data Table" report (provided). Both reports are for the year 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014. The numbers are different.

This is what was purchased:
IUDs listed under "Commodities and Clinical Consumables":
Afghanistan: 15,000
Bangladesh: 0
Mali: 2,500
Sudan: 0
Tanzania: 0
Total: 17,250

And this is what was provided:
IUDs listed under "Data Table":
Afghanistan: 11,299
Bangladesh: 4,221
Mali: 1,366
Sudan: 1,104
Tanzania: 1,671
Total: 19,661

----------------
This is what was purchased:
Condoms listed under "Commodities and Clinical Consumables":
Afghanistan: 290,000
Bangladesh: 0
Mali: 1,132,587
Sudan: 0
Tanzania: 0
Total: 1,447,787

And this is what was provided:
Condoms listed under "Data Table":
Afghanistan: 22,370
Bangladesh: 530,452
Mali: 224,588
Sudan: 1,653
Tanzania: 92,007
Total: 871,070 (the total on the Data Table report actually says 868,241)






These two tables are the "Data Tables" from the report



Monday, September 22, 2014

DFATD and IPPF - check your numbers

More on my DFATD ATIP for the $6 million funding to International Planned Parenthood.

I received a list of commodities and clinical consumables for the period 1 April 2013 - March 2014 (12 month period), which included contraception, injectables, condoms, spermicides etc. I also received the same information for the previous semi-annual report for April -September 2013 (a six month period).

I decided to compare the two reports to see how the numbers had increased, since the first was for a full year and the latter for only six months. When I looked a bit closer at the two reports, I noticed something. The numbers on both reports for Afghanistan and Sudan were identical (below I reproduce the first page of Afghanistan's).

No commodities were purchased between October 2013 and March 2014 (since the numbers are identical). Maybe all items were purchased at the beginning of the year? I don't know.

In any event, how many contraceptives and emergency contraceptives are we buying in Afghanistan anyway? See charts below.

(NOTE: Postinor-2 is emergency contraception. EC is considered an abortifacient if the egg has already been fertilized (i.e it prevents implantation in the uterus, killing the embryo). Abortion is illegal in Afghanistan.)



DFATD and IPPF - 45,118 people not sterilized in Tanzania

I've finally received the results of my most recent ATIP to DFATD regarding the $6 million funding to International Planned Parenthood. 

This one asked for information since my last ATIP, in particular, for IPPF's Annual Report for 1 April 2013 - March 2014.

I have learned a couple of interesting things this time, and will post them over the next little while.

The first thing I learned is that the people of Tanzania may not be as enthralled with being sterilized as IPPF would like them to be.

On page 143 of the ATIP, from the Annual Report, on line item 1121 Provide sterilization services in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan and Tanzania note this:

The target sterilizations for the year is 63,455 sterilizations, but the actual is only 18,337 sterilizations. That's 45,118 people under target.

Under the comments section is this:
"The overall shortfall is almost entirely due to Tanzania. It has not been possible to ascertain why."

Could it be that the people of Tanzania don't want to be sterilized? Maybe they don't like having IPPF suggesting they should be sterilized.