Ending controversial political audits, panel recommendations to free up charities “good news for Canadian democracy”: CCPA

May 5, 2017

OTTAWA—Following a panel’s recommendation to allow charities more freedom to speak out, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) welcomes the federal government’s decision to suspend the Canada Revenue Agency’s controversial political activities audit program.

But the CCPA still awaits closure on its own political audit. The CCPA was one of dozens of charitable organizations targeted by the previous federal government for a political audit. 

“We have devoted four years of resources and finances to defend our right to live up to our charitable mandate,” says CCPA Executive Director Peter Bleyer. “It is very clear from the consultation panel’s report that this type of targeted auditing needs to be prevented in future. 

“Charitable activity is essential to a well-functioning democracy. As the consultation panel notes in its report, Canadian charities rules are arbitrary and outdated. 

“We urge the federal government to quickly implement the panel’s recommendations so that charitable organizations in Canada will finally be able to contribute freely to democratic debate and engagement — as they ought to be.

“We also look forward to direct confirmation that the CCPA’s audit, which has been ongoing since 2013, is being suspended. 

“Everyone at the CCPA is proud of the role our organization played in challenging these audits and in drawing attention to the chill effect they had on environmental and social justice organizations. 

 “We look forward to continuing our work as an outspoken progressive research institute engaged in vital democratic activities — but without a costly and stressful audit hanging over our heads.”

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For interviews with Exectuive Director Peter Bleyer, please contact: Trish Hennessy 416-525-4927 or email trish@policyalternatives.ca.

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