Alternatives under attack from conservative gov't: Pledge your support

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By KAH for APCNews

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 10 December 2009

Save Alternatives!Save Alternatives!Today hundreds of people will march through Montreal in support of APC member Alternatives – a non-profit organisation which has helped thousands of groups in some of the most difficult situations in the world. Alternatives has come under attack from the right-wing Conservative government in Canada and it is rumoured faces savage funding cuts which would threaten its existance. Join the Facebook campaign to Save Alternatives and send your letters of support.

A column in The National Post broke the news in a column that reported “The Conservative government is set to slash millions of dollars in funding to Alternatives, a Montreal-based nongovernmental organization associated with a number of left-leaning causes and which has been critical of Canada’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan. […] The report shows that it received $2.4-million from the Canadian International Development Agency and a further $1.4-million from other federal departments. A CIDA spokeman refused to comment on the cuts but one source said Alternatives’ request for renewal funding will not be approved. “It doesn’t fit with our priorities,” he said.”

“Here in Canada two major opposition parties have raised the question in Parliament and many media both print and electronic have started carrying stories in support,” Alternative’s director Michel Lambert told APC yesterday.

Over 1500 people have joined a Facebook campaign Save Alternatives   in support and on Thursday December 10, hundreds will hold a demonstration in support in Montreal where Alternatives is based.

Alternatives (the Action and Communication Network for International Development) was founded in 1994. They work to promote justice and equality amongst individuals and communities located in the North and the South. Active in over 35 countries including Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Alternatives supports local community-based initiatives working towards the greater economic, social, and political rights of people and communities affected by poverty, discrimination, exploitation, and violence. Alternatives joined APC in 2003 and Michel Lambert is on the APC board.

APC including our fifty member organisations in more than thirty countries and hundreds of other groups around the world are pledging their support for Alternatives.

You can send your letters to:

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, pm@pm.gc.ca
pm@pmo-cpm.gc.ca or harper.s@parl.gc.ca.

The Hon. Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, oda.b@parl.gc.ca.

Margaret Biggs, President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Margaret.Biggs@acdi-cida.gc.ca and info@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Please copy your letters to Alternatives at: alternatives@alternatives.ca

Sample letters are available in English and “French”:http://www.alternatives.ca/IMG/doc/lettre-FR.doc.

(END/2009)

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