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US Interest Groups Attempt to Influence Canadian Election

A report in the Ottawa Citizen this morning claims that gay marriage opponents in the United States are funnelling massive dollars into Canada. It’s illegal for Canadian lobbyists (or any foreign lobbyist, for that matter) to spend money to influence the vote in the US, but it’s not illegal in our country for US lobbyists to spend money to influence our politicians. 

The Citizen’s report is behind their firewall, unfortunately, but according to the paper:

U.S. groups say they will spend whatever it takes to ensure same-sex marriage does not become legal north of the border.

Patrick Korten, vice-president of communications for the Knights of Columbus head office in New Haven, Connecticut, says no limit has been set on the help his organization is prepared to offer. Mr. Korten said the U.S. headquarters of the Catholic men’s group paid $80,782 Cdn to print two million postcards now being distributed in Catholic churches across Canada

Focus on the Family, is also sending support and services worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to its Canadian affiliate. Focus on the Family U.S. has channelled $1.6 million in services to its Canadian affiliate between 2000 and 2003, the latest year for which financial reports are available.

To put that in perspective, Egale, the Canadian gay rights lobby group, has so far raised just $46,000.

This is just plain offensive.  We deserve the breathing room to make up our own minds on this issue.   Please go to http://vote4equality.ca and let your member of parliament know that you support equality.

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