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antifeminism MRA

Could the Canadian Association for Equality lose its charity status because of dubious claims in its application?

This sign, also a bit misleading.
This sign, also a bit misleading.

The last time we checked in with Canadian MRA group CAFE (Canadian Association for Equality), the group’s planned “Equality Day” music fest had just imploded after participants and sponsors of the event found out about the group’s Men’s Rights agenda and fled, saying they’d been misled about the group’s aims.

Now it turns out that the group’s application for charitable status may have also contained some, well, let’s just call it misleading information. In March, CAFE was granted charitable status, which came as a bit of a shock to a lot of people, myself included, given the group’s seemingly symbiotic relationship with the distinctly uncharitable Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men.

But will they be able to retain this charitable status? The alternative weekly Now Toronto is reporting that the group’s application for charitable status contains some pretty dubious claims. In its application, CAFE listed several feminist groups and a federal agency

as potential participants in its “regular panel discussion series” on women’s and men’s issues. … There’s just one problem: none of the groups listed has ever been involved with CAFE.

Needless to say, none of these organizations were happy to find out that CAFE had used their name without permission:

The executive directors of Egale and LEAF said they had no knowledge of ever being approached by the organization, and said they would not work with CAFE if they were asked. Before NOW contacted them, neither organization had any knowledge that CAFE had listed them on its application.
A spokesperson for Status of Women Canada, the federal agency, told NOW in an email that none of its representatives had ever been involved in a CAFE event.
And they weren’t the only ones surprised to learn that they’d made unwitting cameo appearances in the group’s application.
The group also claimed it was planning to work with university scholars from women’s studies departments, and specifically named Professor Sarita Srivastava, an associate sociology professor at Queen’s who studies anti-racist challenges to Canadian feminist groups. On its application CAFE said it was “currently” setting up a panel discussion to include Srivastava.

Reached by email, Srivastava told NOW that she was “stunned” to learn her name was on the form … .

Now Toronto details other bits of weirdness about the application; check out its reporting here.
CAFE tried its best to spin its way out of its last PR catastrophe — the collapse of the E-Day concert. Can they spin their way out of this one?
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Simon Bashir
Simon Bashir
7 years ago

Yo, don’t neglect the fact that Justin Trottier is the former National Executive Director of CFI Canada, an atheist/skeptic org that I encourage people to avoid, as well as one of the founders of the old Freethought Association of Canada, and his uncle is both a former board member for CFI and a major donor to McGill University.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Ha, I saw this on r/amr and meant to send it to you.

damselindetech
7 years ago

I for one am shocked SHOCKED that they faked information on their forms to get charitable status. It’s all just so shocking. Shocked…. *sips Orange Crush*

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

They really have to stop lying about people being associated with them.

davidgerard
7 years ago

In most first-world countries, losing charitable status once you have it is really pretty hard, unless you’re actually financially incontinent or just fail to file the paperwork or whatever. It’d be nice if this had an effect, but I’m afraid I’d be surprised.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
7 years ago

Great news! I know a little bit about LEAF and it’s mind-boggling CAFE would drag a high-profile legal advocacy group into their web of lies. LEAF has acted as intervenors in historic Supreme Court of Canada cases.

I look forward to the day one of these men’s rights groups gets their asses sued and loses big-time. AVFM keeps courting disaster in that regard.

Ally S
7 years ago

I’m not surprised. CAFE is an evil organization that aims to make life even more hellish for abuse victims, particularly abused women. It only makes sense for CAFE to have literally zero integrity.

Luzbelitx
7 years ago

That Now Toronto article is totally worth reading.

It also contains a link to a previous article about “Equality Day” titled “Men’s rights whitewash”: http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=198263

First sentence of the article:

If you’re trying to convince the public that your organization is not a sanitized front for a toxic misogynist movement, you should probably avoid lying when a reporter calls to ask questions about it.

Final sentence of the article:

We can only hope CAFE was more truthful on their status application than they were with us.

Foresight is MISANDRY!!

mariangela
mariangela
7 years ago

Truly, the depth of CAFE’s opportunism and immorality in stealing the reputations of feminist groups they pretend to despise has shocked me.

brooked
brooked
7 years ago

@davidgerard

In most first-world countries, losing charitable status once you have it is really pretty hard, unless you’re actually financially incontinent or just fail to file the paperwork or whatever. It’d be nice if this had an effect, but I’m afraid I’d be surprised.

Are you in the US? I am, and the people I know who run small non-for profits, and I don’t know anyone who runs a big one, have told me that getting tax exempt status is a pain in the ass ordeal that can take years, and the IRS reviews and/or revokes tax exempt status all the time. It came up recently because the lefties I know were amused by the fury over tea party groups allegedly getting targeted by the IRS, since they also have been put through the ringer by the IRS for years themselves. Not wanting paying taxes is a big deal to the government, unless you’re a huge corporation or a big political donor, then often your accountant and/or the government can work something out.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
7 years ago

The MRAs really have this weird belief that nobody can ever see through their crap. Which is odd, because they’ve got to be the least convincing bunch of liars anywhere.

Xanthë
7 years ago

cloudiah,

Ha, I saw this on r/amr and meant to send it to you.

No worries, I noticed Jason Thibeault retweeting one of the New Toronto reporters’ link to the article, and forwarded it on to where it would be useful ;-). I was interested to see further involvement by Justin Trottier behind the scene – he and some of his near relatives (or at least, two other persons with the same surname!) having played their part in setting CAfE up as a corporation (the article has a copy of the Scribd document of the charity application, which includes attachments such as the articles of incorporation, the body’s constitution, and so on). Nice bit of paper-chasing by the New Toronto people.

Nitram
Nitram
7 years ago

Mariangela,
“Truly, the depth of CAFE’s opportunism and immorality in stealing the reputations of feminist groups they pretend to despise has shocked me.”

Omg, I just had an aha! Moment. (Not the band) They are piggy backing on the established reputation of feminists!

How telling. Disgengenuous as fuck, but very telling.

Yeah, if you find yourself dishonestly hiding behind an organization you think is hate, just so you can use their cred to get you an in, you may have just a teensy problem with the integrity of your movement. Seriously, that’s embarrassing.

seranvali
7 years ago

This is so stupid it’s hillarious! Do they really think that they can just say that Such and Such supports them, when Such and Such:

1. Has the ability to google their names and ‘agency’ and figure out who they are and
2. Either knows or will find out that their own position on the issues is diametrically opposed CARE’s.

This is a nasty case of fraud and, frankly seems libelous to me.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
7 years ago

David, you should link into a certain someone’s use of a charity called the “Canadian Maltese Charitable Service Trust” to raise funds for men’s rights events too:

https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/stop-domestic-violence-everywhere

samantha
samantha
7 years ago

How stupid do you have to be to actually put the names of people, without their knowledge and permission, on your application for something like this?????

And I thought they were idiots before. Here is hoping that they get all that they so richly deserve, beginning with our laughter and scorn.

Chris Wilson
7 years ago

Being Canadian, I wrote a letter to my MLA about CAFE and it’s dubious claim to being a charity when I heard about it. I hope it helped.

damselindetech
7 years ago

Not too much MRA action in the article comments, yet. So far a couple of dudes saying “Lies! I don’t have to prove their lies because I said it first! No touch-backs times infinity!” and “Feminists are violent box-cutter weilding conference interrupters”. Plus Karen has decided to stretch plausibility to the point of snapping:

***I have no idea how blockquotes work so I’m not gonna***
karen straughan Aporia27 • 20 minutes ago

That’s because there isn’t a concrete claim in this article.

“it listed the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), Egale Canada, and Status of Women Canada as potential participants in its “regular panel discussion series” on women’s and men’s issues. The CRA granted CAFE charitable status in March, 2014.

“There’s just one problem: none of the groups listed has ever been involved with CAFE.”

There’s a word in there that I don’t think means what you think it means–“potential”. SOW, LEAF and Egale are all gender based non-profits. CAFE is a gender based non-profit. It makes sense that if CAFE were to host panel discussions on gender issues, they’d invite people who speak for the opposing viewpoint. Unless, of course, CAFE was only interested in fostering an echo chamber, in which no opposing viewpoints would be welcome.

But that would be taking a leaf from… well, LEAF.

CAFE has plans to host multiple viewpoints. Therefore listing potential organizations with opposing viewpoints that might be invited to participate in discussions, panels and debates is NOT the same thing as saying “these people agree with us”, which is what this article and those interviewed seem to think it means.

If I were a fledgling political party looking for political party status, and I listed the Greens, PCs, NDP and Libs as “potential participants” in regular panel discussions, would you have the same problem? Would you somehow think that I was implying an affiliation or association between my party and the ones I listed as potential discussion participants? No? How shocking.

As for Srivastava, she declined an opportunity to speak with/debate CAFE because she’d be out of town, not because she was loath to work or talk with them–she even admitted it, to her credit.

I’m not going to make the claim Mike Hunt did–that the article is full of lies. Because it isn’t. But the article is full of insinuations that CAFE lied, when it didn’t. Nothing CAFE said about LEAF, Egale or SOW was false. Nothing they said about Srivastava was, according to her, false. CAFE did not make any claim that they were affiliated with any women’s organization–they only claimed that specific women’s organizations would be worthy debate or discussion partners.

This entire article is a 101 in spin. Study well, a**holes, because there’s lots to learn here about sticking to the truth while promoting a falsehood.
***I have no idea how blockquotes work so I’m not gonna***

I’m gonna revamp my resume and state that I may potentially be partnering with Bill Gates on creating a new Microsoft-lite company. Because, heck, so long as both of us are alive it’s all plausible, right?

bluecatbabe
bluecatbabe
7 years ago

Who was it said “Your consent is not required” about using the police and feminist organisations’ logos on their nasty posters? They seem to be taking a leaf out if his book.

bluecatbabe
bluecatbabe
7 years ago

*of*, even.

strivingally
7 years ago

Awesome. I’mma put Warren Buffett down on my loan application as a “potential” guarantor. He might say yes if I ever actually ask him, right?

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
7 years ago

Further to cloudiah’s link:

I have 25 of my personal cases before the courts. In addition to that, I have worked on hundreds of other people’s cases where it is patently clear that men and boys are subject to tyranny.

http://motorcitymuckraker.com/blog/2014/06/12/odd-twist-controversial-mens-rights-conference-in-detroit-moves-to-suburban-vfw/#comment-1432469163

Is he independently wealthy or…?

brooked
brooked
7 years ago

CAFE has plans to host multiple viewpoints.

Sure they do.

tesformes
7 years ago

Damsel, there is nothing in the application about “potential” participation in anything. CAFE’s statement says that they host regular panel discussions “to feature representatives from a variety of different groups and perspectives,” and goes on to list all of the organizations. No mention of the fact that they hadn’t and would never agree to appear at a CAFE event. They do the exact same thing with Professor Srivastava, clearly implying that she had agreed to participate, when she had not agreed to anything.

Why can’t you acknowledge the plain facts in front of your face? CAFE tried to lie to improve their chances of being granted charity status, and were caught. They tried to claim association with social justice organizations in order to disguise themselves as one, and they failed.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
7 years ago

@tesformes

In damselindetech’s comment, the stuff between the lines marked with asterisks is a quote from Karen Straughan.

tesformes
7 years ago

Sorry damselindetech, I was talking to Karen!

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
7 years ago

@ tesformes – I think damselindetech was quoting Karen Straughn.

Straughn’s argument is bizarre. She can’t resist taking swipe at a feminist organisation, even if it overturns her argument. “Potentially, CAFE could have a dialogue with LEAF. Potentially. Even though LEAF is a total echo chamber and thus unwilling to enter a dialogue with CAFE. So I guess that if what I just said was correct, then it is not true that CAFE could potentially have a dialogue with LEAF. Um. Anyway, the article isn’t full of lies, but it is full of things that aren’t true. Also it’s spin.”

tinyorc
7 years ago

Straughn’s argument is doubly bizarre because while the article itself uses the word “potential”, it doesn’t appear in the application form at all, which reads:

The Canadian Association for Equality hosts a regular panel discussion series on women’s issues, men’s issues, equality and diversity, to feature representatives from a variety of different groups and perspectives, including Egale Canada ( aleading gay and lesbian organization), Status of Women Canada, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and scholars from University women’s studies departments. The Canadian Association for Equality is currently setting up a panel discussion on equality and diversity to include Professor Sarita Srivastava, Associate Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University and an authority on the sociology of gender and race.

Nothing “potential” sounding about any of that.

xodima
7 years ago

I feel like there’s this game being played; It’s called “Good MRA, bad MRA”. The only problem is that they forgot who was supposed to play the good MRA.

strivingally
7 years ago

@xodima:
Is that the same game Paul Elam and Dean Esmay play?

naira8
7 years ago

@damselindetech:

I rolled my eyes so hard at Straughan’s argument that I think I sprained something. But thank you for providing it. What dreck.

It certainly isn’t looking good for CAFE’s charitable status. What’ll be interesting to see, going forward, is how much legal trouble this causes and how it’ll be spun into “oppression” of men and boys.

Isabelle
Isabelle
7 years ago

What is also concerning is that the charitable status could be used to apply for grants to fund their activities. One of the criteria for eligibility for many donor organizations is to have charitable status. It really opens to a world of possibility, for example, https://www.google.ca/intl/en/grants/index.html .

From what I could find, they even lie about the qualifications of the people on their advisory committee. Jacklyn Orsetto is listed as Dr., from her profile, she only has an MA. I am just wondering what other crap they are misrepresenting. Disgusting…

Luzbelitx
7 years ago

The only problem is that they forgot who was supposed to play the good MRA.

Either that, or they really suck at playing “Good MRA”.

No surprise from a group which constantly confuses feminism with its complete opposite…

cloudiah
7 years ago

The funny thing is, all they would have had to do to make their application true is to have organized (or started to organize) “a regular panel discussion series on women’s issues, men’s issues, equality and diversity, to feature representatives from a variety of different groups and perspectives.” It’s been quite some time since they filed this application, and they haven’t done that.

So “lies” does seem to be the proper characterization of the application, actually.

seraph4377
7 years ago

damselindetech – Blockquotes are done by doing this: (blockquote)Thing you’re quoting(/blockquote), only you use instead of ( )

seraph4377
7 years ago

Ahem. You use

seraph4377
7 years ago

Fucking hell. <

seraph4377
7 years ago

And >

leftwingfox
7 years ago

I think it’s hilarious that “Mike” is accusing Auntie Alias of being David in the comments over there. Congratulations David, you’ve become the boogymangina. 😉

Also, Attila L. Vinczer…. just… wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone turn a microphone into a shovel that quickly.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
7 years ago

@leftwingfox

Good old Mike Hunt. I hadn’t realized the significance of his user name until another commenter pointed it out. D’oh!

magnesium
magnesium
7 years ago

Here’s a quick reference to how to use blockquote tags
http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_blockquote.asp
The cite attribute is optional.

Basically, this (assuming WordPress reads these characters correctly)
<blockquote>
Some text
</blockquote>

Isabelle
Isabelle
7 years ago

The link provided by Claudiah really seems to point toward using one charitable organization to leverage funding for CAFE. Can we say misdirection and misrepresentation? The link about the “event” : http://torontodv.com/
Sure, Stephan Molyneux is well known for being an activist on the behalf of children victims of domestic violence…
Honestly, it is sad that some of the speakers who seems legitimate associate themselves with the MRA.

Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

I think it’s hilarious that “Mike” is accusing Auntie Alias of being David in the comments over there. Congratulations David, you’ve become the boogymangina. 😉

It’s pretty amazing how much time that we, David Futrelle, spend running our website, and then maintaining the personas of our many many sockpuppets who make up the majority of the commentariat. Keeping their various ages and back stories straight; trying to imbue each with a writing style appropriate to their supposed ages, subcultural affiliations, and locations; it’s pretty exhausting for us, the David Futrelle. Which is why it is so impressive that we are now taking our sockpuppets and using them to comment on other sites! Truly, we are remarkable.

tinyorc
7 years ago

David Futrelle is also all of Jezebel, considering how often manospherians hold him accountable for articles they published several years ago and the opinions of their commentariat.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Congratulations David, you’ve become the boogymangina. 😉

OMG, “boogeymangina” is perfect!

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

How utterly unsurprising.

Who was it said “Your consent is not required” about using the police and feminist organisations’ logos on their nasty posters? They seem to be taking a leaf out if his book.

That would be Elam, I believe.

Wetherby
Wetherby
7 years ago

It was indeed Elam.

And as I mentioned at the time, the racist British National Party were under a similar impression until they got clobbered by a lawsuit by the owner of a trademark that they reproduced without permission, and settled for a six-figure sum out of court.

Possibly not coincidentally, the BNP is now the palest shadow of what it was four or five years ago.

We can always dream.

Shaun Day
Shaun Day
7 years ago

Damselindetech, I’m dying at the feminazi joke. Well played.