LETTER: National revenue minister audit explanations aren’t adequate

Bias in some charitable audits being completed by the Canada Revenue Agency is obvious, says reader

Re: Rankin wrong: Minister (News, Aug. 15)

Dear Minister of National Revenue:

I read your letter to the editor discussing matters regarding auditing charitable organizations. I was amazed that you would think we would believe all the explanations you provide.

For instance many of us are involved in giving to these organizations and we know who is being audited.

It is puzzling to me why you defend the Canada Revenue Agency ruling of secrecy and your claim that it makes the compliance regime more effective.

Surely there is a better way to do this than trying to pretend there is secrecy and that it is effective.

Contrary to your view that there is no political bias in selecting organizations to audit, it is public knowledge that a number of audits were aimed at environmental groups who have taken positions that may run counter to the Harper agenda.

We are also aware that Oxfam was advised to alter its mission statement by changing the wording of the “prevention of poverty” to “alleviation of poverty,” raising questions about whether refusal would interfere with their charitable status. What on earth do you people understand about poverty and what is the basis of such a request?

These are just a few examples that have frustrated the citizenry and which your letter does nothing to alleviate.

Please give Canadian citizens some credit for their intelligence. Have you learned nothing from past years about the public’s increasingly urgent demands for honesty, accountability and transparency  from our democratic government?

Jessie Mantle

Saanich

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