The Interim has discovered that the federal government has given nearly $5 million to the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada over the past five years. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood has seen its federal grants increase in each of the past five years.

According to documents obtained by The Interim, specifically the Registered Charity Information Return that all charities must complete for Revenue Canada each year, in 1998, Planned Parenthood received $441,171 in direct, taxpayer-funded grants. The next year, there was an increase of nearly $80,000, to a $520,643 grant. In 2000, Planned Parenthood received $580,803 in taxpayer funding. However, in recent years, the total has grown substantially, nearly doubling annually.

In 2001, the total federal grant jumped to $1,055,231 and in 2002, the last year for which figures are available, the grant almost doubled again to $2,054,643.

As Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, said in an interview with The Interim, At a time of proposed cutbacks and fiscal restraint, the federal government doubles the amount of taxpayer dollars it gives to this anti-life organization.

Hughes said that he is appalled the government gives money to fund this organization, the largest abortion referral agency in the world, thus supporting one side of the abortion debate. “I don’t know of one pro-life group that gets a direct contribution of taxpayer dollars from the federal government.”

He added that while Planned Parenthood claims to represent women, actual donations from Canadians constitute a shrinking portion of their overall budget. The government grants are substantial and important to Planned Parenthood and there is reason to wonder if they would continue to operate without the government largesse. Over the five year period, federal grants account for 45 per cent of the organization s spending (called disbursements in the Revenue Canada document). But the increase in total grant money also represents a larger portion of overall organizational spending. In 1998, government grants accounted for 31 per cent of Planned Parenthood spending, while in 2002, it accounted for 64 per cent of the organization’s spending.

The government grants allow Planned Parenthood to do more, namely to promote and supply reproductive and sexual health services including abortion referrals; propagandizing for the morning-after pill, RU-486 and sundry birth control methods; promoting sexual awareness among adolescents; co-funding, with the Canadian International Development Agency, programs in foreign countries that promote adolescent sexuality and reproductive health (read: abortion and birth control) in such countries as Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica and Pakistan; lobbying elected officials on such issues.

Hughes wondered how many programs Planned Parenthood would have to cut if they depended, as most pro-life groups do, primarily on the donations of supporters. It should be noted that Planned Parenthood also receives funding from other large organizations such as other charities and unions.

While charitable organizations may take part in limited non-partisan political activities, Planned Parenthood has astonishingly admitted to Lobbying public officials to ensure that each Canadian has equal access to reproductive and health services, although in the 2002 document, the word lobbying is visibly erased and replaced with a hand-written ‘Informing’, presumably to deflect possible criticism of their political activities.

Hughes said Planned Parenthood is a huge lobbying organization for the pro-abortion and depopulation control movement, and questions why one side of these life issues gets direct federal funding while the other is targeted for review of its political activities. For instance, in 1999, Human Life International lost its charitable tax status after bureaucrats at Revenue Canada determined that their political activities exceeded those permitted by federal regulations.