Friday 18 November 2016

Canadian Taxpayers Subsidize Priests for Life

There are many whackadoodles among the fetus fetishist set, but Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is one of the whackier.

He was one of the vultures hanging around not-quite-dead Terri Shiavo and practically did a jig when Dr. Tiller was assassinated.

He's been in trouble with his titular bosses, the Catlick Church, for among other things, financial improprieties.

But just before The Tragedy, he outdid himself.
Ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election, the Rev. Frank Pavone took an aborted fetus, laid it upon an altar Sunday and posted a live video on Facebook. Pavone, a Catholic priest who heads New York-based Priests for Life, said the fetus was entrusted to him by a pathologist for burial.
There's a five-minute clip of the video here.

Not knowing anything about things sacred or profane, I was simply appalled at the disrespect and well, just plain tackiness. But it's worse than that to Catlicks. It was sacrilege.


Why am I going on about this? Because you, dear readers, and I have given these offensive nutbars more than $75K over the last five years.

Here are Priests for Life Canada's Canada Revenue Agency filings.

Look at that nice acid green. That's us. (Graph from 2015 filing.)

From 2011 to 2015, Priests for Life in 11 constituencies (one in Alberta, ten in Ontario) applied for and received $76,784 in funding from Employment and Social Development Canada under the Canada Summer Jobs program.

Here's the listing for Ontario. Irritatingly, they list grants by province and riding.

On their CRA filing, Priests for Life specify their purpose as running convents and monasteries.

So, why the fuck are they hiring kids? And what the fuck kind of "meaningful work experience" do the kids get? And why the fuck are we paying for it?

From the eligibility page of the program.
The job must provide meaningful work experience for the student. It must not contribute to the provision of a personal service to the employer (e.g. the job must not involve gardening, domestic services, child care services, etc., for the employer).
I've been feeling pretty helpless these past ten days, but this I can do something about.

UPDATE (November 25/16): Patricia Maloney, aka the Amateur Statistician, commented. Says Priests for Life Canada is totally different from Pavone's gang. Yeah. Except for the shared name and goals and the fact that one gets to the Canadian outfit through a link called "International" on the US site.

All of which does not matter much. Because the fact remains that Canadian taxpayers are being scammed by eleven different branches of this misogynist "charity" for five years that we know of. For a total of more than $76K.

The Cdn gang furiously back-pedalled away from Pavone's dead-fetus-on-the-altar stunt. Not because they were disgusted, but because it was a big no-no to the sky fairy. Or something.

Who cares? I care about the money, the lies, and the misogyny.

Monday 7 November 2016

Charitable Status Is Key: "100 Who Care" Update

I said back here that I would report on any replies from the "100 Who Care" groups I blogged about.

Only one has. And I had a private conversation with a member of another group in Atlantic Canada.

The first thing to know: not all groups operate the same way.

I got a reply from an organizer of 100 Women Who Care Ottawa, who used only her first name. In my initial email I advised that I would be blogging further on the topic so any responder should consider herself on the record. Since I'm not sure she she understood that, I won't use her name. (I'll send her a link to this blogpost and update as necessary.)

She said that the Ottawa group "votes with their money (instead of a global vote so one charity ends up with all the funds)." Members are free to write their cheques to any of the three charities selected to make pitches, as their "Charities" page shows.

I asked about vetting charities, specifically the fake clinic, First Place Options. She said:
We do indeed vet the charities to see if they fit our criteria, which you will find on our website. The steering committee struggled with this one, but in the end, we decided that if one of our members nominated them in good faith and if they met our criteria, we had no grounds to eliminate them because of our own beliefs.

As for whether members are given time to do their own vetting, she said charities are selected and announced at one (quarterly) meeting and make their pitches at the next. So, members have three months to decide which charity to support.

Good. That all seems reasonable and responsible.

A different story was told to me by a member from a similar group in Atlantic Canada.

She said that the charities selected to pitch are not announced in advance. The first members hear about them is at the pitch meeting.

I asked whether there was any discussion among members before voting. Nope. Just vote and all write cheques to the "winner."

What happens if individual members don't approve of the winner? She didn't know. As far as she knew, it hadn't happened.

Upshot: The Ottawa group has a better procedure both in informing their members of the nominees in advance and in allowing them to dissent from the majority decision.

The point -- and the big draw, I expect -- of such groups is efficiency. Busy people show up, listen to pitches from three randomly chosen local charities, vote, write cheques, and they're done.

I've since looked at websites for several such groups and the two common criteria for a charity's eligibility for nomination by a member are:

• Charitable registration, i.e. able to issue tax receipts directly to members; and

• Location and services must be local.

Nothing about ethics. Or lack of them.

The charitable registration is key.

So, I ask again: WHY are fake clinics -- whose aim is to dissemble and manipulate in the service of their anti-choice/anti-abortion mission -- allowed to be registered as charities?

How can striving to curtail a targetted population's rights NOT be political?

If you think it is, Canada Revenue Agency is holding an online consultation on "charities' political activities." Let them know what you think. The deadline is November 25, 2016.

Friday 4 November 2016

New Kind of Fake Clinics

My, my. It seems that there is a "Wild West" of unlicensed, unregulated fake clinics offering bogus advice and treatment.

Ha. You thought I was talking Fake Abortion Clinics.

Nope. Fake Concussion Clinics.

It seems anyone can start a hotline, or set up a clinic offering to treat concussions, a brain injury. There is no active federal or provincial oversight. It's an essentially unregulated field, where massage therapists, chiropractors and nurses can hang out a shingle pitching their expertise in concussion management.

Health services in Canada are governed through a system of self-regulation. Health professionals are licensed by professional associations, and those associations are responsible for limiting the scope of practice. When we asked the Ontario Ministry of Health about the appropriateness of a concussion hotline, we were told to ask the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons. The college told us that, unless someone complains, it has no problem with it.

But some medical experts do have a problem with the hotline. They're concerned that the hype around concussions is getting out of control.

Golly gee. Just like Fake Abortion Clinics. But here, people are making money.
Dr. Michael Ellis, a neurosurgeon, runs Manitoba's only provincially sponsored concussion clinic. He is appalled at the proliferation of unregulated concussion clinics popping up across the country, offering a variety of treatments, including meditation, massage, acupuncture and even hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A quick count reveals more than 200 concussion clinics across Canada.
Funny. There are about 200 totally unregulated, unlicensed, unsupervised Fake Abortion Clinics in Canada. And just about all of them lie to advance their mission to dissuade pregnant people from their right to abortion.

The lies are very well documented.

And sane people have been complaining about them for years. But unless such outlaw operations cut into the bottom line of members of the various colleges of physicians and surgeons, the powers that be are good with the bullshit.

We're not.

Grand merci to Alison @ Creekside for fabulous graphics.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Ruckus Raising Time. Again.

Up here in smug Canada -- and getting smugger by the minute as the US election approaches -- it's not often that the US has us beaten on any aspect of abortion care.

Well, they've got us all beat to hell on medical abortion.

Although many limitations remain, innovative dispensing efforts in some states, restricted access to surgical abortions in others and greater awareness boosted medication abortions to 43 percent of pregnancy terminations at Planned Parenthood clinics, the nation's single largest provider, in 2014, up from 35 percent in 2010, according to previously unreported figures from the nonprofit.

To recap, the abortion pill, aka mifepristone or RU486, was just approved in Canada in July 2015, a mere three decades after France approved it and two decades after the US did.

Juxtapose this. A year later, in July 2016 the assisted dying bill became law.

Estimated number of assisted deaths in the three months since, about 200.

Number of medical abortions in the fifteen months since the abortion pill's approval: ZERO.

There has been unconscionable fuckery associated with the abortion pill.

Looooong approval process, stupid dispensing requirements, mandated online training for physicians, weird bureaucratic hurdles for its inclusion in provincial drug plans.

But assisted dying? No such rigamarole. Law is passed. Doctors offer it. Patients want it. So.

In sensible places with universal healthcare, medical abortion is recognized for the boon it is -- both to patients and to the system. Like Australia.

But here, the regulators and politicians are kow-towing to the minuscule -- but LOUD -- anti-choice fringe who call the abortion pill "human pesticide".

It's time to do something about this idiotic situation.

An NDP MLA in Manitoba is calling for the province to cover the abortion pill.
A new resolution from St. Johns MLA Nahanni Fontaine describes the Mifegymiso pill as an essential medicine for women that should be easily accessible.

And it's not just Ms Fontaine who describes it as essential medicine. The World Fucking Health Organization listed it on its List of Essential Medicines in 2005.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights has a new campaign to help persuade the powers that be to get the damned lead out and make this essential medicine available.

Check it out.

Under Take Action there are five steps you can take.

1. Write and/or meet with your local MPP, MP, Provincial/Territorial Minister of Health, and/or Federal Minister of Health.
2. Write an op-ed or pitch the story to local news outlets.
3. Take to social media! 
4. Engage your community: host an event, share information through your networks. 
5. Encourage your physician to become a medical abortion provider of Mifegymiso.

After all, provincial healthcare plans fund surgical abortion. Why would they not embrace this earlier, quicker, less expensive alternative?