As CRA audits charities, there’s a scandal within a scandal

By Gerald Caplan, The Globe and Mail, 14 Nov. 2014

There are lots of conservative groups in Canada that have been granted charitable status, the Fraser Institute being an obvious example. That means they’re required to be non-partisan and can use only 10 per cent of their resources for political activities. Besides broad ideology, what these groups have in common is that none of them, it appears, is being audited by the Canadian Revenue Agency. Yet many have unquestionably participated in “political activities” as spelled out by the CRA. You can read all about them, and their warm relationships with the Harper government, in Prof. Donald Gutstein’s new book, Harperism: How Stephen Harper and His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada.

Then there are the more or less progressive equivalents of these charitable groups, like the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the David Suzuki Foundation. Most are quite small. What 52 of them have in common is that virtually all (that we know of) have been critical of certain Harper government policies and all are being audited by the CRA, often in a highly intrusive, time-consuming way. (...)

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Photo: The Canadian Press