Elsewhere online
August 20, 2014

Canadian Lawmakers Block Hearing on Charity Audits

Conservative Party members of Canada's Parliament have blocked plans by opposition legislators to review claims that audits of nonprofit groups by the country's tax agency are politically motivated, the Canadian Press and the CBC report.

Members of the New Democratic Party sought hearings before the House of Commons' Finance Committee on the Canadian Revenue Agency's political-activities audits. The Conservative government has allocated an additional $11.9-million to the tax office to scrutinize political spending by nonprofit groups. Critics charge the effort has focused on environmental and human-rights organizations that have opposed government policies.

The Conservative-controlled committee rejected the review during a closed-door meeting Tuesday. Gerald Keddy, a Conservative member, called the allegations of political targeting "shameful," adding, "The idea that the professional men and women who work within the CRA in an arm's-length auditing process, maintaining the integrity of the system, could somehow fall under political influence is simply wrong."