Constitutional Lawyer Says It’s Not Government’s Place to Target Charities Over Ideology
A liberal proposal to ban charitable status to organizations that the party considers “anti-abortion” has been condemned as an “attack” on constitutional freedoms and an abuse of the Canada Revenue Agency’s powers.
The Liberal Party’s “Forward. For All.” The forum says that “a re-elected Liberal government … [n]Now grant charity status to anti-abortion organizations (for example, the Crisis Pregnancy Center) that provide unscrupulous counseling to women about their rights and the options available to them at all stages of pregnancy. The Liberals also promise up to $10 million for an information portal that would include a clause that “combats misinformation about abortion.”
Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) attorney Marty Moore told The Epoch Times that it is not the government’s place to target charities over ideology.
“It’s hard to think of a more coercive attack – I always say this, but then I am proved wrong by the government’s announcement the next day – on fundamental freedoms of expression and belief, that a government really said we should go. We have been targeting what we see as misinformation and now we are going to politicize an already respected charitable status,” he said.
“Whether it’s Ducks Unlimited or Greenpeace, … the role of the government is not to examine their ideology or their political position, but to make sure they are doing good to the public and to these charitable causes.” Dedicated funds are not embezzled financially.”
Pregnancy Care Canada (PCC), which describes itself as “a best practice, Christian, national association” and has 81 pregnancy center partners, says its “staff and volunteers are clinically accurate on all three options.” Providing Information: Abortion, Adoption and Parenting, PCC Executive Director Laura Lewis shared with The Epoch Times, according to a fact sheet on her website.
The PCC fact sheet states that “everyone serving in the charitable sector is at risk of a politically motivated ‘price test’.”
This is a concern that Moore shares.
“How far does this go as far as applying to religious organizations, churches, mosques, temples, maybe synagogues, which in their religious views would be anti-abortion?” he asks.
Moore says, “The idea that the government has a right to regulate misinformation is a complete disregard for the Charter, if it is not a direct attack on the concept of freedom of thought and expression.”
“Taking charitable status now and weaponizing it into an ideological club with which to defeat political and ideological opponents is contrary to the Charter. Is. “
CRA Vs. Domain of Courts
The PCC fact sheet also states that its affiliated centers rely on donations and that “our charitable status removal policy could seriously harm our ability to serve and care for our customers.”
“Women, men, and children receiving assistance in pregnancy care centers are the ones who will ultimately suffer. Annually, thousands of caregivers are vulnerable, marginalized, struggling financially, and without adequate support,” it said. said.
This isn’t the first time liberals have set requirements that prevent pro-life organizations from accessing financial aid programs. In 2018, the Canada Summer Jobs program required applicants to confirm their support for abortion as a condition of receiving funding. The event was canceled in 2019 following a court challenge by the JCCF.
Kate Bahn, managing director of Charity Intelligence Canada, an independent organization that assesses financial transparency and the effectiveness of charities, told The Epoch Times that she doubts that a comprehensive government policy on charitable status would be able to address any perceived problems. proper way.
“Donors need to meet basic standards of care and not be negligent. Yet failing to meet basic standards of care – or dishonest counseling – is the jurisdiction of the courts. Quality of service is not part of the Canada Revenue Agency’s oversight,” Bahn said.
“I believe the courts are the best place to investigate individual donations and address any unfair consultation. This will be on a case-by-case basis which will set precedent and award damages.”
The PCC fact sheet states that the centers provide free support and that the information they provide is “externally reviewed by specialized physicians in Canada, including perinatal nurses, family physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists, and medical ethicists.”
The PCC reports that in 2020, 31,717 women and men helped at their care centers. This included “7,015 customers who received supplies of materials such as diapers, formula and clothing.” Additionally, 1,624 clients were supported through parenting programs and 624 women requested and received support after an abortion.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times