Sunday, August 3, 2014

Harper's Reign Of Terror: Star Readers Respond

Stephen Harper's attack on those charities that refuse to hew to the regime's dogma and ideology is becoming increasingly recognized for what it is: the wanton, immoral, unethical and likely illegal actions of a martinet who will brook no opposing views. Lacking even a modicum of subtlety, his purpose is to send an unequivocal message to induce a pervasive chill in nonprofits.

Yesterday, I took special delight in reading a series of letters from Toronto Star readers who are almost uniform in their condemnation of this unfit subversive who is undermining the democratic traditions of our country and the Canada Revenue Agency that is allowing this perversion to occur. I hope you will visit the Star site to read all of the letters and consider sending the link to anyone you think might benefit from the insights offered therein.

Here is but a small sampling of those letters:

There can be little doubt that the “Harper government” is indeed attempting to silence charities that have criticized its policies. This is, after all, the same government that has a long and distinguished history of viciously attacking any and all individuals or organizations that have dared to question or criticize its policies or its vision for Canada.

From Richard Colvin and our scientists to environmental charities and now PEN Canada, any and all forms of criticism of the “Harper government” have been met with a very belligerent response from the federal Conservatives.

The rights and freedoms that all Canadians enjoy were hard won some 70 years ago. It is distressing to witness our right to free speech and open discussion of government policies being systematically eroded.

What is even more distressing is the apparent willingness of so many Canadians to permit this to happen. As the lyric to Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi warns, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Lyle Goodin, Bowmanville

First, it seems that only those charities that disagree with the policies of the Harper regime are the targets of these audits. I also note that the Harper government would like to force charities to reveal who there donors are, no doubt to cause them to have second thoughts about donating to certain charities.

Just last week I received a request from the CRA to submit all the charitable receipts that I claimed on my taxes. They claim that the request was made so that they could gauge their self-assessment tax system. I don’t believe them. It’s just another example of the Harper government lashing out at all those who don’t agree with the direction he is taking the country.

If my grandparents were still alive, I’m sure they would be dismayed to see that the country they came to from Eastern Europe morphing into a pale imitation of the Putin government under Stephen Harper. The only difference is that Harper hasn’t resorted to having his detractors beaten or killed. Otherwise, there is not much difference between the two.

Chester Gregorasz, Cambridge

I am not a writer — oh I do write to the Star and sometimes they honour me by publishing my thoughts on the Harper government — but I have lived in countries where this simple act that we take for granted could land a person in jail our worse.

In Canada we are not there yet but I think the motivation for censorship is the same as in these non-democratic countries where they did not have the will of the people and they knew that to stay in power it was necessary to have the silence of the people.

The Harper government does not have the will of the people therefore it follows that every dissenting voice, MPs, scientist, researchers, charities, and so on must be silenced.

So, Canadians, let’s not be silent. As for me I going to keep writing to the Star, if they will have me, because nothing says democracy louder than the printed word in a newspaper.
(emphasis added)

Keith Parkinson, Cambridge

Mr. Harper is relentless at silencing any voice contrary to his “vision for Canada” (God help us). Statistics Canada, followed by such others as Environment Canada, government scientists and the CBC, over whom he can exercise budgetary and ministerial censorship were first. Now the voices of countless charities (and their numerous donors) with concerns and views about poverty, justice, censorship, the environment and the like are being extorted by tax audits by the Charities Directorate.

Might I suggest that people contact Revenue Canada, Charities Directorate, Compliance Division and complain about the highly partisan “charitable” activities of the Fraser Institute. Let’s see if they are measured by the same standards. I filed my complaint yesterday.
(emphasis added)

Robert Thorpe, Toronto


  1. Nothing will happen.

    There is not enough outrage in the country yet.

    Harper's BASE, that which must be neutralized, can still carry the day with 27% of the vote.


    1. I hope you are wrong, Anon. Harper's base can carry the day, it is true, but only if the majority of Canadians stay home at election time.