July 17, 2014
New Democrats call for independent investigation of CRA charity audits
The NDP is calling for an independent external investigation into allegations of intimidation and political interference that continue to emerge in connection with targeted audits of charities undertaken by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
“Canadians must have complete confidence in the integrity of the CRA and our tax system. However, I fear that the evidence strongly suggests that the Conservative government has been misusing the CRA to target its political opponents,” said NDP National Revenue critic, Murray Rankin (Victoria).
When it was first announced as a measure in Budget 2012, then-Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver touted the $8 million Conservative plan to audit charities as cracking down on “environmental and other radical groups,” which he said were working to undermine Canada’s national interest.
As a result, teams of CRA auditors are currently combing through the records of an estimated 52 charitable organizations to see if any have exceeded the 10 percent cap on using donation money to fund political work.
“Some of the most prominent and respected environmental and advocacy groups in the country are being aggressively audited by the CRA, simply because the government sees them as a threat to their agenda. This is simply another tactic we have seen the Harper government use to muzzle opposition and control the message,” said NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax).