Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asking Canadians to make monetary donations to the Canadian Red Cross to accelerate wildfire relief efforts.
As wildfires burn across Canada, thousands have been displaced, and hundreds of thousands are breathing in dangerously polluted air.
On Wednesday afternoon, PM Trudeau held a press conference to update the people on Canada’s provincial and federal governments’ measures to help.
This included deploying members of the Canadian Armed Forces in Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Quebec and a call to donate to the Canadian Red Cross Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada Fires Appeal.
Just announced: Every $1 donated to @RedCrossCanada’s Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada Fires Appeal becomes $3 – because our government and the provincial government are matching your donations. To support those affected by these wildfires, click here: https://t.co/xRwrtWsmPj
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 6, 2023
“The Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia will match every dollar donated to the Canadian Red Cross Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada Fires Appeal,” reads the fundraiser page, specifying that every dollar donated will become $3.
Any eligible donations already received will be matched, too.
“I will take the opportunity to sincerely thank all who have generously donated to our matching campaigns. And with federal, provincial contributions, these appeals have already raised over $26 million in Alberta, $6 million in Nova Scotia and the northwest territories that are close to reaching their $300,000 goal,” the PM said in his address.
Unfortunately, the fundraising strategy isn’t going well with the Canadian public.
Some are upset that the government is asking citizens for money during a difficult economic time. Still, a more significant issue worries most people: whose money would the federal and provincial governments use to match these donations?
“That’s not your money!” one Twitter user wrote in response to Trudeau. “You’re matching the donations with taxpayer dollars!”
“our government and the provincial government are matching your donations”???
THAT’S NOT YOUR MONEY! You’re matching the donations with TAXPAYER DOLLARS!
Subsidizing probable criminal arson with TAXPAYER DOLLARS!
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) June 6, 2023
So we donate and the federal and provincial governments will each match our donation with our taxes, great. 🤡🌎
— Sean gaudet (@Seansmiles14) June 7, 2023
Hey @JustinTrudeau just a tip – perhaps cutting subsidies for oil drilling and fracking would kinda help in the long run.
— The Eurotrash Podcast (@euro_trash_pod) June 7, 2023
What is the use of government if they aren’t there 100% when fires are happening?
— Ann Rolle (@AnnRolle_) June 7, 2023
One person pointed out the taxpayer-funded administration fees for this undertaking.
Our government and the provincial government are taxpayers.
So you’re stealing 2$ for every dollar donated.
+ your cut for administration fees
— Rock Chartrand 🤑 (@1Objectivist) June 7, 2023
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The government’s choice of using a third-party charity is also being challenged.
“This is the Canadian Red Cross?” asked one user, sharing screenshots showing the CEO’s hefty salary and the amount of money the organization invests in itself per every dollar donated. For each $1, 74¢ goes to the cause.
This Canadian Red Cross? pic.twitter.com/rHcHL2CQBj
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) June 7, 2023
It seems some people don’t understand just how egregious this is.
Why is the government laundering taxpayer dollars through third-party charities (after soliciting taxpayer donations) for what the government should be doing in the first place? https://t.co/n77q58ilM2 pic.twitter.com/YbZ1PeEGhZ
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) June 7, 2023
“Why should we donate? Is our tax money not enough for our government’s economic support,” asked researcher Dr. Shahrin Ahmed.
“We donated to SickKids [and] Canada Cancer Society whenever we can! But when we pay our taxes, we are all supporting our economy. And you are spending on other countries’ wars. You are only good with your words,” she added, critiquing Canada’s donations to Ukraine as the country braved Russia’s assault.
Okay well why should We donate? Is our tax money is not enough for our government economy support. We donated sick kids, canada cancer society. Whenever we can do! But when we pay our taxes we are all supporting our economy. And you are spending on other countries war. you are…
— D.shahrin ahmed (@ahmedshahrin) June 7, 2023
Are the people being too hard on the prime minister, or was the charity program an unfavourable step? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.