In 1989, APFA lost our charitable status. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) stated that we never should have received it in the first place, and unless we stopped spending more than 10% of our time and resources on advocacy work, we would not be able to keep it.
The decision was easy for our board of directors.
Though APFA lost roughly 50 per cent of our annual donation base the day we lost our charitable status, we refused to be silenced.
Unfortunately, this kind of bullying tactic by the government’s revenue arm is continuing today.
It was reported late last week that the CRA is targeting some of the country’s top environmental advocacy groups with audits, and the threat of losing their charitable status is very real.
The David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, Environmental Defence, Ecology Action Centre and others are being audited by the government agency.
Due to the nature of the audits and sword of Damocles hanging above their heads, these groups are limited in what they can say. Fortunately, we are not.
This is a clear attack on those who have stood up and spoken out against poor government policy regarding the environment, energy policy and long-term planning. When an elected body of officials ignores science – and muffles their own scientists – it is up to those of us with the resolve and resources to shine a light on the truth.
This government is picking a fight with the organizations that oppose its policies. The public has clearly shown support for not only these organizations, but their opposition to the government policies.
Tell your MP to end this campaign against charitable organizations today, or they may find – come election day – that voters have their own way of dealing with bullies.