Time to Audit the Fraser Institute - 2012-06-05
As an example, the CRA states that "a purpose such as improving the environment by reducing the sulphur content of gasoline would very likely require changes in government regulations. Generally, any purpose that suggests convincing or needing people to act in a certain way and which is contingent upon a change to law or government policy (e.g., "the abolition of" or "the total suppression of animal experimentation") is a political purpose."
Given all of this, and given the Ethical Oil Institute's obvious concern about registered charities flouting CRA rules — namely, engaging in partisan political activity, or spending too much time and money influencing public opinion about laws, policies, or government decisions — it's surprising that Ethical Oil didn't send a third letter complaining about perhaps the most politically partisan of all Canadian charities — the infamous Fraser Institute.
"The problem with political ENGOs with charitable status is that they act like political advocates, and even partisans, but they expect the tax treatment of Mother Teresa," Levant told the Vancouver Observer recently, adding that EthicalOil.org isn't a registered charity. "We don't pretend to be in the same moral category as feeding the hungry or housing the homeless — and so we don't get an exemption from the Income Tax Act like registered charities do."