OTTAWA – NDP National Revenue critic Murray Rankin (Victoria) is concerned that, instead of going after white-collar criminals using tax havens, the Conservatives have wasted $5 million of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) severely limited budget in an audit of charitable organisations that has essentially come up empty-handed.

“After spending $5 million and holding 880 audits only one charity has been found to be in violation of the CRA’s political activity rules. Clearly this is just a Conservative scheme to silence organisations that questioned their environmental policies,” said Rankin. 

The Conservatives launched their attack on charities in their 2012 budget while making deep cuts to CRA’s funding. At the time, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was targeting environmental groups he called ‘radical’ and accusing them of interfering in pipeline reviews in an attempt to undermine the economy. As a result, the new CRA audits were widely perceived as an attempt to crack down on environmental organizations critical of Conservative policies.

“Canadians deserve fair taxation and a regulatory framework and audit system that is not politically motivated,” said Rankin. “Instead of throwing away CRA resources in an environmentalist witch-hunt, this money should be directed to going after actual tax cheats.”