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not all is equal. what choice will you make?
13

Environmental Lobby Group Violating Charities Law

Ethical Oil March 22, 2012

CRA should strip “Environmental Defence” 

of their charitable status

TORONTO On March 21 EthicalOil.org wrote to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) calling for the lobby group “Environmental Defence” to be stripped of their charitable status as a consequence for breaking charities law.

The CRA clearly states that registered charities are prohibited from engaging in partisan activity. Yet Environmental Defence’s actions show they are engaged in partisan activity. Some of this lobby group’s partisan and political activities include:

  • Running a multi-pronged partisan campaign in the Environment Minister’s Thornhill riding, which included ads, canvassing, and calling 50,000 households to censure the Minister’s comments on the oil sands.
  • A stated political purpose to challenge government policy.
  • Been a leading member of a political alliance that heavily lobbied the Ontario government to change a law.

Charities are supposed to do work for the public good, like feeding the poor or funding research to cure AIDS. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing this lobby group’s partisan actions and political agenda.  The CRA should strip Environmental Defence of their charitable status for breaking charities law.

With deep pocketed foreign funders like the Tides Foundations behind them, Environmental Defence shouldn’t have a problem financing their partisan and political activity. Just don’t call it charity and expect taxpayers to subsidize it.

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“The “Environmental Defence” lobby group’s partisan and political activity is breaking charities law. The Canada Revenue Agency should strip this lobby group of their charitable status.”

–Jordan Graham, National Spokesperson, EthicalOil.org

“Environmental Defence is welcome to use their right to free speech to engage in whatever politics they want, they just shouldn’t expect taxpayers to subsidize their political agenda through charitable tax breaks.”

–Jamie Ellerton, Executive Director, EthicalOil.org

Media contact:

Jordan Graham, National Spokesperson

To read more about our efforts and take action, CLICK HERE.

To download the letter of complaint click HERE.

Comments (13)

  1. You guys have gone way over the line this time. So anyone who advocates against the federal government’s policies is acting outside of allowed charitable activity?

    You need to recheck the definition of “polical party” and “government”.Saying the government is acting foolishly (or well) is not partisan – it’s criticising the government.

    Which candidates were they favoring? Were all candidates allowed to speak?
    I expect you think the phrase “the party leaders are being challenged to answer whether they will take away the clean energy jobs ” is partisan? Which party is it on behalf of?

    • CF – if you can take off your leftist enviro-nutbar blinders and read the law on charitable organizations you will see that it is not over the line. No one is denying that an environmental lobby can speakout against government policies – hey that’s what free speach is all about – but its quite another thing to issue tax receipts to lobby for/against governement or social policies.

      • MJ – if you can take off your “Retarded Righty Neo-Con Pea-Brained Fascist” blinders you will see that the uber-right Fraser Institute — which also has “charitable status”– has been influencing and lobbying for / against governmental and social policies for years — with supplemental funding from the Washington D.C. based Cato Institute no less.

        Can you say “serious double standard?”

  2. If fighting to protect our environment and the services it provides which are essential for human life isn’t a public good, then I don’t know what is. And as for your implication that feeding the poor and searching for a cure for AIDS isn’t political, wrong again I’m afraid.

    You should be ashamed. You are blatantly misleading Canadians and attempting to take away our ability to protect our environment and the natural heritage that defines the Canadian identity. Or at least it does for those of us who aren’t willing to sell our souls for more oil money. You disgust me.

  3. This is counter-productive, and is achieving nothing other than wasting resources and time. Ensuring environmental perspectives are heard is not partisan, it’s democracy; this is an attack on free speech. Perhaps engaging in a conversation with organizations whose views oppose your own may contribute to progress towards what is best for society and the economy. Certainly this isn’t the solution.

    • It is not an attack on Free Speech …issuing charitable reciepts from Enviro Lobby Group is robbing of Canadian Taxpayers. If you want to donate your money to Eivironmental Defense then do so it is a free country but I dont want my tax dollars supporting it.

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  6. OK, you guys, (so called) Ethical Oil, have lost it. Environmental Defense has a point of view on Environmental issues in order to protect the larger public good, the health and well being of our natural world and thus humans and our future and the resources and natural systems we all rely on for survival… as opposed to the pocketbooks of the oil industry. That is not partisan, that is looking out for the public good.
    The only reason it may appear partisan, or give you the opening to try to trick people into thinking so, is because the current government seems to be skewed very much against these very important ideals and morals. They are not against the conservatives, they are against the ridiculous anti-environmental policies that are being put forward by the conservative government.
    You position is like saying that if a charitable organization supports third world countries in poverty, but then the government decides not to live up to its aid promises, then if the charitable organization speaks out against the lack of aid, they are being partisan.
    That is just ridiculous. They are speaking out regarding the issues they are set up to protect, pure and simple.
    You guys will do anything to spin things to take the spotlight off the terrible things that you are doing.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves and I hope none of you have young children because if you do, when they grow up, they might resent you for being so selfish, greedy and short sighted.

  7. “Ethical oil” may present itself as protecting the interests of Canadians, but all it is doing is protecting the interests of shareholders of oil sands development, including the multinational corporations and shareholders that benefit directly from the exploitation of the resource. The argument that foreign environmental groups are hindering oil sands development and are, therefore, not acting in the interests of canadians is neither logically sound or valid. Development of the oil sands benefits the shareholders and multinational corporations, not Canadians generally.

  8. So if Environmental Defence is pursuing a political purpose… how is it that Ethical Oil isn’t?

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