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No Scandal Here: Canadian Taxman Targets Big Oil’s Critics, Not Rightwing Groups

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Scary climate science "radical" David Suzuki
Scary climate science "radical" David Suzuki

IRS targets Tea Partiers and Patriots = Scandal

CRA targets climate science ≠ Scandal


In Canada, we have

  • a Conservative government that most likely engaged in voter suppression through robocalls when it won its “majority” but seems to have covered its tracks well enough to get away with it;
  • a Conservative-dominated Senate that produces an obscene spending debacle whose scandalous nature is only surpassed by the botched hush-money cover-up by the Prime Minister Office’s Chief of Staff; and
  • an allegedly crack-smoking mayor in our largest city.


But that’s nothing, say National Post bigmouths Rex Murphy and Conrad Black. In the United States the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting conservative “Tea Party” and “Patriot” groups for extra attention, turning what is supposed to be a neutral bureaucracy into a political weapon.


In Canada, conservative “charities” like the Fraser Institute are free to use the tax-deductable “donations” they receive to engage in political activities like attacking public healthcare, unions and environmental regulations (helping their rich “donors” get richer) while maintaining charitable status.


Conservatives groups can continue to rely on public support for their rightwing agenda without any “political” interference from the Canada Revenue Agency.


It is another matter, however, for environmental groups, or as Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver likes to call them, “radical” groups that “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”


In June 2012, the Harper government brought in Bill C-38, which injected $8 million into the CRA to investigate charities to make sure they are not spending more than 10% of their budget on political advocacy. But the “political advocacy” the government is concerned about is the “radical ideological agenda” of environmental groups.


What the Harper government thinks of as “political advocacy” might also be called “science.” Internationally renowned scientist David Suzuki resigned from the Suzuki Foundation for fear that his science-based criticism of Big Oil and the Canadian Conservative Party’s environmentally destructive tar sands project could subject the charitable organization to unwanted attention from the CRA.


In other words, there is a scandal in the US because their taxman has targeted certain conservatives, but there is no scandal in Canada because our taxman has targeted climate science “radicals” like David Suzuki. Good to know the CRA is being so responsible – making sure our taxpayer dollars are not being used to slow down our quick burn to Armageddon.


David Bernans is a Québec-based writer and translator. He is the author of Collateral Murder. Follow him on twitter @dbernans.

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bernans (David Bernans)
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the conservative Agenda has gone too far

This bunch of folks at have a great plan to bring accountability and awareness to the robocall scandal.  They want to inundate everyone who has the ability to do something about the robocall scandal, but isn’t, with robocalls.  They plan to continue relentlessly until each one of these people come forward and publicly speak about what they are doing about it.

Please help them, I am. Watch this video, donate if you can, and please share it widely. They can’t do it without you.

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