Sunday, April 01, 2012

Tides Canada Responds To Attempted Federal Kneecapping

“Tides Canada welcomes the provisions in the 2012 federal budget concerning transparency and accountability in the charitable sector. Tides Canada operates well within the Income Tax Act threshold for allowable “political activity.” The organization’s grant-making is, and will continue to be, fully compliant with the Income Tax Act and Canada Revenue Agency guidelines and policies.

In a healthy democracy, environmental and social justice charities play important roles as watchdogs, raising public awareness and advocating for balance. Tides Canada remains committed to supporting charitable initiatives across the country that are working to ensure that we have safe drinking water, clean air, healthy communities and a just society.”

Note that the 2012 budget does not change any laws pertaining to the Income Tax Act, it merely includes new money to help Canada Revenue Agency clamp down on overly political charities, and recommends that charities report the foreign funding they get for political activities.  But since Tides Canada, and other similar groups, surely have lawyers and accountants whose job it is to ensure that they remain in compliance with the relevant legislation, it is difficult to see why the new changes should have much effect of their operations.  They are innocent, so they have nothing to fear.  A year or two down the road, on the other hand, but long after people have ceased to care, Ethical Oil , like the Friends of Science and The Natural Resources Stewardship Project before them, will almost certainly be found guilty of something.


Holly Stick said...

Let's hope Revenue Canada looks closely at the foreign-funded Fraser Institute. I wouldn't be surprised if they had tried to bend the rules.

Tom Harris said...

NRSP was not a charitable, tax deductable organization. CRA would therefore have no reason to look into that group.