Should charities lose their status for protesting?
The government is set to grant the Canada Revenue Agency more power to enforce organizational spending limits on political activities, such as protests, which are supposed to be capped at 10 per cent of their budget.
"There's clearly a need in our view for more vigilance that charities obey the rules as they are now," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
The CRA will be able to suspend the charitable status of any groups that bend the rules. Right now charities, including environmental groups, can write off donations on their taxes.
The regulation and heightened enforcement will apply to all charities, but the government has been particularly vocal against critics of big energy projects.
Earlier this month the senate launched an inquiry into charities, and zeroed in on environmental groups.
"It should never be a charitable act to attack Canada's oil sands," said Conservative senator Doug Finlay.
Environmentalists like Stephen Guilbeault from Equiterre argue that the stricter rules will effectively muzzle organizations like his.
"It's unbelievable that they would go to that length to silence people that disagree with them," he said.
Increasing surveillance of charities is expected to cost $8 million dollars over the next two years, reports CBC's Margo McDiarmid.
Do you support a charity whose operations will be affected by the 10 per cent cap? Do you think it's a fair limit? Is the loss of charitable status an appropriate penalty for those that break the rules?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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