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Anti-Semite’s Federal Grant Application Raised ‘No Flags’ Because His Wife Submitted Paperwork: Briefing Note

Anti-Semite’s Federal Grant Application Raised ‘No Flags’ Because His Wife Submitted Paperwork: Briefing Note

An application for over $133,000 in federal funding by Laith Marouf, who openly posted antisemitic remarks online, raised “no flags” within the Department of Canadian Heritage because his wife submitted the paperwork for the grant, according to an internal briefing note.

“The project was assessed which included an assessment of the public profile of the organization, the organization’s track record, the external environment and the financials,” said the Heritage Canada briefing note obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter.

The note was prepared for a Feb. 13 appearance at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage by Associate Deputy Heritage Minister Mala Khanna.

“In this case, there was a search done of the organization and there were no flags and so no further assessment of the individuals was undertaken,” the note said.

It went on to say that if Marouf’s “views had been discovered” before the funding was released, “the project would not have been funded.”

The note also showed that Marouf’s grant application to Heritage Canada had been submitted in his wife’s name, Gretchen King, who referred to herself in her signature as “secretary of the board of directors” at the Montreal-based Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC).

“This is why we are looking to strengthen our vetting process,” wrote the department.

Marouf was a senior consultant for CMAC in 2021 when the organization received a federal grant of over $133,000 for an anti-racism project.

However, the government pulled its funding of CMAC in August 2022 after past Twitter posts by Marouf were found in which he referred to Jewish people as “white supremacists” and “bags of human feces.”

In another post, Marouf wrote that “Jewish white supremacists” deserve “a bullet to the head.” “May death visit the home of every Zionist on earth,” he wrote.

Federal Funding

Opposition parties demanded an explanation as to how CMAC was approved for funding when one of its senior consultants was openly racist, but the Canadian Heritage Department said in a briefing note after the fact that it had conducted a “comprehensive assessment including both regional and national committees” prior to releasing the grant.

The department had already paid CMAC $133,000 before terminating the contract.

CMAC had already spent some of that money when the government requested it be repaid, so the heritage department told CMAC to only pay back $122,000.

The heritage department also acknowledged in the Feb. 13 briefing note that Twitter users had tried to alert it about Marouf’s anti-semitic posts prior to August 2022.

“Canadian Heritage social media accounts are tagged approximately 10,000 times a month and due to that volume, comprehensive and regular monitoring presents a significant challenge,” the department wrote. “We are reviewing our procedures to reduce the chance of this happening in the future.”

The department also said in February that it would change its contractor vetting process as a result of the Marouf scandal.

The contract had been awarded to CMAC under the purview of Heritage Canada’s anti-racism initiatives, to craft an anti-racism strategy for Canadian broadcasting.

Tara MacIsaac contributed to this report. 

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