Kenney halts funding to Palestine House

Jason Kenney

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has stopped funding a settlement program administered by a Palestinian non-profit in Mississaugua, Ont.

The Palestine House Educational and Cultural Centre (Palestine House) issued a Feb. 14 statement denouncing the move and claiming its services and clients will be adversely affected.

It also accused Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, of advancing a “silencing campaign” against organizations “that act or speak in support of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people.”

The ministry did not respond to queries by The CJN in time for deadline.

According to reports, Palestine House received $950,000 from Ottawa last year and has received funding for the past 18 years to provide services to the Palestinian community in the Toronto area.

A Feb. 14 report on stated Kenney sent a letter to Palestine House in January indicating the funding would cease due to concerns of the non-profit’s “pattern of support for extremism.”

In the report, a spokesperson for the minister said Palestine House has in the last few years aligned itself with terrorist causes, including celebrating the release of terrorists and honouring the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), one of the groups that formed the Palestine Liberation Organization and “in the 1960s and ’70s, was responsible for numerous armed attacks and aircraft hijackings.”

Palestine House says it denounces all forms of terrorism and extremism.