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Canadian National Newspaper Slams Federal Lesbian Program Funding
Implies $250,000 to Women's Groups Compromised Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP

UPDATED:  WEDNESDAY JANUARY 5, 8:39 AM.

The National Post continued its assessment of lesbian group funding by Status of Women Canada this morning with an editorial describing it as "promoting a particular doctrine, in which lesbians become just the latest marionettes in a liberal puppet show."

 
ONLINE:  TUESDAY JANUARY 4, 9:02 PM EST (GMT-5).

A Canadian national newspaper slammed federal government spending on lesbian equality programs today in a somewhat rambling account directed towards Status of Women Canada and Secretary of State Dr. Hedy Fry herself.

Based apparently on a "leaked document", the National Post detailed the spending of some $250,000 on lesbian group initiatives, mostly for research and generation of recommendations, between 1996 and 1998, and accused the Honourable Hedy Fry of "[sending] the lion's share to her home province."

It's a right-wing newspaper writing their usual diatribe.
- Hedy Fry
 
In the middle of its list of funding decisions by Status of Women Canada the article, written by Stewart Bell, mentions that both Canadian Armed Forces peace-keeping efforts as well as RCMP fraud investigations were strained during that time from insufficient funds.

The equivalent of 3 salaries' worth of funds over two years (including benefits and payroll taxes) is what went to the lesbian groups.

"It's a right-wing newspaper writing their usual diatribe," Dr. Fry told gayottawanow.com from her constituency office in Vancouver.  "They don't think there should be a Status of Women [Canada]."

Evidently, the National Post doesn't think there should be lesbian equality programs, either, given that the attack on women's programs was exclusive to them, and the placement of the otherwise lame article on its on-line front page.

"It's a slippery slope," the Secretary of State (Status of Women) (Multiculturalism) later commented and explained how the American Holocaust Museum in Washington doesn't start with the Holocaust but rather with events leading to it, including media clips.

The placement of today's article combines with the national newspaper's mother company owning the largest chain of newspapers in Canada to create the potential for many clips indeed, and likely a fair amount of influence on uninformed members of society.

It's obvious that there's inequality there [in lesbian issues] - why wouldn't we fund them?  The question is 'Why $200,000.'
- Hedy Fry
 
The article seemed to have generated relatively little concern, however.  Dr. Fry's only other request for comments by the newspaper's end-of-day came from the Vancouver Sun, of the group mentioned above, perhaps on the issue of funding being inordinately directed towards British Columbia.  John Fisher, Executive Director of Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE), the Canadian national organization, told gayottawanow.com:  "I felt the story revealed more about the National Post's priorities than anything else - according to [it] money spent on weapons of war is money well spent; money spent on equality is money wasted."

But the Honourable Hedy Fry held firm on the Status of Women Canada's position in stating:  "My department has a specific mandate to deal with women's equality issues ... [this funding is] exactly what we should be doing.  It's obvious that there's inequality there [in lesbian issues] - why wouldn't we fund them?  The question is 'Why $200,000.'"  She finished by reporting that since she became Secretary of State (Status of Women) in 1996 the federal government agency has recognized sexual orientation as a prohibited basis for discrimination.  "The Government of Canada is head and shoulders above the rest of the world on these issues," Dr. Fry concluded.

Mr. Fisher agreed in his independent comments, stating "As Canadians, we should celebrate the fact that our government has displayed an interest in funding research projects that will enhance our understanding of equality issues."