Thursday, July 24, 2014

Harper's Reign of Terror - Part Three



The prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully.
- Samuel Johnson

While I doubt that many within the Harper regime are literary types or schooled in the humanities, I suspect the above quotation or variants thereof represents the underlying spirit of their relentless attacks on nonprofits that oppose the government's ruthless agenda.

And now there are indications that the noose is tightening, that the focus of those attacks is widening, with the purpose not only of cowing advocacy groups into silence lest they lose their charitable status, but also their supporters.

Today's Star offers this chilling lead:

Canadian charities would have to turn over lists of their donors’ identities to the Canada Revenue Agency under a proposal being floated by the Conservative government.

The cover story being offered by the regime is that it would better equip the CRA to detect charity-receipt fraud, inasmuch as the majority of Canadians now file their tax returns online, where actual receipts are not required. By having a list of donors and the amounts given, the revenue agency could easily ferret out fraud.

On the surface, such a proposal would seem to have merit, simply a measure reflecting sound fiscal management. However, as with almost everything the Harper cabal offers, there is a nefarious side to such a measure, as

... some charities are wary of the administrative burden — and the potential close surveillance of groups that criticize government policies.

Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay made the suggestion behind closed doors this spring to charities officials in Ottawa as the government seeks ways to tighten regulation of Canada’s charitable sector.

Findlay asked officials of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and others for their input, as well as their reaction to a proposal to standardize the format, size and colour of official income-tax receipts for charitable donations.

The consultation took place before a March 26 media event at which Findlay and Kevin Sorenson, minister of state for finance, boasted about the government’s achievements in reducing red tape for charities.


So how did those who attended the meeting react? Understandably, given the justifiable fear of regime repercussions, few want to comment publicly. One attendee, who requested anonymity, said that it was initially met with “stunned silence”.

“You can imagine why neither of these proposals would reduce red tape for charities — and why, given the current climate, there would be significant concern about the intent,” said the source.

And what might that intent be? In addition to the existing audits being directed against those who offer criticism of its reactionary agenda, the regime would have another cudgel (increased administrative costs) with which to threaten nonprofits, as well as one to wield selectively against their supporters.

Think about it. Is there really a leap in logic to suggest that the long arm of the Harper-directed CRA could now reach punitively into the lives of supporters of targeted nonprofits? Could those in accord with the goals of nonprofits that criticize government policy find themselves, once their donor information was in the hands of officials, suddenly receiving notification of impending tax audits?

Can you imagine how pervasive the chill would become? Can you imagine how crippling the effect would be on targeted nonprofit support?

There was a time when I would have dismissed my above thoughts as the manifestation of an unhinged conspiracy enthusiast. Sadly for our country, that time has long since passed.

6 comments:

  1. Your suggestion at one time would have been considered hysterical, Lorne. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

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    1. I would that it were otherwise, Owen.

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  2. .. somehow, Johnny Cash spring to mind..
    When the Man Comes Around ..

    It won't be pretty.. the reluctant disgusting unravelling of Stephen Harper
    or that we let the flagrant fool reign, plus his poltroons.. somehow
    in the country called Canada .. land of glowing hearts

    He's worn us.. to cover his naked twisted ambition & grandiose ego
    and we let this arrogant & dim fool do so.. willingly it would seem ..

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    1. The choice is clear for all citizens who care about this country, Salamander. They must turn out at the polls in droves in 2015 to ensure the tyrant's ouster.

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  3. I agree wholeheartedly with the salamander Lorne. This adolescent movement of 'naked twisted ambition' and their infantile asshole leader with a 'grandiose ego' *must* be defeated in the next election.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrgpZ0fUixs

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    1. Thanks for the link, Anon. Let the viewer apply the subject matter where it fits.

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