Minister Hussen denies delay in cutting funding to controversial organization

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Minister Hussen defends himself for having delayed in cutting off supplies to a controversial organization

Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen

Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen said he wished he could have acted more quickly to end the federal government's ties with the Community Media Advocacy Center (CMAC) after ;a colleague from the Liberal caucus first raised concerns about the group this summer.

The House of Commons Canadian Heritage Committee is studying the agreement of funding for the organization with the Department of Heritage after it was revealed that its senior consultant had posted a series of posts on Twitter about Jewish white supremacists.

The federal government halted funding for the group, which was overseeing an anti-racism project, after Laith Marouf's publications came to light in August.

Mr. Hussen told the committee on Friday that Liberal MP Anthony Housefather first raised concerns about the organization with him on July 19 or 20, and that his office immediately asked the Department of Heritage to contact him. review project funding details and update them on next steps.

Tory MP Melissa Lantsman told the committee that the decision to end funding came more than a month after Mr Housefather informed Mr Hussen's office of Mr Hussen's despicable anti-Semitism. Marouf.

Mr. Hussen insisted he acted immediately, but the process took time.

Hussen said the funding was approved before he became minister and he was confident proper verification had been done, but he now promises to strengthen the funding process for projects.

Mr Marouf's Twitter account is private, but a screenshot posted online showed a number of tweets with his photo and name.

One message read: you know, all those loud shit-filled voices aka Jewish white supremacists; when we liberate Palestine and they have to go back to where they came from, they will be back to being whispered bitches of their Christian/secular white supremacist masters.

This summer, an attorney acting for Mr. Marouf requested that his client's tweets be quoted verbatim and that the distinction be made between Mr. Marouf's clear reference to ''Jewish white supremacists'& #x27; and Jews or the Jewish people in general.

Mr. Marouf harbors no animosity toward the Jewish faith as a collective group, attorney Stephen Ellis said in an August email to The Canadian Press.

Although not the most astutely worded, the tweets reflect frustration with the reality of Israeli apartheid and a Canadian government who collaborates with him, added Mr. Ellis.

In August, Mr. Hussen withdrew $133,000 in Heritage Department funding from the CMAC, calling the Twitter posts reprehensible and despicable. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he is launching a comprehensive government review of CMAC funding.

But when asked why his office hadn't acted sooner, Hussen said on Friday he wanted to consult with the legal department. and follow the proper process to cut funding and terminate the anti-racism project.

We obviously had a lot less information (in July) than today, he added, but he did not respond when pressed. x27;explain what he did not know at the time of the concerns raised by Mr Housefather.

Mr. Hussen told the committee that new conditions will be added to all federal funding agreements to allow the government to take action if an organization or individual is found to have promoted or shared the hatred, racism, anti-Semitism or discrimination in any form.

Any organization whose funding is interrupted will never be eligible for future funding agreements.

Mr. Hussen told the committee that there will be a renewed and reformed anti-racism strategy informed by communities, including those directly attacked by Mr. Marouf.

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