Thursday, July 24, 2014

There's Only One Word For It -- Tyranny


In the wake of the news that the Harper government has directed the CRA to audit PEN Canada, Linda McQuaig asks,"Why is Harper punishing charities while letting tax cheats off the hook?"

This beefing-up of tax audits of charities is particularly striking when compared to Harper’s laid-back approach to auditing the real bad guys: corporations and citizens using offshore tax havens to cheat the government out of billions of dollars in revenue.

Indeed, the allocation of an extra $13 million to carry out audits of charities has taken place even as the government slashes the overall Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) budget by $250 million over three years and lays off hundreds of auditors.

Meanwhile, as worldwide pressure has grown for a clampdown on tax havens, Ottawa announced last year that it was ramping up its efforts to investigate offshore tax evasion. But it only allocated $15 million — over five years — a piddling amount, given the existing departmental cuts and the sheer scope of the offshore problem.

A CRA auditor provides value for money:

In Canada, an experienced international tax auditor typically costs Ottawa about $100,000 a year, but brings in ten times that amount in revenue, according to sources.

Internal CRA documents, obtained under access-to-information by Sen. Percy Downe, reveal that an infusion of $30 million by Ottawa in 2005 to counter “aggressive international tax planning” resulted in the collection of an extra $2.5 billion over four years.

Presumably, that is why the auditors have been sent in to monitor an organization with an annual budget of  $240,000 -- while "the illegal caching of money offshore by Canadian companies and individuals results in an annual revenue loss to Canadian governments (provincial and federal) of about $7.8 billion, according to Dennis Howlett, executive director of the Ottawa-based Canadians for Tax Fairness."

The problem is that PEN had the audacity "to criticize the government for muzzling scientists in the civil service, and for spying on Canadian citizens alongside U.S. intelligence agencies."

There is only one word for it -- tyranny. 


Rural said...

It quite clear that this is not about tax cheating by charities, some of whom may have inadvertently gone a few hundred dollars over their limit of spending on 'political activities' (and where is the line between expressing an opinion and such 'activities”). That PEN is being targeted, an organization that promotes free speech and writings, is particularly troubling. Whats next the targeting of bloggers and individuals who are not 'true believers'?

Owen Gray said...

All dissent for these folks -- internal and external -- is dangerous, Rural.

And that is why they are dangerous.

mogs moglio said...

Dear Linda McQuaig,

Stephen Harper loves tax cheats he himself is one. What he cannot tolerate is tax cheats [not] that do not lick his balls and will not support him in his tyranny. It is simple; as simple minded George W. Bush once said "either you are with us or you are against us."

Well dear Linda if you do not salute the Emporer Harper when he passes near you may be in for an audit. If you get on your knees and grovel, well you may cheat lie and steal, which has become the hallmark of the Harper Imperium.

I hope I've answered your question.



Anonymous said...

I do not believe for one minute, this is about charities cheating on their taxes? This is about Harper's paranoia, the charities he accuses of, funding anti-pipeline-tar sands groups.

Owen Gray said...

I agree with you, Anon. It's painfully obvious.

Owen Gray said...

I think McQuaig would be a little more diplomatic, Mogs.

Steve said...

Harper is lost. Canadians do not see Margaret Atwood as in any way threatening. Attacking Atwood is like attacking maple surpy. Its going to stick to you and the population will still find it delicious.

Owen Gray said...

Atwood is an articulate spokesperson, Steve. She'll mock these folks and turn them into laughingstocks.

mogs moglio said...


She sure is, me myself and I however are extremely tired of the same old same old rhetoric coming out of Ottawa "We are here to clean up the scandalous government sitting in power's breaches of the law" and yet each proves itself to be worse than the one it replaced.

Perhaps I am distrustful of the cons as a tired party run out of fresh ideas. So now they blindly follow the Jean Chrétien path grab all the cash you can before you are kicked out of town.

But Steven Harper has added a whole new disgusting slant to this by playing Adolph, paranoid delusional hypocritical and mentally ill. He attack's everything Canadian, what?

Who are the fools that let him in through the front door?


Owen Gray said...

Those fools would be us, Mogs.

mogs moglio said...

Not me Owen I proudly voted for Jack Layton.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, Mogs, there were 25% of Canadians who thought that Harper was a great man -- and 40% who didn't vote.