Update: This article originally labelled the picture of the person feeding the fire as Chelsea Flook of the Sierra Club. She has written to deny this, apologies for the error. Flook did, however, promote the event. Flook has also mentioned that she has left the Sierra Club as of September 30th, 2013- they really need to fix their process of updating their website. Regardless of this error, Flook has no place as a role model to Canadian youth- it’s an insult to us all that she was.
Unless you’re employed under the sphere of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD, formerly called CIDA), it’s unlikely your’re aware that this is the first day of International Development Week– a promotional activity the ministry describes as “an opportunity to explore how Canada and Canadians are making a difference around the world!”. This year’s theme is “We are making a difference”; the goal is to showcase international development projects “that made a difference in a developing country or that changed someone’s life for the better”.
For most Canadians, government sanctioned weeks of celebration are a big yawn- or, perhaps an opportunity to get some free swag at a ministry sponsored kiosk. But if you work at an NGO you may see things differently; events like International Development Week offer a opportunity to earn some cold hard cash. In this case, it appears the gravy train flows towards seven regional NGOs.
So, how have the DFATD’s beneficiaries used their grant money to celebrate? The answer may both surprise and disgust you…
The Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC) jumped the gun on ID Week, holding their first activity in Edmonton yesterday afternoon- a gala event for the launch of their Top 30 Under 30 magazine. A number of local dignitaries attended including Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan, Edmonton-Southwest MLA Matt Jeneroux, and Alberta Minister of Culture Heather Klimchuk.
Here’s how the ACGC describes the new publication:
“The Top 30 Under 30 Magazine aims to raise the profile of extraordinary young Albertans from diverse backgrounds working to advance recognition of basic rights and freedoms, and improve lives in communities in Alberta and the Global South.”
Funding for the ACGC’s Top 30 Under 30 comes almost entirely from DFATD (formerly known as CIDA) grants:
This is interesting. You see, the ministry’s goal in funding ID Day events is to promote “International development projects”. The ACGC (and their Top 30 publication) has a slightly wider scope, focussing on both international projects and “communities in Alberta”. It’s unknown if the ministry has approved their funds for this use.
On the subject of communities in Alberta, one of this year’s winners of the ACGC’s Top 30 Under 30 awards was none other than the Sierra Club’s Chelsea Flook- a professional protester who focusses on domestic issues. According to NDP Member of Parliament Linda Duncan, Flook was awarded “for forging environmental justice and First Nations rights alliances”.
But, as readers of this site will know, there’s a lot more to Chelsea Flook than meets the eyes. When she’s not posing for photo ops and being presented by the ACGC as a role-model for Alberta’s youth, Flook plays the role of a hardcore “f##k the police” black bloc anarchist.
The picture above was taken at an anti-police rally in Toronto on December that was promoted by Flook. The highlight of that night’s rally came when a group of anarchists set an effigy of a pig on fire in the middle of Queen Street- some feeding the fire with crumpled up pieces of newspaper she brought specially for the occasion.
This wasn’t an isolated incident, searching through Flook’s social media presence it quickly becomes apparent that she’s the worst role model ever. What was the ACGC thinking when they gave her their award? One doesn’t have to search very hard to realize there’s a dark side to her. Perhaps they don’t care, or is there more to the story?
The DFATD’s problem appears to go deeper than just the ACGC. It only took a few minutes searching for Your Humble Narrator to find similar issues at two of their sister NGOs.
In 2013 the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) held a poetry jam as part of their ID Day celebrations. One of the jams was led by Susanna Deranger, mother of Eriel and Ryan Deranger (both have the same tattoo as Flook). Here’s her jam:
As you can see, Deranger’s jam was highly political: “free, free, Palestine”. It also has absolutely nothing to do with International development- quite the opposite, she’s working to shut-down the oilsands and the pipelines Canada plans to use to develop trade with. Despite all this, the video ends with a seal of approval that it was ministry funded. Is this not a misuse of government funds?
Next we move onto the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC) who cover the maritime provinces on behalf of the DFATD. Unlike their Alberta counterpart, the ACIC’s mission statement claims that they’re focussed on international development projects, they’re also almost entirely funded by the DAFTD:
Knowing this, it may come as a surprise (or, not) that the ACIC is using their government funded website to promote a domestically focussed event. This time led by the Media Co-Op, a publication known for promoting violence, manipulating indigenous communities, and publishing outright lies. Once again, a DFATD funded NGO is promoting the worst role models ever.
All this is paid for with your hard earned tax dollars!
We’ll leave you today with the video of the ACGC’s “Top 30” role model for Alberta’s youth setting fire to an effigy of a pig while her friends chant “cops, pigs, murderers!” and “f/##k the police”: