Government to Gays: Go Fund Yourself!
Goodness knows why, but anti-gay lobbyists and the new conservative government are now trying their hardest to scrap The Court Challenge program. The program, run by the oft-attacked Heritage department, was set up to help fund groups that wish to challenge potentially unconstitutional laws. It has been awarded in the past to several minority representation groups, such as EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere), aboriginal groups, groups for persons with disabilities, and LEAF (The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund).
Gwen Landolt, representative for the anti-gay group REAL Women of Canada was practically foaming at the mouth that anyone would dare challenge the fairness of a law:
[The Court Challenge program] is a boondoggle for special-interest groups with a certain ideological perspective. Only one side of the argument gets the money.
Uh, no, Gwen. Any group can get the money, but it has to be used to challenge unconstitutional laws. You know, the kind that you’re always pushing for? Why, even you’d be able to use it, if there were a law against hysterical right-wing social conservative groups using the word “boondoggle.” Which there isn’t.
Gwen, along with (anti) Justice Minister Extraordinare, Vic Toews, also said the program should be reviewed because it’s shrouded in secrecy (ooooo). In reality, the details of how much funding is allocated to which group is not disclosed because of a law protecting solicitor-client confidentiality.
Thankfully, the Canadian Bar Association (who actually studies law for a living) defended the program, saying it plays “a vital role in increasing access to justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups.” Good stuff.