Feds using bullying tactics to keep certain charities in check

Dear editor,

Canadian Press has reported Canada Revenue has aimed the government’s might at a tiny organization named PEN Canada.

It has a budget of $237K a year and one or two full-time staffers.

Who belongs? Margaret Atwood and about another thousand Canadian writers and their supporters.

Revenue Canada is “auditing” them to ensure they keep within 10 per cent of their budget for political activities.

Yes, the full weight of the federal government has been brought to bear on this tiny organization.

Makes you think doesn’t it?

In 2003 the government decided organizations with “charitable” status would only be permitted to spend up to 10 per cent of their budget on “political activities”.

Two years ago  our MP John Duncan and his Conservative Party,  thought it’d be a good idea to start auditing churches and charitable organizations to ensure they were keeping to the rules.  They allocated $8 million for that.  In this year’s budget they’ve raised that to $13 million. Organizations which have been targeted include:

• Amnesty International Canada

• Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, (but not the Fraser Institute)

• Canada Without Poverty

• David Suzuki Foundation.

PEN’s great crime would appear to be, “they advocate for freedom of speech” in Canada and abroad.

Really John, the government is spending $13 million to audit churches and charities to ensure they abide by the Conservatives’ rules. You must be very afraid of them.

Once the Conservatives came to power, they de-funded women’s organizations, silenced and/or fired federal government scientists, denied health care to children of some refugee claimants, failed to support veterans, refusing to pay them what they ought to, and violated the privacy of their medical records.

Now they are “auditing” a two-person organization that advocates for freedom of speech.

Who will be next to receive a call from Revenue Canada?

Well it has sent a chill through many charities and churches so you could say, mission accomplished.

E. A. Foster

Comox

 

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