The real trouble at Rights and Democracy

Sen. Linda Frum on the controversy; Paul Wells responds

The real trouble at Rights and Democracy

Photograph by Andrew Wallace/ Toronto Star

Let’s say I gave you $11 million of Canadian taxpayer money and told you I wanted you to use the money to repair the ills of the world as you perceived them. Let’s say I told you that you could spend the money entirely as you saw fit. No questions asked. Odds are you would have little difficulty identifying your favourite causes in the most deserving regions of the world. Lovely fantasy isn’t it? Spending other people’s money to cure the troubles of the world, as you identify them, exactly the way you deem best? Well, for the senior managers of Rights and Democracy, Canada’s publicly funded human rights organization, this was no fantasy. It was a blissful reality. That is, until a group of pesky governors, burdened by such governance concepts as accountability and responsibility, came along to spoil the party.

If you have been following the controversy surrounding Rights and Democracy, a “short-arm” organization set up by prime minister Brian Mulroney in 1988 to promote human rights in the Third World, you know that the organization is in crisis.

Some claim that the crisis pits a professional management against a partisan board controlled by the Prime Minister’s Office. (That is the view, for example, of this magazine’s otherwise brilliant analyst Paul Wells.) But every key player in this story, on both sides, is a Harper appointee. And, as a short-arm organization, R and D is constitutionally autonomous of government but not independent of it. Each fiscal year, the chair of R and D is required to table a report with both houses of Parliament. In other words, R and D is not an arm’s-length, independent NGO.

To really understand what’s truly at issue here, you must go to the heart of the trouble.

It really heated up in March 2009 when newly appointed board chair, University of Toronto political science professor Aurel Braun, discovered questionable grants made by R and D’s president Remy Beauregard. One such grant was made to a group called Al Haq, based in Ramallah, West Bank. According to the Israeli Supreme Court, Al Haq’s leader is a senior activist of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group. The $10,000 grant for Al Haq—distributed from a discretionary fund controlled by Beauregard and his management team—alarmed Braun and the majority of his current board. What other grants, they wondered, might be equally suspect? What about, for example, the $144,000 donated to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a sponsor of 2009’s scurrilous Durban II conference, which was boycotted by the government of Canada? What exactly was that $144,000 spent on? Or the several hundred thousand dollars that R and D sent to that UN office over the past few years?

Anyone who has ever served on a board knows that such inquiries on the part of a board chair and the audit and finance committee are necessary in order to fulfill the duty of “due diligence.” But to the managers of R and D—unaccustomed to any challenge to their authority and hostile to investigations into their pet projects—the board’s interest was deemed “harassment” and requests for “sensitive” information were rejected or stonewalled. To this day, management refuses to co-operate fully with an audit being conducted by the respected firm of Deloitte & Touche. Instead, they have launched a self-righteous campaign of media sniping and obfuscation—aided by the disappearance of managerial laptops and computer records.

The sudden death in January of Remy Beauregard has injected an element of sorrow to the situation, but it does not alter a public body’s duty to account for public money. By January 2010, even Beauregard finally came to the conclusion that giving money to Al Haq (and like organizations) was wrong and voted to repudiate it. But the staff he left behind remain resentful of the board’s scrutiny.

The R and D staff’s anger at the board’s curiosity suggests that something has gone very wrong at R and D. On March 29, Gerard Latulippe, an experienced administrative law and labour lawyer with professional expertise in promoting democratic accountability in the third world (most recently in Haiti), will take over as Rights and Democracy’s new president. He has the tough task of reforming an agency gone rogue long ago. Yes, some of the staff are complaining anonymously to the press. But the complaints do not prove them right. On the contrary, their complaints prove how very deep the problems go.

Linda Frum is a Conservative member of the Canadian Senate.

Read this response by Paul Wells, published Monday, March 22


The real trouble at Rights and Democracy

  1. What a bunch of baloney.

    Lies from one point of the article to the next.

    The accountability angle that this article relates to is a blatant lie. Remy Beauregard was appointed just for this reason, putting financial accountability in the building.

    The fact that they threw out upper management like trash is the first scandal we should look at.

    The fact that the board wrote a review of Remy Beauregard's that was inaccurate and untruthful … that they sent it up to the PM's office without Mr. Beauregard even being able to look at it … this is the second scandal we should look at.

    The fact the right wing pro Israel people are invading the board and asking questions about the religion and ethnic background of the people working at R and D should be the third scandal we should look at.

    The fact that the Harper gvt is wasting hundred's of thousands in taxpayer's money to cover up their train wreck stating that accountability should be at the center of the debate is the forth scandal we should look at

    The fact that Lawrence Cannon has faith in 3 board members that have lied on paper concerning the late president of R & D should be the fifth scandal we should look at …

    I will Stop here … I think we have enough to chew on … don't you Linda ?

    • The President can never provide the accountability you suggest because he is accountable to the appointed Board – another fantasy and I doubt you understand how an organization operates, particularly one that receives all of its funding from the government and is not an independent agency. R & D exists and is funded at the sole pleasure of the government. The myth of independence is just that – a myth that exists in the mind of the 'professional' (and I just the term loosely) staff.

      • I see you have poor knowledge of the situation and don't really understand what has happened here. That's ok, we can't always have all the information at hand and you most probably only know what the news that you read gives you.

        Partisan appointed board members with a hidden agenda. The game plan from the gvt was probably to shut the org down in order to diver the funding to tanks and guns.

        They picked the wrong guy for the job, Rémy Beauregard, because he would not bend over and bow down to the killingfields that the Gvt wanted to subject this organization to…

        You probably don't know also that even in China, this organization is rightfully recognized by the gvt for it's incredible work in the field for human rights …

        You probably are also not aware that when the board was comprised of members that were not in favor of the gvt agenda, the gvt appointed members postponed and delayed meetings until enough gvt appointed members were there to overthrow any decision made by the president.

        As for the professional staff , you've probably never met one of them and have no clue of the job that they do and of the position these people put themselves in in order to protect lives of people who have no voice…

        But that's ok because I think we are still in a free country…

    • Why such a poorly written letter when you obviously know all the facts and have everything so well summed up?

      Your bias comes through loud and clear and is fully unsupported.

      The people appointed to the board this past year have more integrity in their little toes than you will have in your lifetime. They are scholars, fair minded and decent people who were appointed to do a job. Yet because that job entailed investigating someone you seem to have a personal interest in, in your mind they are evil. Moreover, you and I were not there, so how do either of us know for certain everything that went on. A little slack is called for and perhaps in the end, the full truth will come out. When it does, what would like to eat with your crow?

  2. Should have put a link to Paul's article in the body. It's funny how this "article" if it can be called that, reads more like a greasy press release.

    Try again senator.

  3. Wow Linda Frum, you've got about zero integrity. Must be nice to go about your life without any regards for being honest. It must be even nicer to have a lifestyle funded by tax payers. Please tell me what I need to do to get paid lots of taxpayer money to be a partisan hack and write stories full of lies and mistruths?

  4. Aw, some cranky lefties don't like to hear the other side of the story. They are content live with their ideological presuppositions about what happened in this affair, because it best suits their Harper-bashing bias. No real surprise there.

    • I think it is a general problem on the right and left today that we increasingly decide what facts to believe in. With the Internet, and infinite choice in news and information, we tend to pick those stories and those writers that tell us what we already think. On the odd occasion that we read something from outside our own corner, it appears indisputably wrong.

      A surplus of information has driven a deficit of knowledge.

      • hth: Big Thumbs-up for that comment. Res ipsa loquitur.

      • Did you learn that in Aurel Braun's course?

    • Gawd – cranky righties find lies appealing for the general public … let's take down democracy in general … what's the point of having it if nothing comes out of it … we should prorogue democracy for the Conservatives to have their way … worst gvt ever …

  5. What a one side piece of garbage reportage. This is nothing more than Tory talking points. What additional insight or expertise does senator Frum bring to this issue? What has she stated here that we haven't already heard fromBraun or Gauthier, who at least were there? This is second [ or even third hand] hearsy testimony – it's complete junk. We've already heard from the board senator Frum "… they have launched a self-righteous campaign of media sniping and obfuscation—"…just about describes the board to a T. There are always at least two sides to a story senator Frum…even in your highly partisan world i should imagine.

  6. Sen. Frum has been asked to regurgitate the PMO's talking points. Nevermind the facts:
    1) the grants were not 'questionable', they were questioned by an ideological Haper deputy;
    2) the laptops in R&D offices did not 'disappear', they were removed/stolen following a criminal break-in;
    3) Gerard Latulipe had to step down from a previous government post because of ethical concerns.

    Sen. Frum has zero credibility on this issue. Her little PR exercise should be ignored.

  7. "There are always at least two sides to a story senator Frum…even in your highly partisan world i should imagine."

    you'd think otherwise given that anyone who dares suggest anything but complete innocence on the part of the managers and staff of R&D is immediately subject to virtual stoning on this board.

    • What utter nonesense. No-one has suggested any such thing. Compare senator Frum's one side diatribe to Well's coverage. Yes, he took a positon after due consideration of such facts as he was allowed. All the gag orders have come from one of the camps. Are you not at all interested in the other side of the story? Maybe we'll even discover they were in the wrong. But merely asserting they were and blocking attempts to tell their side and even misrepresenting them is an affront to justice, and most reasonable people know that.

      • On the contrary,it's been stated here on any number of occasions additionallymany posters here have consistently assumed the board is at fault. I have never asserted that I wasn't interested in the other side of the story, the problem is that no one, least of all you or Wells is privy to the whole story. What is ridiculous is the volume of assertion and presumed guilt coming from the side of the argument that you support. What he and you are primarily acting on is the word of the staff and management and conveniently ignoring the word of members of the board. I've said all along and stand by it that the main problem here is not the board, it's that the board sought to reign in a group of individuals that felt they were not beholding to anyone, least of all the board. They were taken to task and Mr. Beauregard was in agreement that at least some of their actions were not acceptable. Add to that the mysterious disappearence of computers and the intransigence of the staff to co-operate with the audit and at the very least there should be reasonable doubt.

        • That's pretty funny. On the one hand you castigate me for assuming the board is wrong, and on the other you windup asserting the boards side of the story must be true. Again, who issued the gag order – the board. We need an inquiry.

        • Unfortunately, everything you just stated is wrong.

          The Gag was imposed by the board to senior staff because senior staff had a message to give to the public about how the gvt treats non partisan arm's length organization.

          The Main problem is the board. So much so that some board members left in utter disgust after the overthrow of decision by gvt appointed board members aimed specifically in crippling the organization and accusing the president of being incompetent, cavorting with terrorist and giving money to terrorist organizations.

          The president worked for human rights his entire life and is considered a seasoned champion of this cause and a top level administrator during his 35 years of career. He was also very meticulous about his work and would never give out money without due diligence. The organization that received money was cleared by CIDA a year before the money was sent. A measly 10K for Human rights survey of the atrocities done during the Military invasion of Palestine by Israel. This most probably ticked off the Jewish lobby … and the rest is history …

  8. If accountability and responsibility were one millionth of the concern the honourable senator claims it is, the government would have the minister responsible for the organization stand in the House of Commons and, you know, demonstrate his accountability for the mess this organization finds itself in. Instead, we have an appointed senator with no responsibility whatsoever for the organization write an all-spin, no substance op ed in a magazine.

    I am appalled.

  9. Hasn't Wells addressed every single one of Senator Frum's points here? I know politics is often a game of repeating your point consistently, without regard to objections raised, hoping it sticks and that they objections go away, but come on. The Senator is going out of her way to write this piece for Maclean's, yet avoids the discussion entirely – what's the point of that?

  10. is this pay back for your patronage appointment? Zero credibility.

  11. An excellent, accurate and true statement of fact from the Senator and actually nice to read rather than the usual ballyhoo of self-proclaimed pundits and assorted anti-harperites who endlessly dig through reams of data and pull out nothing of interest or in any way contradicts the point being made – way to go Senator keep up the good work – this will definitely not last long on the front page as it were no doubt about that!

    • There is nothing of interest to pull out from the conservatives … c'mon … instead of arguments … they just get a gun a shoot blindly to anyone in their way … can't contradict the right … it's bad for god …

    • hosertohoosier's point . . . . just proven

      Thank you

  12. Typical of the left: If you don't like the message, attack the messenger. Good work, Linda.

      • It's not so much a lie [ after all this hasn't been tested in court yet] But it is a blatent and deliberate attempt to only tell one side of the story – therefore garbage, unless it carries the disclaimer IMHO!

    • That is rich.
      I can not believe you just accused the "left" of attacking the messenger.
      It's an actual tactic in the Conservative handbook, a real written out, here's your talking points on how to attack the "liberal" media messenger.
      I have never seen a pot calling a kettle black, quite like this statement. It's amusing, it's so ridiculous.

  13. To…..- Rémy-Marc Beauregard – ConEd – NoNameCS – PeteTong – Michael

    Can any of you explain why managers of Rights and Democracy, the publicly funded organization would fund Al Haq, under the direction of Shawan Jabarin, with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a banned terrorist organization in Canada?

    Can any of you explain why you would oppose accountabiliity of who is worthy to receive our hard earned tax dollars?

    Rochelle Michaels
    Toronto, Canada

    * * *

    FYI ……

    “At this writing, Canada has designated 34 foreign terrorist organizations. The assets of the groups have been frozen, and belonging to a banned terrorist group, raising money for it or supporting its activities is a crime that could bring up to 10 years in prison. Most recently, in November 2003, Canada added to the list the Palestine Liberation Front, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command”

    • " . . . .the publicly funded organization would fund Al Haq, under the direction of Shawan Jabarin, with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine . . . "

      Have you actually read the Israeli High Court judgement where they denied him permission to leave Palestine to accept a Human Rights award in the Netherlands? He was not allowed to see and therefore refute the evidence provided by the Security agency. Seems we had some similar experiences here in Canada, cf. Arar, Maher; Abdalrazik, Abousfian.
      The same security agency who thought nothing of using fake Canadian passports in their effort to try assassinate an enemy.

      Personally I would take the assertion of ties to the the PFLP organization wth a grain of salt.

      • Those who condemn Al Haq because of its links to the PFLP tend to laud the Conservative government for its hardline against such groups. They also have a habit of failing to note that in January, 2008, the Harper government in the form of then-Foreign Minister Maxime Bernire gave $300-million to the Palestinian ministry of foreign affairs, which is run by a former senior member of the same PFLP. That my be why R&D thought it OK to give Al Haq a mere $10,000. I suggest we stop the hypocrisy, like, NOW.

  14. The problem with what you just said is that this Al Haq received funding from CIDA previously … and was ok'd by the conservative party …

    Now that a few partisant groups are in the mix … these guys are now terrorists ..

    Also – did you know that the 10K was used to assess what kind of human rights violations the Israelis did when the invaded palestine and killed innocent people …

    FYI – guns and tanks against rocks and children should really be of great concern … when the only thing left is blowing yourself up … you know it's an uneven battle … Let's keep those illegal settlements coming … this is great for calming everyone down …

    • Well, Remy-Marc, I think you just revealed to us all, via your post, how squarely partisan you are when it comes to the situation in the middle east. You apparently think it's Good Guys in White Hats (Palestinians) vs. Bad Guys in Black Hats (Israelis). Some of us actually have a more nuanced view of things. Just sayin'.

      • That's fine … Point taken …

        I don't think that the people – living their lives in the streets of Isreal or Palestine – are the ones responsible for this mess.

        Politics plays more in this than what us regular folks think … the nuance that you are talking about was the main ideological view of the late president of R&D, Remy Beauregard.

        Extremists suck everywhere … it's just worse when some have a lot of cash and a lot of influence and some don't … and please … don't suggest that Palestinians have much cash or influence … they seem to only have rocks and body bombs …

        What gets my knickers in a twist is that the gvt with the help of the newly appointed board members are crapping on a dead man's careers and insinuating that he did knowingly give money to terrorists …

        Parliamentary hearings and presently being shut down by the gvt because the truth might come out…

        This reeks from one end to the other …

  15. Senator Frum – sister of David Frum, the neo-conservative former G W Bush speechwriter – says:
    "the board's interest was deemed “harassment” and requests for “sensitive” information were rejected or stonewalled."
    Does that include the requests to know the religious affiliations of employees Ms Frum?
    Wouldnt that result in legal action against the employer in any other situation?
    Also, what makes it not OK for the managers to pursue their prefered causes, but OK for the appointed Neo-cons to pursue theirs?
    Do the majority of Canadians subscribe to Neo-con opinions?
    If R&D is funded by our taxes shouldnt the grants reflect the majority of Canadian opinions?

  16. This piece by Senator Frum is really problematic for me.

    She says in the first paragraph: "Lovely fantasy isn't it? Spending other people's money to cure the troubles of the world, as you identify them, exactly the way you deem best? Well, for the senior managers of Rights and Democracy, Canada's publicly funded human rights organization, this was no fantasy. It was a blissful reality."

    The honourable Senator seems to conveniently forget that from its very beginning under PM Brian Mulroney, R&D has had a Board and a President named by the government of the day. And that the Board has had to present an corporate plan with the strategic directions of the corporation for the government's approval every single year. Including the years PM Harper was in power.

    I hope someone will take the time to take apart the rest of this very strange op ed, because it should not be left to stand without challenge.

  17. As I was reading Linda Frum's article, I thought, she is gunning for a Senate seat next to Mike Duffy. When I finished the article, I saw she had already accomplished that feat!

    LOL at her comment “…otherwise brilliant analyst Paul Wells.” Ouch.

  18. Let's say I told you that you could spend the money entirely as you saw fit. No questions asked. Odds are you would have little difficulty identifying your favourite causes in the most deserving regions of the world. Lovely fantasy isn't it? Spending other people's money to cure the troubles of the world, as you identify them, exactly the way you deem best?

    "But enough about me and my recent appointment to the Senate…"

    Didn't we put Linda Frum there so we wouldn't have to pay attention to her anymore?

  19. Well, there goes a chunk of my life I'll never get back.

    Why would anyone write an op-ed in Macleans filled with assertions and arguments that have already been refuted, in full, in Macleans? I don't even think she's laid out Wells' position on the subject accurately, which is perhaps the funniest bit of all. This whole article seems to be an attempt by the Senator to disprove a position I'm not sure Wells even holds, by re-stating a bunch of arguments that Wells has already refuted. I suppose Senator Frum has saved PW the bother of having to refute her assertions by only making assertions he's already refuted, so I guess that was nice at least.

    I'll still never get back the time it took me to read through this though.

  20. Rights and Democracy?? What about my rights as a taxpayer and voter to sensure that my tax dollars aren't given to terrorists, or spent on the pet projects of bureaucrats??

    This organization should be dis-banded and a new, uncorrupted one created.

  21. How is it that DFAIT's most recent audit of R&D contained not even a whiff of a concern about the "rogue management" that Sen. Frum seems to think is at the heart of the problem? Not only is she attacking the staff of R&D, she is implying that the former governors were negligent in their duties to ensure "due diligence". If memory serves, Aurel Braun's predecessor as Chair was Janice Stein, Director of the prestigious Munk Centre for International Studies at the U of T. Maybe Janice Stein and her then colleagues on the Board are to blame? Why wasn't she able to see the dastardly deeds of the R&D management that Mr Braun manged to unearth? Or maybe it's those #@*##@ DFAIT bureaucrats who have been providing the bulk of funding for all these years?

    No, Senator Frum. When things go as badly as they have at R&D – whatever the reasons – there is only one group who shoulders the responsibiity – the current Board of governors who, after all, have ultimate responsibility for stewarding the affairs of the organization. In that, they have failed spectacularly. They should all resign.

  22. "Linda Frum is a Conservative member of the Canadian Senate."

    • . . . which, on this board, is an offence punishable by stoning.

      • No, just an indicator of possible bias in the reporting. Just as an article written by a sitting opposition MP must also be viewed with a bias filter.

        Mind you, this written pronouncement IS kind of weird. Because, as I recall, Senators have rarely opined on current political events on which they have not been asked to pass judgement by Parliament. Does Senator Frum possess insight or insider information on this case?

      • the views of the Conservatives on human rights is not really in line with R&D … they are the opposite of what this organization stands for … they should of put their pants on and just put the key in the door instead of trying to do a whole bunch of devilish schemes ….

  23. Shut R&D down, it serves no useful purpose. No discernible benefit has ever come of this waste of tax payer money beyond the self-aggrandizement of those R&D employs.

  24. As usual there is an underlying issue that needs exploring, specifically taxpayer funding of organizations outside government. Rights and Democracy is just one of many. Let those who want to support the goals of Rights and Democracy support the organization. The same applies to ALL organizations funded by government. Fund the poor, and only the poor with taxpayer money. It is close to obscene to have the poor and the near poor, in fact any taxpayer, forced to pay through taxes for any organization which is not part of government.

  25. I totally agree with Blazincatfur.

    I wasn't aware that R&D existed before the "scandals" erupted… and now that I am, I wonder why we fund these idiots (idiots being the people on both sides of the table that can't get along).

    We have a deficit in Canada in case no-one noticed. We don't have money to fund useless UN commissions or trouble-makes in Israel/Palestine.

    Please think about CANADA for once!

    • This sort of thing is the inevitable outcome when the federal government funds what is effectively an NGO with public money. Kill the damned thing and let the CPC troughers of both persuasions find real jobs. Giving aid and comfort to the Arabs in the ME imbroglio is not the business of the Canadian government.

  26. I was sadly disappointed by this lost opportunity. Apparently Linda Frum is a good person who should be treated well, but really Paul…

    Let's say you have never been elected to squat. Then let's say I gave you $11 million of Canadian taxpayer money, some for your own pocket but also to run a Senate office (given her age, Linda Frum's potential salary, benefits and office expenses are not exactly $11 mil, but close enough) and told you I wanted you to use the money to repair the ills of causes as you perceived them. Let's say I told you that you could pick your chosen causes entirely as you saw fit. No questions asked. Odds are you would have little difficulty identifying your favourite causes. Lovely fantasy isn't it? Spending other people's money to educate Canadians about issues, as you identify them, exactly the way you deem best? Well, for the Senator Frum in Canada's publicly funded Senate this is no fantasy. It is a blissful reality. That is, until a group of pesky posters, burdened by such concepts as honesty and logic, came along to spoil the party.

    Linda Frum knows enough about the Conservative Middle East policy and is far enough removed from the PMO that she could have given real insight of the policy-based justification for dramatic shifts at R&D. She chose not to and to instead put forward a mix of partial truths, truthy lies and nonsense.

    Senator Frum is already a distinguished Canadian from a distinguished family. Her start as a Senator is much less impressive.

  27. Shouldn't Ezra Levant be showing up about now with documents from R&D inexplicably obtained?

  28. Looks like the good people of R and D have spent their day (and our money) commenting on Macleans msg boards.

  29. All roads on this blog, lead to a HARPER SCANDAL.

    All roads.

    Evidently Ms. Frum doesn't realize that.

    Interesting watching the shrieking of the commenters here, who come for their regular anti Harper pablum, denied their sweet, sweet partisan candy.

  30. I completely agree, but I would point out two things:

    1. I'd be wary about making any kind of judgment about if this better or worse than things were in the past. Counting on whatever media you have access to in your local area to provide you with what you need to know is hardly ideal either.

    2. I heard awhile ago that what is actually happening on the internet is that the biggest media players end up gaining as they have strong brands which help them to stand out from the crowd. It isn't just the left and the right going fewer places for news, its everyone in general.

  31. Okay, suppose all of what Frum says is true. Why then, when discussing this issue, did she choose to ignore the burglary in the Rights and Democracy office on the night of January 23? The chance that it was instigated by a non-player in this drama is outside the bounds of coincidence. So, how is it not relevant? Does this event need to just be covered up?

  32. If what you wrote is the way you wanted the money you gave treated, Senator Frum, then why the issue (Let's say I gave you $11 million of Canadian taxpayer money and told you I wanted you to use the money to repair the ills of the world as you perceived them. Let's say I told you that you could spend the money entirely as you saw fit. No questions asked.).

    If I choose to spend the money on a Palestinian rights organization or on anything else what's the problem, after all, the money was given for me to use with no strings attached, right? I mean if there were strings attached then you wouldn't have said I could spend it entirely as I saw fit and with no questions asked, right!

    You can't have it both ways. You can't give the money with no strings and then start pulling the strings! Typical Conservative message. Say one thing but then ideologically act totally the other way! Same as Conservatives would NEVER have a deficit! Same as Conservatives would not touch income trusts! Same as Conservatives saying they would ne transparent or that they would obey the rule of Parliament or govern differently! Seems those words don't mean anything either!!!

    What has gone wrong at R and D is that they were lied to and mislead to think that the money given to them had no strings attached. Your article suggests R and D did something wrong but actually they acted exactly as anyone would when they have their chains pulled by a dishonest government!

    • Upon recommendation by the Jewish Canadian Congress, the Harper government bestowed upon Sen. Linda Frum a salary of C$130,400 per year of Canadian taxpayer money for the rest of her life and told her to use the money to push whatever agenda she may prefer. No questions asked.

      First thing she does is to begrudge a measly $10,000 grant to a Palestinian human rights group who've been denouncing Israeli aggression for 30 years… and another grant of $144,000 to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Does she feel that her yearly grab of taxpayers money is better spent?

      Not surprisingly, she's following the footsteps of her American/Canadian neocon brother David. He was a mouthpiece for the "axis of evil" administration of GWBush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and still carries on that role, as his sister seems intent on doing, for the rightwing Israeli Likud party…

      Paul Wells tells us Sen. Frum is a friend of Maclean's magazine. Does that mean we're to be fed even more anti-Islamism than what we already get from Barbara Amiel, Mark Steyn, et. al… from someone who's salary is paid for by Canadian taxpayers?

  33. It was interesting to learn of the origins of the Human Rights Organisation way back in PM Mulroney''s administration. What need did the creation of this contentious organisation fill then? What need does it fill today? Could the anwer to both questions be: no need beyond the desirability as seen by Canada's Ottawa elite of demonstrating to a bleeding heart world its politically correct credentials?

  34. …"Paul Wells tells us Sen. Linda Frum is a friend of Maclean's magazine. Does that mean we're to be fed even more anti-Islamism than what we already get ad-nauseam from Barbara Amiel, Mark Steyn, et al?"…

    …which reminds us of Mark Steyn's constant harping about "Eurabia". Before its creation, what is now Israel was a part of Palestine and when immigration pressure of European and American zionist jews started in earnest, arabs there were concerned about the threat of their country becoming "Palestein"…

  35. Dear me, Ms Frum. Where did you dig up this nonsense? It sounds like you've done no homework and are simply spitting out the utter nonsense coming from Braun and company. And, what has given you any insight about the internal chaos now existing at R&D due to the political agenda of the most recently appointed Board members? Really, blaming this fiaso on the dedicated, honest and hard working staff and management who had demonstrated integrity, loyalty and commitment to the R&D mandate and vision is a lowly act not worthy of a Senator. They and the past Boards worked marvelously together until this last batch of appointed members began their destructive vendetta. Do I understand that you can still resign this new position before you make too many more blunders while being paid by us tax payers?

  36. What the hell is wrong with this government. Close this stupid thing down!

  37. A concise and accurate summary of some of the events that have occurred over the past while. No doubt it will be torn apart by those who disagree, but I am not one of them. To those who are focused on the truth of what went on at R and D, this is as good a synopsis as one is likely to find.

  38. This article conveniently leaves out a very imporaant fact. One of the three groups who had their funding from Rights and Democracy cut by the new board was B'Tselem, a very respected ISRAELI human rights group working in Jerusalem. B'Tselem's reports generally agree with the two Palestinian groups who are working within the occuped territories. It is clear that the common denominator for the funding cuts was criticism of Israeli state policy in the occupied territories, no matter who does this criticism.

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