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Michael Laxer lives in Toronto where he runs a bookstore with his partner Natalie. Michael has a Degree in History from Glendon College of York University. He is a political activist, a two-time former candidate and former election organizer for the NDP, was a socialist candidate for Toronto City Council in 2010 and is on the executive of the newly formed Socialist Party of Ontario.

The bullies that you are paying for: How the 'Christian' right is making you subsidize their hate

| May 9, 2012

We are all likely familiar with the war that our Conservative federal government is waging on organizations with which it does not see eye to eye.

And most of us have heard the borderline hate speech of Ontario Christian fascist Charles McVety, as when he said, in opposition to Ontario's new proposed anti-bullying law, Monday, May 7, appallingly and revoltingly, that:

Bill 13 "embraces a radical sex education agenda" and children will be taught "about oral and anal sex."

"My daughter is a precious little 14-year-old girl. I beg you not to do this to my daughter," he said. "This bill goes against the Bible. The Bible is a very important document."

You may be less aware of what your tax dollars are subsidizing when it comes to the virulent anti-gay and anti-woman, anti-choice rhetoric that is coming from groups that either are, or claim to be, "charities" under tax law, usually by using religion as the front to circumvent the intent of the law.

Let us start by noting the law, according to our own government, courts and the Canada Revenue Agency:

Under the Act and common law, an organization established for a political purpose cannot be a charity. The courts have determined political purposes to be those that seek to:

-  further the interests of a particular political party; or support a political party or candidate for public office; or

-  retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country.

Yet, despite this, it would appear that many of the anti-choice, anti-gay groups that are getting tax deductible status are very much attempting to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country."

Where to even begin.

How about with the CRA file for the Kitchener Waterloo Right-to-Life Association. As you can see they entirely violate the CRA provision above.

Here is a link to the publicly filed and available financial records listed with the CRA for this "charity." It is surprisingly hard to link directly to this information, given that it is completely public, so we have linked to it by doing screen shots and posting them separately.

As you might note, in one of the photos you will see a "typo" where the CRA actually says the direct opposite of the actual law. Despite the fact that their own website makes one thing clear, they state something else on the form related to an anti-choice political group.

Odd isn't it?

Then there is McVety's organization itself. As you will see this group advocates very strongly for the rantings of its "leader."

On its "home" page even, it states: 

"In early December, Ontario’s Liberals and Conservatives introduced separate Anti-Bullying bills. Astonishingly PC Leader Tim Hudak chose to support Dalton McGuinty’s Bill 13. In Mr. Hudak's rush to judgment he misled Ontarians to believe that Catholics were in support of the Premier's proposed legislation. When challenged by the media on December 6th Mr. Hudak replied "As far as I understand to even the Catholic Trustees, the Board, the Bishops have said the approach and legislation is appropriate." Mr. Hudak was misinformed.

Welcome to the Institute for Canadian Values

(call us 416.391.5000)

The Institute for Canadian Values is a national think-tank dedicated to advancing knowledge of public policy issues from Judeo-Christian intellectual and moral perspectives, as well as awareness of how such perspectives contribute to a modern, free, and democratic society.

Advocate for Canadian Values

Typical Actions. Call your:

-  local media

-  Member of Parliament

-  Prime Minister

-  Pray for God to preserve Canadian Values

-  Donate $27.77 per month for 3 years -- $1,000

Yet, they then very clearly imply, on their money page, that they are able to issue tax receipts. Interestingly we have attempted to find the name of their "charity" on the government's website and have been unable to. Try for yourself. And if you do find them, could you please ask the government why they are there!

If they are a recognized "charity," why exactly? They are clearly in violation of the CRA's own code. 

But how about some of the CRA's "recognized", self-proclaimed pro-life abortion counseling "charities." You can  link to a partial search list of them here.

For now, how about one single example, the "charity" in Brantford, Ontario.

These folks tell you that:

 "Sex is designed for two primary purposes: 1. To create babies and 2. To bond a man and a woman together for life. The idea of "recreational sex" should be understood as being on the same level as recreational drug use."

 or...

"Our counsel is that abortion compounds rather than solves the problems associated with an unplanned pregnancy check out the "Link up" area on the bottom of our web page for more information."

or...

" However, condoms only slightly reduce the chances that either of you will get other serious STI infections. Many STI's are transferred by skin to skin contact which a condom cannot prevent. Nothing can avoid the emotional and psychological impact of sex. There is no such thing as "safe sex" outside of the lifetime commitment of marriage."

This is non-political and impartial in what sense?

Outright anti-choice, religious and overtly political counseling on your dime.

We are paying, directly, to subsidize these views.

Just in case, despite all the evidence, you think this is isolated, here is a North York "pregnancy counseling" group.

After reading their propaganda against abortion, you get this when they shill for the money:

"We seek to honour God in the way donated resources are managed and through honest and respectful communications with our supporters. Contributions to this ministry are tax deductible Thank you for your support."

It turns out we need not go outside of Canada at all to find the kinds of government funded religious bigotry and misogyny that our pundits claim exists only in the Islamic World.

We and the government of Canada are directly funding misogyny and anti-woman propaganda today. 

It is time to stop this and end the "charitable" status extended to these political wings of Canada's Christian anti-woman and anti-LGBT political warriors.

Michael Laxer lives in Toronto where he runs a bookstore. He is a political activist and one of two Spokespersons for the Socialist Party of Ontario.

Natalie Lochwin is a Toronto political activist, and one of two Spokespersons for the Socialist Party of Ontario.

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Comments

The issue is not whether or not any of McVety's puppet organizations deserve to have charitable status (I would vote NO), but whether or not McVety is providing charitable receipts for donations made under the Institute for Canadian Values or any any of his other organizations that do not have charitable status. If he is, then I think that this would be considered fraud.

The problem with McVety is that he thinks any actions that support his views are justified.

So, because they are not a CHRISTIAN far-right/anti-gay/mysogenyst group, these guys get a pass?

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/ontario-taxpayers-give-150000-to-musli...

There's a difference between organizations that engage in activities having a political purpose and those established for a political purpose. That's why we might be happy to see tax dollars going to, say, environmental organizations established to educate and support research, even when they try to influence policy. I assume that's the defence of the Fraser Institute, since their main purpose is to prove and convince people that certain market fundamentalist approaches can solve any problem whatsoever. And if they accidentally convince a few politicos along the way, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles, eh? I don't think we should be rescinding the charitable status of every organization that gets involved in politics, anyway. Not that I know what to do, of course...

The Institute for Canadian Values is apparently part of:

"CANADA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE & SCHOOL OF GRADUATE THEOLOGICAL STUDIES"

Which is a registered charity, their main program area is:

"Seminaries and other religious colleges"

I'm not sure how the institute qualifies to issue tax receipts at all, although I have a feeling that the Canada Christian College uses the institute as a 'Fundraising Endeavor' 

Excellent post. The Canadian far right, both its social conservative and market fundamentalist wings, including its adherents currently in government, forgot the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.” One result of their constant hectoring for financial scrutiny of environmental charities, labour unions and other progressive groups has been increasing attention to the practices of right-wing “charities” such as these religious anti-abortion groups and market-fundamentalist “think tanks” like the Fraser Institute and Frontier Centre, all of which are clearly in violation of CRA’s rules for charity, not to mention private businesses whose practices have a potential impact on society and the environment. If we are a society of laws, the law must apply equally to all. If we are not, well, all bets are off, aren’t they?

 

It's important to be clear not to conflate the radical far-right position as being the opinion of all Christianity (although to be fair, it's a conflation the far-right deliberately exploits).  This is not a "left versus Christians" conflict so much as one driven by a select branch of extreme absolutists.

Beyond that, I'd agree with your basic premise, that certain kinds of charities are being given carte blanche to be political, while even homeless shelter foundations for LGBT people have difficulty getting charitable status. 

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