University of Quebec in Montreal professor François Audet documents an increase in funding for religious charities.
From March 2005 until 2010, according to Audet’s findings, the funding received by 57 religious non-profits surged to a collective $129 million from $90 million, a 42 per cent increase.
Funding for 141 secular NGOs over the same period increased to $237 million from $226 million, up 5 per cent.
By contrast, from 2001 until March 2005, when the Liberals were in power, funding to secular charities through CIDA increased by 27.1 per cent, while faith-based organizations got a boost of 4.6 per cent.
The study will be published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies in May.
Hard to say if the government is specifically favouring religion or if religious charities are just taking advantage of existing charity laws to scoop up more government cash marked for foreign aid. But numbers don’t lie. If secular charities are shrinking or otherwise not performing, we could have a bigger problem as religions monopolize public goodwill.
Whatever the case, our focus should always be on removing religion as a charitable status. If all they want to do is build wells and sewers, religions can create a separate corporation under the same category as secular charities (i.e. a focus on alleviating poverty rather than the advancement of religion through alleviating poverty as is currently practiced)