It's going on five years now since Rebel News' Ezra Levant lightened numerous folks' wallets with (among other things) the promise to organize a real he-man, toolbelt-wearin', snuff-chawin', pickup truck-drivin', testosterone-drippin' convoy to chug their way up to Fort Mac and help the town rebuild:
Are we allowed to ask how that convoy is coming along? I'm just curious.
Any minute now, amirite? Annnnnnnny minute now ...
Before I was blocked from the site, I used to take great pleasure in posting a series of very civil questions to Ezra about his fundraising practices. They were the same questions I'd ask of any fundraiser, except usually I wouldn't have to ask: the responses would be part of the request, or published as an organizational policy. These were:
a) What is the specific objective of this initiative? How often and by what means will you report to donors on progress toward or final achievement of that initiative?
b) What percentage of my donation will contribute directly toward the project objectives, and what percentage will be used to underwrite your own corporate operating and capital expenditures?
c) Will you provide donors with a final financial report and outcome statement?
d) Given the Rebel's hardline stance against foreign funding impacting on Canadian politics, what measure does the Rebel have in place to screen any offshore contribution from either this project budget or its business operations?
In the case of the Rebel, of course, these questions were rhetorical, intended to draw readers/donors' attention to the fact that Ezra's fundraising was an open chute: the small print on the back pages of their site makes it clear that money contributed in response to a specific cause or campaign could be spent on essentially anything the Rebel decided, and no reporting on project outputs or outcomes was ever promised or provided. Unsurprisingly, the Rebel never responded, and his readers don't care; in fact, they'd normally respond with some fury at the very notion that the Rebel should provide some accounting for the way it spent their money.
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