Charitable audits are suspicious

The Canada Revenue Agency—which appears to have become an arm of the PMO—is currently auditing several Canadian charities.


The Canada Revenue Agency—which appears to have become an arm of the PMO—is currently auditing several Canadian charities, looking for suspect “political activity.”

The list of targets include Amnesty International Canada, the United Church of Canada’s Kairos fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, PEN Canada (the Toronto-based freedom of speech organization), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada Without Poverty, even Oxfam Canada.

All these groups have spoken out against the Harper government at one time or another.

(I assume the right-wing Fraser Institute, which wades frequently into politics, has been spared a visit from the agency.)

Agency officials informed Oxfam that “preventing poverty” was not an acceptable goal. Oxfam was warned: “Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not. Preventing poverty could mean providing for a class of beneficiaries that are not poor.” Oxfam Canada’s executive director Robert Fox called the exchange he had with Canada Revenue Agency officials an “absurd conversation.”

Charities shouldn’t fear Harper’s bluster. Diane Bertolin writes in Collective Publishing Company (Online Magazine for Innovative Individuals and Entrepreneurs): “Charities can dedicate 10 per cent of their total resources, including a volunteer’s time, to supporting or opposing a government policy.

It cannot, however, directly support a party or politician … the federal government, in its 2012 budget, decided to change the rules. The Feds have decided that they will be holding charities accountable to the 10 per cent rule. If a charitable organization exceeds the 10 per cent rule, then it can be sanctioned by having its tax receipting privilege suspended for one year.”

There are about 100,000 charities in Canada. In 2013, of 880 charities audited, (an additional $8 million was budgeted for it) only one lost its license to act as a charity, and it wasn’t even one of those “radical” environmental groups which the Harper government despise so much.

Was that good use of taxpayer money?

On July 25, NDP MP Paul Dewar (Official Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs) said of the Harper government: “What I see here is more of a crass ideological campaign against some of our proudest and most effective organizations.”

David Buckna,


Just Posted

WATCH: Prince Rupert remembers Dec. 6, 1989

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at Montreal’s École Polytechnique

Prince Rupert athletes headed to North American Indigenous Games

Team B.C. basketball selections mean plenty of representation for Prince Rupert

Hometown Hockey less than 24 hours away

Tara Slone touring Prince Rupert in advance of the weekend event

‘Tis the season for giving and auctioning in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society and Church of Christ the King raising money for their kids

Prince Rupert wooed by Hometown Hockey, going over the top to answer the call

City is excited to showcase Prince Rupert’s livability — and hockey fandom — on the national stage

School’s out for hockey

Hometown Hockey made a stop at Prince Rupert Middle School on Friday afternoon

The Northern View presents Santa Shops Here in Prince Rupert

More reasons to spend your shopping dollars locally

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Most Read