Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Blake on the Huffington Post: Harper Cuts Down Rights Like They’re Trees

May 17th, 2012 by Benefic

“On a day when many were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the signing of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Stephen Harper’s government was almost silent on the topic. The press highlighted the Charter’s global significance with headlines like “The Charter proves to be Canada’s gift to world”. Meanwhile, Ottawa diverted attention away from Canada’s signal achievement of enacting constitutional legislation to protect the rights and freedoms of individual Canadians by choosing the Charter’s 30th birthday as the date to announce legislation that will drastically reduce the number of regulatory agencies that exist to protect the environment in which individual Canadians enjoy their rights and freedoms.”

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Categories: Charity, Environment, Law, People, Politics

No Charity Pennies For Your Thoughts

April 18th, 2012 by Blake Bromley, Bio

The federal government’s March 29th budget announced that Canada will soon cease to produce and use pennies.  Since this announcement, Canadians have been rushing to implement Finance Minister Jim Flaherty solution to fund Canadian charities: “Free your pennies from their prisons at home and donate them to charity.”  Many lamented that you will no longer be offered “a penny for your thoughts.”

The fine print in the budget’s Notice of Ways and Means reveals that the government does not want those pennies to be spent on political activities.  Weeks before the budget was announced, Senator Doug Finley made the Conservative Party’s political agenda clear when he told the senate, “it should never be considered a charitable act to attack Canada’s oil sands.”  The government wants to block funding to environmental charities, particularly those that engage in political activities.  Charities play an important role in helping Canadians form value judgments about the merits and flaws of proposed social, economic and environmental plans and solutions. The proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act are intended to reduce the flow of pennies that support these important voices in public discourse.  Canadians need to recognize that the government is much more intent on extinguishing “thought” in the charitable sector than extinguishing the penny in everyday commerce.

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Categories: Charity, Environment, Law, Politics

Blake on the Huffington Post: We Don’t Want No Foreign Funding

April 10th, 2012 by admin

“Press reports have expressed outrage over the fact that, through measures like those found in the budget, the federal government is seeking to block funding to environmental charities and intimidate them into silence on controversial issues in Canada. CRA will receive an additional $8 million to carry out new audits to enforce these provisions.

On April 2, the Director General of Charities Directorate published a message making it clear that these provisions do not apply only to environmental charities. She wrote: “As the rules relating to political activity apply to all registered charities, the CRA’s educational and compliance efforts in this regard will extend to the charitable sector as a whole.”

In my opinion, the transparency requirements obligating charities to disclose funding from foreign sources will have a much greater impact on Muslim and other religious charities than on environmental charities. Though the initial focus may be on environmental funding, there is little doubt that in due course the government’s attention will move to transparency with regard to foreign money coming into Canadian mosques and Muslim humanitarian charities.”

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Categories: Charity, Politics, Religion