Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Public Funding of Alberta Fake Clinics, Part 3

In our series, Hinton Crisis Pregnancy Association is last of the three fake clinics in Alberta that have received public funds from the Alberta Lottery Foundation.

(The others are Medicine Hat and Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre.)

Hinton CPC seems to be doing business as West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre; the address is the same on its Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) annual filings.

The first thing to know about Hinton is that it's pretty small, with a population of 9,640 souls as of the 2011 census.

Another thing about HInton is that it has a photo radar system, the proceeds of which are doled out to deserving community organizations. More on that in a bit.

And now we've run out of things to say about Hinton.

The fake clinic seems a bit shy for these sorts of organizations. Its website is under construction and its Facebook page is rather desultorily maintained.

It is a member of the Christian Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, the umbrella organization that the Ontario Trillium Foundation had an "issue" with.

I found a profile of the outfit in the local paper from 2007.
The pregnancy centre is a faith-based organization made up of volunteers from various Hinton churches. Church members also make up the board that operates behind the scenes.

The centre is made possible by donations from churches, local businesses and the United Way. In addition, the centre does three fundraisers per year including a banquet in October, a baby bottle campaign and usually a spring fundraiser. . .

Giffin said that his organization hasn't had much luck obtaining government grants, but that they are going to try again.
Now to the CRA filings.

2011


2012


2013


Expenses and revenue seem to run at around $100K a year. That's pretty impressive considering that costs at the Medicine Hat fake clinic, with a population six times Hinton's, run about $60K. (Maybe Medicine Hat has competition? Maybe the sluts in Hinton are extra slutty?)

And hey look, the Hinton fake clinic has been successful in getting the government money they were coveting back in 2007.

Some of that would be from the Alberta Lottery Foundation. From 2009 to 2012, it received $50K from ALF or more than half of all such funds given out to fake clinics in the province.

But the really genius part is that it has tapped into another source of public funds -- the aforementioned photo radar tribute.

In April this year, the local paper reported that it had done rather nicely.

Quality of Life grants were doled out last week, with a total of $97,116 for 18 local community groups.

Town council approved the grants at the April 15 meeting. Nineteen applicants had requested $281,068 in funding, which is nearly triple the $100,000 available. Recommendations to council on how to award the available funds were made by the Grant Funding Advisory Committee, which has five voting members. Quality of Life grants are allocated from photo radar fees. . .

The West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre received the largest amount of core funding applied for ($10,000).
So unsuspecting Albertans have TWO ways to contribute involuntarily to the fake clinic: through their lottery tickets and their traffic tickets.

If one is of a religious, anti-choice, misogynist bent, it's beauty. One can say: Well, sheee-it, I didn't win the lottery/I got a damn speeding ticket, but at least the money is going to a Christ-fearing, slut-shaming, human rights-denying outfit.

Of course, if one is not of a religious, anti-choice, misogynist bent, one might say: Well, sheee-it. WTF?

You gotta admire these Christers though. Tricksy with pregnancy/abortion information, tricksy with fund-raising.


h/t to Kathy Dawson for the photo radar link

"Without Going into Details" *snerk*

We had been wondering why Fetus Freak Media and its running blog lackeys hadn't done its usual shrieky foot-stompy hissy fit routine over the partial rescinding of an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant to a fake pregnancy centre.

The fake clinic itself responded on its blog in a rather tight-lipped manner citing "philosophical differences" with OTF while accusing an unnamed blogger (ahem).
One particular blog has been making false allegations regarding our Centre and is taking credit for the rescinding of the OTF grant.  This same group has been making allegations against other Pregnancy Centre’s [sic] in Canada.
And that seemed to be it for reaction from the zygote zealots.

Well, silly us, we were googling terms like "Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre" (the defunded Sarnia racket), "Ontario Trillium Foundation," "crisis pregnancy centres" and, we admit, "Dammit Janet!" and even "fern hill."

Crickets.

It appears that Fetus Freak Central has decreed that we are to remain "anonymous evil blogger" and the clinic itself is not to be named either. "Crisis Pregnancy Centres" seems now to have fully morphed into pregnancy options centres.

Quite by accident, we ran across this yesterday by our old pal Mike Schouten, aka Creepy Dominionist Guy. It's a reprise of a blog post at his site, We Need a Law [Like a Hole in the Head].

Here it is in its full goddy glory (my bold).
Christians who strive to live by the Scriptures will know that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with heart, soul and mind, and to love their neighbours as themselves (Mark 12:30-31). 

Follows of Jesus desire to live selfless lives and this is characterized by putting others [sic] needs ahead of their own. I bring this up in connection with the work of faith-based pregnancy care centres. These centres are for the most part staffed by volunteers who give up much to come to the aid of those in need. 

The volunteers provide compassionate help to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, post abortion grief, domestic violence, and sexual assault. They are on the frontlines of assisting some of the most vulnerable people in society and regularly help women make informed choices that set them on the path to a better life. The care they offer extends well beyond the moment of birth or abortion. In very practical ways they come alongside people in need and so enable them to continue living productive and joy-filled lives as they transition into motherhood. And right now, pregnancy options centres need our support. 

As we documented* just over a year ago, pregnancy options centres are increasingly under attack by abortion advocates. Yes, there are Canadians who are so excited about the fact that a woman ought to be able to kill her own child that they simply cannot fathom the thought that some women choose life for their pre-born child. 

Without going into details we want you to know that these attacks have intensified in recent weeks. We ask that you do what you can to support a pregnancy options centre near you. This can be done through donations (see here for a list of centres across Canada). You can also help them by offering words of encouragement and prayer for those on the front lines. They are daily engaged in the culture seeking to show love to those in need. 

We can do better and we can certainly show those who oppose helping pregnant women that they have a skewed sense of social justice. Let us not be characterized as a country that let's [sic] its citizens flounder in depths of despair.
(*That "documentation" goes to a previous protracted hissy fit over Joyce Arthur's exposure of fake clinics in BC, published in 2009 for hevvinsake. [And what is it with these people and apostrophes?])

Onto their game, we looked some more and found amateur statistician Patricia Maloney's foot-stomper and its follow-up. And while she refers to me as a "fake person," she has at least the good bloggy manners to link to my offensive "potty mouthed" blogposts.

Things have since escalated. I tweeted at Creepy Dominionist Guy on twitter and got this.



They're playing the martyr card again and I'm now a bully. In addition to being fake and potty-mouthed.

Note though they have NOTHING narsty to say about the organization that actually yanked the funding when asked (nicely) to justify the grant. The nice rich foundation that might yet be bullied convinced of the error of its ways.

Nope. They're attacking a wee blogger.

In other words, without going into details, they got nuthin'.

We, on the other hand, have MASSIVE giggles.

UPDATE: DJ! hits the (fetus fetishizing) Big Time! LifeShite weighs in.

MORE UPDATE: Over here our personal stalker one-man fan-club seems, like most of his tribe, unable to distinguish between politics and rights.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Shocker! Responsible Abortion Reporting from National Post!

Crazy busy, but a quick post because I want to encourage responsible reporting about abortion. Here is the National Post's story on a report about abortion access in Canada. [Spoiler: Access needs a lot of improvement.]

Because people either don't know or forget from one abortion story to the next, the NP piece includes this de rigueur statement.
There is currently no federal law governing abortion in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country’s previous abortion law as unconstitutional in 1988.
Clear on that, are we?

Here's the new and admirable bit.
Abortion is governed by guidelines adopted by professional associations. The vast majority of elective abortions happen before 12 weeks, according to data collated by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. It’s virtually impossible for women to access the procedure past 24 weeks without a compelling medical reason.

Note the change from this piece of bullshit from new Walrus editor Jonathan Kay in February 2013.

The fact is that Canada is the only nation in the Western world without any abortion law. It is perfectly legal in Canada to have or perform an abortion — for any reason, or no reason at all — at 20, 25, 30 or 35 weeks gestation. This is a disturbing state of affairs.

What's disturbing is that a self-proclaimed "national" newspaper continued for so long to try to stir up Da Base on the settled matter of legal abortion. (Access, as the links above show, is another issue altogether.)

Maybe, just maybe, the powers that be are wising up to the notion that demonizing abortion is in direct conflict with the views of the majority of Canadians who are decidedly pro-choice.

So, provisional "yay" to Natty Po! We'll be watching to see that you keep up the good work.

Bonus: Graphic accompanying the NP story. Useful information.

UPDATE: From King Rat in the comments: According to Live-Action News, Canada is Abortion Heaven. Or, every stupid lie about abortion in Canada in one conveeeeenient POS.

Respectability vs RESPECT: Part Three

So.  Sex work.

I shared some personal history in that regard, but not everything.

On the street where I grew up, there were few stay-at-home mothers.  It was a working poor neighbourhood. Franco-Ontarians. Lebanese and Portuguese immigrants. Everyone worked. Dads. Moms. Kids too, when we turned 14.

A lovely and very elegant lady moved into a small 3 et 1/2  in the building next door to our rented house.  She was a widow with her daughter. They lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment.  Francine* and I were 12 years old; we became fast friends.

Unlike my Mom who worked at several part-time retail jobs, Madame L.  had her hair done every week and wore beautiful new dresses.

Madame L. was a "kept" woman. She had fixed appointments with different men friends who would take her out to dinner then on to a hotel. Although she didn't bring her clients back home, my Mom would never let me spend the night in Francine's home.

One day Madame L. asked my Mom if Francine could stay with us while she went away for a week in Florida with her "boyfriend".  (My father had seen this man arrive in his car, wait for Madame L. while she finished getting ready then drive away with her.  He knew that this man was a married police officer.)  My mother was aghast.  She told me that Francine's mother was immoral and that I couldn't be friends with her.  I disobeyed of course.  Francine and I stayed friends, but secretly.  Soon after that, she and her mother moved to Montréal.

My parents, in fact the whole neighbourhood where everyone knew everybody's business, did not consider Madame L. to be respectable.  She had a child.  She wasn't married.  She had sex with different men.  They "gave" her money; in reality they paid her for sex but nobody expressed it thus.  If only she had exclusively "entertained" one man and advanced the illusion that she was his mistress. But she was a call girl, a profession that was in the news of the era because of George Hees, Pierre Sévigny and Gerda Munsinger.

I have no idea if Francine also became a sex worker.

Many, many girls grew up in families where women, consensually or grudgingly, explicitly or implicitly, had sex with men - husbands, other family members, neighbours, landlords, storekeepers, employers - for benefit.  It's a wonder we're not all sex workers - or perhaps we are, and should recognize to what degree we might be, in order to obliterate the stigma attached, as it is with abortion.  Patriarchy certainly games the system to encourage girls and women to engage with men in such manner.

As I pointed out to a jerk on Twitter grousing about women _using_ men, if you're NOT trying to attract women who see you as a wallet attached to a penis, don't act like a prick with cash to burn on a pretty woman ... if she's _nice_ to you.

And, don't forget to send your letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne, with regard to the vile sexwork re-criminalizing law the Harper government passed.  If you need inspiration, here's @kwetoday's own letter.

*Francine is not her real name. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Happy, happy!

To everyone who makes DAMMIT JANET! such a slice, but especially for my co-blogger and co-founder of this here joint, fernhilldammit:


Happy birthday to us, toots!

That by the way is the sans-pareille Betty Bonifassi.  You can hear and see her here, too.

Does Your School Have an STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma)?

[Guest post by Kathy Dawson.*]
First of all, do not be ashamed. It happens to many nice local schools. With proper treatment and education, a cure is possible.

What it is
STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma) refers to anti-choice missions that are using shame and fear to scare your teen into “never having sex until marriage”. This includes a ban on masturbation or even thinking about sex (thought police)! It is almost always accompanied by a heavy dose of “religious dogma” that masquerades as science based facts. Don’t be fooled! Turning your back on this leads to further infections of sexism, homophobia, attacks on non-traditional families, limiting of reproductive rights and keeping students in total dark about their own sexual health.

How does this happen?
These infections come in free glossy packages affiliated with heavily funded anti-sex league multi-nationals. Egg obsessed missionary hens are accompanied with great qualifications such as “preacher recommend”, “commitment to not counsel or refer contraception” and most importantly a commitment to protect eggs (fertilized or not) at any cost, even if it means financial ruin or death of the “incubators” (the slutty sluts that could not keep their legs closed).

Prevention
These infections happen in secret. Schools do not like it when parents know there is an infection, it makes things a little crab itchy uncomfortable. It is important to ask every teacher, every year: WHO is teaching, WHAT is being taught, and what is Google’s opinion. Tell your child to watch out for specific lying liar agencies. Nothing wrong with a little sound or video evidence, difficult to get but clears infections immediately. A vocal membership on the parent council will strengthen protection.

Symptoms May Include (but not limited to):
• Abstinence because they told you so.
• View that youth are too idiotic to correctly use contraception or protection.
• Attack of the killer STI/STD.
• Slutty sluts should watch what they are wearing because boys are crazed sex demons with no control
• Soulgasms – mind blowing orgasms brought on by wearing a wedding ring.
• Mention of fetus or eggs brings on glassy looks and moans of “My Precious”.
• Allergic reactions to the mention of clitoris (also known as the Devil’s Doorbell), masturbation (ringing the doorbell), sexually active people (aka slutty sluts), and LGBTQ2S (or anything to do with rainbows).
• How to crochet a hat for your 16 cell zygote because they are fully formed.
• Adoptions are happy time for everyone because teen parents raise criminals.
• Facts can be found here.

Treatment
Here is a general "how to" when trying to clear up an STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma) in your school. Do not attempt this alone, you will need to call in other stakeholders to help especially if the infection has spread through the entire district. The system is known to shut down and annihilate attempts to clear infection with the process: “you are the only parent, in the only school, in the only board that ever had a problem with it”.

Start gently as some infections are easily cleared up with a little exposure to sunlight. Interactions should be respectful and everyone should focus on what is best for the students. Steps must be taken in a specific order as school systems are very hierarchical and the infection may dig in deeper.

1) Playgrounds can be unforgiving. Protect your child throughout the process.
2) Educate the educator: Try to resolve the issue with the teacher first.
3) Educate school administration: Arrange a meeting with the principal and the teacher.
4) Gather Resources, People, and Research:
    a. Has this issue happened before?
    b. Identify applicable board policies, regulations, curriculum, legislation, etc.
    c. What is the impact on the children? Focus on children’s needs.
    d. Have your talking points (key issues) ready.
    e. Discuss the issue and get support from other parents
5) Educate the Superintendent: provide a copy of your concerns and arrange a meeting.
6) Educate the Board:
    a. Have other stakeholders and yourself attend and speak at board meetings.
    b. Use talking points and be mindful of time limit to get points across.
7) Educate the Minister of Education
    a. Caution: this will automatically start the circular shutdown process. Expect to hear:
         i.“Not our problem it is their issue”. This will rinse and repeat until the media gets involved. Like musical chairs, whomever is left standing will answer to media.
    b. Do not expect “what is good for the students” to be mentioned (that will be your job) as the infection will be trying to survive.
    c. Do not worry, this step is a formality anyway. The next step is critical.
8) Educate the World:
    a. Connect with others stakeholders & organizations:
         i. Comprehensive sexual health providers
         ii. Feminist, Pro-Choice, LGBTQ2S
         iii. Science and/or secular groups
    b. Write letters to the editors
    c. Use social media
    d. Use a petition to connect with interested parties and increase visibility and pressure.
    e. Contact local media and arrange interviews
9) Last resort:
    a. Human Rights: time sensitive, lengthy process. Grounds may be: family status, marital status, gender, orientation, religion (includes non-belief). Check provincial Acts.
     b. Lawyer: Lawyer Referral Services can get you a free consult.
10) Helpful Resource Links:
      a. Alberta Health/Education Teaching Sexual Health website: www.teachingsexualhealth.ca
      b. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada supports sexual health education: www.sexualityandu.ca
      c. Public Health Canada Guidelines for Sexual Health Education: http://www.sexualityandu.ca/resource-library/single/resources/canadian-guidelines-for-sexual-health-education-2008
      d. SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) Community Action Resources: www.communityactionkit.org


* Kathy Dawson has been active on the sex ed front in Alberta as reported here. Follow her on twitter, @KathyDawson.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Alberta Fake Clinics Sponging Public Money, Part 2, Medicine Hat

To continue our investigation into Alberta fake clinics sucking off the public tit (Part 1 on Central Alberta Fake Clinic here), let's look at the Medicine Hat Pregnancy Support Society.

It doesn't seem to have its own website and does not belong to Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, the organization that the Ontario Trillium Foundation had a problem with.

It does have a Facebook page, which consists mainly of announcements of holidays on which they'll be unavailable to help any crisis pregnancies. For fun, here's its very goddy newsletter.

Things get interesting however, when we look at its finances. A site named CHIMP gets its information from the same place we do, the CRA.

This pie chart is fascinating, though. WTF does that mean?


But Chimp reports the 2013 data correctly. In 2013, Medicine Hat Haters spent 90% of their dough on management and administration, with 3% going to the "charitable program."



Note that they report 0% "government funding."

Now have a look at their filing for 2012. Then, they spent 95% on the charitable program and 5% on management, again reporting no government funding.


In 2011, again 95% went to the charitable program with no government funding.

Now, go back to the Alberta Lottery Fund and nose around a bit, you'll find that Medicine Hat scored government/pubic money as follows:

2012/13: $4500
2011/12: $6300
2010/11: $9300
2009/10: 0
2008/09: $4500
(figures are rounded to nearest hundred)

Two questions here:
1. Why are they not reporting government funding?

2. How the hell did they go from spending 5% on admin to spending 90%?

Honest mistake?

No flags were raised?

We will continue to ask questions.




h/t to Niles in the comments for the FB, CHIMP, and newsletter links.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Crisis Pregnancy Centres: Alberta Fake Clinics Get Public Money

As promised, we're taking a look at other crisis pregnancy centres (CPCs) in Canada that apply for and receive public funding.

Back here in our how-to identify and expose fake clinics getting public money, Kathy Dawson found that the Alberta Lottery Foundation (ALF) does indeed funnel money to CPCs.

Alberta Lottery Foundation is like the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It redistributes the province's ill-gotten gains to "worthy" community assets. (Or does it?)

It's got a ton of dough to hand out -- $1.486 billion in 2013-14 alone.

The website has a handy search function. Kathy used the search term "pregnancy" and look what she found.


Since 2008, ALF has given $93,200 of "involuntary" donors' -- i.e. Alberta's gamblers' -- money to three "pregnancy"-related groups: Medicine Hat Pregnancy Support Society, Hinton Crisis Pregnancy Association, and Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre Society (Red Deer and Olds). Most of the funding was for operations and all of the funds were doled out under the Community Spirit Donation Grant Program.
The Community Spirit Donation Grant Program supports the generosity of Albertans with a matching Donation Grant Program and the Enhanced Charitable Tax Credit.
There's not much information on this program on ALF's site, but it seems that not only are public funds involved in the grants, but Albertans fork out again in forgoing taxes on the donors' contributions in the form of "Enhanced Charitable Tax Credits."

Let's have a closer look at Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre. It's interesting for a few reasons. First, it's pretty rich for these kind of operations.

From its mandatory filing at Canadian Revenue Agency, in 2013, it reported revenue of just over $450K, with "government funding" $68,690 or 15%.

In 2012, it reported revenue of $442K and government funding of $95,879 (22%).

"Government funding"??????????????????

It was also the target of an undercover investigation in 2000 by CTV, which exposed the usual lies, manipulations, and misleading information. I can't find any of the original stories but I found an interesting "rebuttal" by Fetus Freak Media outlet The Interim.

The Central Alberta fake clinic can also boast of the fact that one of its founders is Valorie Day, Stockwell Day's wife.

Here is its mission statement:

The Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre is a Christian charity dedicated to upholding the sanctity of all human life. We help women, their partners, and their families to explore all pregnancy options; giving access to accurate information and the space and time needed to make a well informed decision.

The Centre does not perform, refer, or advocate for abortion. However, we are committed to unconditional acceptance of everyone we serve, regardless of their choices.
It is also a member of Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, you know, the umbrella organization that the Ontario Trillium Foundation had a "philosophical" issue with.
The decision came after pseudonym-using blogger Fern Hill reached out to OTF Oct. 29, confirmed Thomas Chanzy, vice-president public affairs.

“The issue that was raised when we looked into that grant more deeply was the affiliation with CAPPS, the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services,” he said.
So, if you live in Alberta and buy lottery tickets, you are willy-nilly supporting these lying liars. If you live in Alberta and don't buy lottery tickets, your tax dollars have to stretch just a bit farther because you are underwriting donations to them.

Later, a look at the other two publicly funded fake clinics in Alberta.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

False Witnesses: A Rogues' Gallery of BAD Scientists

Everyone who writes or cares about reproductive justice, women's rights, science, etc. should bookmark this amazing feat of research, Reproductive Health Reality Check's False Witnesses project.

Here at DJ! we have an abiding interest in BAD science in general but in particular as it is applied to abortion and women's health.

"BAD" stands for biased, agenda-driven, or science-for-hire. And it is everywhere.

Here's RH Reality Check's explanation.
First Big Tobacco, then climate change denial, and now, the anti-choice movement.

The issues might have changed, but the techniques now widely used by conservatives to distort science and, with it, public policy, remain the same.

They create nonprofits, staffed with die-hard ideologues, and set about producing and promoting bogus science, to build the illusion of dissent or doubt over conclusions drawn by peer-reviewed scientific or medical research. They develop their own “research findings” to suit their ideological views. Then they deploy scare tactics, all with the goal of passing laws that suit their agenda.

And anti-choice has been at it for decades now. They've even got "institutes" and sciencey-sounding "research groups." Some we've tried to profile here but RH Reality Check has really dug and got the goods.

In the False Witnesses Gallery are 14 "scientists" for hire, some familiar to us, some not so much. They're mostly USian. Click on their photos to find out more.

The format for each profile is fabulous. Each is divided into sections: "Signature Falsehood," "Setting the Record Straight," "Role Within the Anti-Choice Movement," and "Blatant Errors," as well as their connections, credentials, and the amount of dough they've raked in with their obligingness. And they are all connected, all cite each other's publications.

In short, hours of fun reading.

And while there are no Canadians among them, these liars regularly show up at Canadian anti-choice events and venues.

Like Martha Shuping, who caused a fuss recently when she was invited to speak at Memorial University, and Angela Lanfranchi, who is Maurice Vellacott's go-to gal for bullshit on the "abortion causes breast cancer" canard.

Very gratifying for us here at DJ! is the inclusion of our fave Perfesser of Home Economics and Slut-Shaming, Priscilla Coleman, whose work has been so thoroughly and utterly dismantled it's a wonder she has the gall to show her face. Here's the RH Reality Check research on her.

We have one addition. There is a disreputable gang of Canadians operating under the banner of the Deveber Institute. Small and pretty lame, but all ours.

So, bookmark and browse.

And congratulations and grand merci to RH Reality Check.