March 17, 2018
Attention: Ms. Pat Maloney, Ottawa
Thank you for drawing to our attention questions posted online by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) concerning our charity and Canada Summer Jobs grants (CSJ).
Let me answer each and every question from ARCC pertaining to our charity.
- What does our organization do?
We are a faith-based charity providing help and resources for women experiencing unintended pregnancies, post abortion grief, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Over 27 years, we have helped 17,000 women. Our services are offered free of charge – a gift from the Lower Mainland wider church community.
Our primary outreaches:
- Burnaby Safe House – residence for abused women
- Crisis Pregnancy Centre – Vancouver and Burnaby
- Post Abortion Community Services – 1:1, groups, retreats
- Rape Victims Support Network – multi-agency consortium
- Did our charity not report Canada Summer Jobs grants as income to CRA?
Please know we comply with all regulatory and filing requirements. We have a robust protocol regarding finances. Our on-site staff administrator is so designated. In addition, we contract ‘outside’ with a professional bookkeeper. And furthermore, at fiscal year-end we contract our financial statements and filings via a professional accounting firm.
I know that our administrator and bookkeeper do inform the accounting firm of any CSJ grants, as I am cc’d in this regard. Perhaps the accounting firm has made a line error? Please know I will investigate this matter asap with the accounting firm. And if they have in fact made a filing error, we will have this detail rectified.
- Is the CSJ program being abused?
No. And there’s some irony here. First, we do not need an annual CSJ grant. Second, we do not need a summer student. Like many charities, we love to support this program which helps out university students. As you would know, charities do not ‘get’ the funds per se, but are a conduit for the student – they receive the funds. In fact, CSJ grants are only minimum wage, so our particular charity tops up the student’s wage.
- What activities are these funds actually supporting?
I will give three example activities. (With non-identifying details for confidentiality.)
During the CSJ grant time-frame in question by ARCC, our activities included:
(1) Rescuing a woman, here from Southeast Asia, to escape from human trafficking.
(2) Housed for a one year period, a teenage refugee from the Central Africa, gang raped by a militia. Also heartbreaking, her family was slaughtered.
(3) Rescued a pregnant woman planning suicide, as her husband was coercing her to go to an abortion clinic. During her previous pregnancy, he ruthlessly beat her to purposely cause a successful miscarriage.
In this same time-frame raised by ARCC, we helped hundreds of other women: shelter from domestic abuse, pregnancy support services, after abortion care, and sexual assault counselling. Further, we provided aid for low income pregnant women, families, and refugees.
- What is the work experience benefit of these activities?
Work experience pertains to the provision of love/care/services/resources for women in crisis. Our summer students (as well as past practicum students) are usually pursuing degrees in social work, human services, counselling, and nursing.
Patricia, in addition to these five major ARCC questions, you also bring to our attention that this political group asks two additional questions about our CAS charity. We will answer those as well.
No. Our Sexual Integrity material is evidence-based, and complies with sex education learning outcomes of the BC Health and Career Education curriculum. In our presentations, special emphasis is placed on helping teenagers see the value of developing meaningful, healthy relationships.
We do not differentiate between heterosexual and same-sex relationships.
Topics: media influences, STIs, consensual sex, pornography, date rape, peer pressure, and more.
By invitation, we also provide trainings/presentations outside of Canada – affirming the worth and value of women, for children with imperfections, on healthy relationships, and consensual sex. Our most recent trainings were in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea, and Zambia.
- ARCC implies online that we may oppose “trans rights” and the LGBTQ community.
Our charity is not political, we are pastoral. Unlike ARCC, we are non-discriminatory. ARCC as you know is quite vocal, mean-spirted, and judgemental towards people of faith, and towards people not necessarily espousing their ideology.
In contrast to what ARCC is surmising, the clients we are entrusted to serve come from all lifestyles, gender identities, and sexual orientation. Coincidentally, two of our most recent sexually abused clients are transgender people.
The following value statement is from our Commitment of Care and Competence:
“Clients are served without regard to race, colour, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, lifestyle or other arbitrary circumstances.”
Patricia, once again, thank you for bringing to our attention the questions/allegations made against our charity by ARCC. This group has the right to oppose (but sadly so) faith-based charities being permitted to hire/help summer students via the CSJ program. But certainly not the right to mischaracterize.
Let me conclude by informing you, that we have repeatedly asked ARCC to contact us if they ever have questions about the work of our charity. But alas, ARCC never does. And we don’t know why.
Brian Norton | Executive Director
Christian Advocacy Society of Greater Vancouver
7879 Edmonds Street Burnaby BC V3N 1B9
T 604 525-0999 | F 604 525-2634