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Canada Without Poverty challenges Harper audits at United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva

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President of the Board of Directors of Canada Without Poverty, Harriett McLachlan, and CWP’s Legal Education and Outreach Coordinator, Michèle Biss 

“…President of the Board of Directors of Canada Without Poverty, Harriett McLachlan (r), and CWP’s Legal Education and Outreach Coordinator, Michèle Biss (l), addressed the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) concerning the restrictions placed on charities in Canada through Canada’s Income Tax Act. CWP believes these restrictions are a violation of charities freedom of expression and assembly and have resulted in an advocacy chill across the entire charitable sector.

The central issue raised was the requirement that charities’ “political activities” must be incidental to an organization’s main activities. In other words, not more than 10% of a charities resources can be devoted to “political” activities. This is has resulted in charities constraining themselves out of fear that they may lose charitable status.

The Canadian Government has used the language of the Income Tax Act to devote significant resources to audit several charities for political activity. This chill has put a particular strain on charities that are human rights oriented and have been perceived to be expressing political views that are in opposition to the current Government. …”

More at http://ow.ly/PftTG

To view the complete submission click here pdf 

"...Harriett McLachlan, president of Canada Without Poverty, is pleading her case before the UN Human Rights Committee, arguing that a special audit program launched by the tax agency in 2012 violates Canada's international commitments on human rights. ... McLachlan says a rule limiting to 10 per cent the resources a charity can devote to political activities effectively silences groups like hers that want to hold the Canadian government accountable.

"If we want to write a petition, or be part of some kind of gathering, a protest, there's a fear there that we  are stepping over the bounds," she said in an interview with CBC News.

"There's a potential of a gag being put over my mouth."..."

More at http://ow.ly/Pcncp

Disclosure: I am proud to be the Canada Without Poverty board member for the Northwest Territories  and even prouder to support this action.

Canada Without Poverty (CWP), as it is known today, has a long history of representing the interests of low-income and impoverished Canadians. The organization was founded officially in 1971 as the National Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO) as a result of the first national Poor People’s Conference.

For more information on the work of Canada Without Poverty, visit http://www.cwp-csp.ca/
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CanadaWithoutPoverty
Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/CWP_CSP

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