Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Manning Centre is Still a Registered Charity


Ethical Oil has written a letter to the Canada Revenue Agency to review the David Suzuki Foundation's charitable status because, they allege, the Suzuki Foundation is a partisan political organization. I won't link to it because I don't want to. The National Post and the Toronto Sun are also carrying stories - I won't link to them either, because I don't want to.

I will point out, whatever you think of the David Suzuki Foundation, if you support this move to remove their charitable status, you should at least be arguing the same for the Manning Centre. To do otherwise, is to attain unheard of hypocritical heights.

What is the Manning Centre's mission statement? Building Canada's conservative movement.

What do they do? The Manning Centre’s role is to equip future political leaders with the ideas, skills and networks necessary to make a principled and effective contribution to Canadian politics.


Somehow, I don't think the National Post nor the Toronto Sun will run stories calling for the Manning Centre to be de-registered.

11 comments:

Chartreuse not Obtuse said...

Is there a way to check out all the right-wing organizations that are registered charities? I am thinking of any religious institution that has made any political statements or outward support of anti-abortion groups or against same-sex marriage. Also, any 'Real Women' kind of groups; anti-choice groups. What about right-wing 'think tanks' like the Fraser Institute? Let's call for their charitable status to be revoked.

Of course, many of these right-wing think tanks could much more easily get funding from some of the high-rollers and 1%ers, so it is not as simple as 'tit for tat'. These groups can access funds from rich benefactors more easily than, say, some of the environmental charities. Still, we need to point out the Harper regime's hypocrisy and how their own prejudices affect their decisions.

James Calder said...

Unfortunately, the only way to really tell is if they except "donations" and indicate they're tax deductible. Can't really do a search ...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to speak with Ezra... about his charity whine..
he does seem fractious.. even out of sorts.. perhaps a bit touched as they say .. odd in fact.. yet loud. He's a troll that should not be fed.

And so with his buds Cathryn and Hamish Marshall et al.. like 'sleepy' Rob Anders as well.. They all speak and write and get stupidly outlandish...

as if they are trusted insiders with a no trade contract with Stephan Harper.. interesting.. ... ......

Fred from BC said...

If Preston Manning ever crosses the line the way Suzuki did, then you'll have a valid point to make. Until then, sorry...not even close...

Saskboy said...

Fred's line is "are they not Conservative"?

Anonymous said...

"I am thinking of any religious institution that has made any political statements or outward support of anti-abortion groups or against same-sex marriage. Also, any 'Real Women' kind of groups; anti-choice groups. What about right-wing 'think tanks' like the Fraser Institute? Let's call for their charitable status to be revoked."

I (not an expert) understand that there is no problem with tackling issues. DSF would not be a problem if he was not very vocally telling people for whom to vote. The others you cite? Issues, not parties. their views on issues might make you inclined to vote in a particular direction, just like Greenpeace or Planned Parenthood.

Organizations who use the charitable status as an overt partisan, political platform should all be slapped.

What is the rule? 10% of activities?

Fred from BC said...

Saskboy said...

Fred's line is "are they not Conservative"?


That 'whooshing' noise you hear is the sound of my point going right over your head (as usual, it seems)...

If you don't actually know anything about Suzuki's shameless public pronouncements of support for Liberal politicians and overt attacks on Conservatives, maybe just keep your mouth shut, okay? Don't embarrass yourself by demonstrating your ignorance for all to see. THINK before you post.

Dennis Buchanan said...

So Fred, in your view, an environmental organization that supports good environmental policies and attacks bad ones (and yes, the maligned endorsements and attacks were of policies, not of the parties themselves) is too political to deserve charitable status...

...while an organization that sells T-Shirts from its web site that say "Conservative" written in large print across the front is a bona fide apolitical charity.

Right.

Here's an excerpt from a CRA policy statement: "[A] registered charity may take part in some political activities as a way of furthering its charitable purpose(s)....When a political party or candidate for public office supports a policy that is also supported by a charity, the charity is not prevented from promoting this policy."

In fact, the vast majority of the maligned activities of the David Suzuki Foundation fall into the realm of "political activities" which are - up to a point - permissible of registered charities.

By the way, Chartreuse, the CRA does maintain a searchable database of registered charities: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html

Chartreuse not Obtuse said...

Thanks, Dennis. Under your link I find the following overtly partisan organizations that have charitable status...and Fred and anonymous are incredibly wrong when they say these organizations just participate in "issues".
' MANNING FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION' - It may sound innocuous, but this is a training ground for Conservatives. They have conferences where all the main players of the Conservatives have attended. It is highly partisan. Its objectives are to further the Conservative agenda... not 'democracy'. I would also include ' The Manning Foundation' and ' ERNEST C MANNING AWARDS FOUNDATION'.

' THE FRASER INSTITUTE' - although described as a 'think tank', really this is a right-wing conservative lobbying group. All their work is political and partisan..

There are 35 'Right to Life' organizations. They engage in political advocacy beyond the 10% rule.

So all of the above right-wing organizations should have their charitable status revoked, because they engage in far more than the 10% political advocacy rule. But Harper & Co. are only targeting environmental organizations, because it disagrees with their Conservative ideology.

And I agree with Dennis: the David Suzuki Foundation has only endorsed or attacked policies relating to the environment. That SHOULD be the mandate of any effective and honest environmental organization: letting the public know about which policies are good for the environment or not.

Fred from BC said...

Dennis Buchanan said...

So Fred, in your view, an environmental organization that supports good environmental policies and attacks bad ones (and yes, the maligned endorsements and attacks were of policies, not of the parties themselves) is too political to deserve charitable status...


No. A charitable organization that comes right out and publicly endorses one politician or political party while condemning another is too political. When the headline reads "Suzuki endorses Ontario Liberals", that clearly crosses the line.

(clear enough now?)

Dennis Buchanan said...

Lesson on news media: Headlines aren't written by the subjects of the news stories. (Most of the time, they aren't even written by the journalist who wrote the story.)

The closest direct quotation I can find - words actually attributed to Suzuki - is "I’m offering an endorsement of what Mr. McGuinty has done, absolutely. This is a great plan. Any party would be foolish to talk about abandoning it."

He's talking about a specific green energy plan, a policy well within the scope of the charitable organization's activities, and this quotation falls squarely within the CRA policy I quoted above.

I'm not saying that I necessarily think that the Suzuki Foundation is necessarily fully within the rules - it's true that they're engaged in a lot of political activities, and it's quite possible that they're exceeding the prescribed threshold.

But it's clearly a bona fide environmental charity at its core, and there is nothing wrong in principle with them objecting to policies that are detrimental to the environment, and supporting green energy policies.

The Manning Centre, by contrast, is blatantly partisan and makes no apologies for it.