Chairman of the Board of Directors, Stephen Smith, responds to Ottawa Citizen Article Suggesting Partisanship on the Part of The Institute

April 3, 2012

Chairman of the Board replies to Ottawa Citizen Article

Open Letter to The Ottawa Citizen

Re: “Federally funded charity has links to Tory call centre”

Dear Editor:

The Historica-Dominion Institute wishes to respond to incorrect allegations of partisanship published in an Ottawa Citizen article by Glen McGregor and Stephen Mayer, on April 3, 2012.

The Historica-Dominion Institute is a non-partisan organization which has been given financial support by both Liberal and Conservative governments, and whose activities are also supported by many provincial governments, as well as businesses, institutions and individuals. We are grateful for their contributions.

The Institute is a registered charity with a mandate to promote Canadian history and civic engagement. It works with schools and organizations across Canada. Its programs include Heritage Minutes, the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Canadian veterans “Memory Project”, My Parks Pass, the Aboriginal Writing & Arts Challenge, Encounters with Canada and many others. Many of Canada's most notable historians have been involved in its work over the years.

The article suggests that a third party fundraiser, Responsive Marketing Group's "Target Outreach Canada" has the same mandate as its American affiliate which works exclusively with right wing groups. This is not correct. More than 50% of the Canadian firm's work is for charities like The Historica-Dominion Institute, and our contract and costs are fully compliant with Canadian Revenue Agency rules. To our knowledge, no inappropriate conduct in fundraising has occurred.

We regret the numerous mistakes and misunderstandings in the Ottawa Citizen article despite the fact that HDI provided full access to our executives and written material as well.

Stephen Smith
Board of Directors
The Historica-Dominion Institute