OTTAWA (May 3, 2012) – “I am pleased that our Government is taking the necessary steps to ensure that the transparency and accountability for charities is improved,” explained Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament for Vegreville-Wainwright.
Benoit is referring to the Economic Action Plan 2012 that proposes charities devote their resources to charity, not political activities and to ensure that there is public transparency and accountability on the matter. Concerns are being raised that some charities might not be respecting rules regarding political activities.
“The Government provides generous assistance to registered charities under the tax system in recognition of the important work they do,” Benoit stated. “However, charitable organizations should not be allowed to spew political rhetoric. These organizations should be required to get their funding in other ways and should not be entitled to charitable deductions.”
There are also calls for transparency relating to the political activity of charities, including the extent in which they are funded by foreign sources. Environmental groups are being funded by foreign sources to stop major projects in Canada but the sources of this funding are not being divulged.
“I am certainly concerned about the lack of transparency for foreign funding in Canada,” Benoit stated. “Let me be clear, I am not opposed to these groups being funded by foreign sources but I do believe that more transparency is needed and that Canadians should have the right to know who and where the money is coming from.”