Who is matching whose funds?

The federal government sometimes “matches” donations made by Canadians for specific causes. Does this mean that if you give $100 to MCC for Syria, Ottawa gives another $100 to MCC, and thus you can credit yourself with $200 going to Syria? In short, no on both counts.

So-called matching funds go into Ottawa’s Syria Emergency Relief Fund. Plus, it is hard to say whether the government is giving an extra $100 or, more likely, just taking money it would spend one way or another on Syria, and using it in this way.

In essence, it is a way to motivate Canadians to give to certain government-chosen causes, which is good, except that it is a bit gimmicky and it directs attention away from other worthy situations.

While some people like to think of the matching-funds mechanism as a way of them getting the government to contribute to certain causes, the reverse is more accurate.

Based on information provided by Mennonite Central Committee and the federal government.

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