The government, however, has sent unmistakable signals that it wants a crackdown. Recent federal budgets have provided the CRA with an additional $13 million in special funding to undertake such audits at a time when the government was slashing the CRA’s budget by $250 million over three years, forcing the layoff of hundreds of auditors. Jim Flaherty, the former finance minister, issued a warning to charities in 2013. “If I were an environmental charity using federal money, tax-receipted money for political purposes, I would be cautious.” Others went considerably farther in their criticism and warnings. Joe Oliver, the natural resources minister, warned about the “radical agenda” of environmental groups, and former minister Peter Kent said the groups were “laundering” offshore funds to promote foreign interests.
As a side-note, a number folks including me got on Matt Guerney of The National Post for an error in one of his recent columns. Matt claimed that several environmental groups had already been found guilty of abusing their charitable status but, if you note the last line, he was later driven to admit that this is not the case. Of course, even when shown that he make a bugger-up on the facts, Matt's opinion of the issue (which might best be summarized as: Go CRA! Kick them hippies!) remained unchanged. As I noted below:
@Bigcitylib2 Life's funny sometimes.
— Matt Gurney (@mattgurney) August 13, 2014