One of the fallouts resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic as recently reported was: “Canada’s charities say they have begun laying off staff and shutting down their services, which are usually in high demand during economic downturns, as the sector feels the financial sting from COVID-19.”
What is a “charity?
As most of us know the institutions referred to in Canada as charities, has changed, as much wider regulations were brought in by Prime Minister Trudeau’s government. The change now allows charities to “carry out unlimited “public policy dialogue and development activities”. This means they are free to spend money on partisan issues favouring political parties. The charities of the “climate change” religion love the change and many of them have expanded those partisan activities. Many of us however don’t think charities of their ilk are what we feel are real charities!
Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines the word “charity” as, 1. benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity and 2. generosity and helpfulness esp. toward the needy or suffering.
These aren’t charities!
Back in 2014 the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) was investigating seven* (7) environmental charities however as soon as the Liberal Party was swept into power the investigation was cancelled. Reviewing the most recent CRA filings and a news report (Pembina) for those seven charities one discovers in the latest year they received $7,449,747 in grants or contracts ($183,000) from the government. If the foregoing isn’t disturbing enough, their latest CRA filings indicate they collectively received $22,107,186 in donations from other charities. It is difficult to understand exactly how that almost $30 million is somehow remotely associated with the Merriam Webster definition of what constitutes a “charity”!
The other galling piece of information about the almost $30 million of charitable donations that “group of seven” received is; some of it came from charities owned by the Province such as the Trillium Foundation and the Greenbelt Foundation which are both dependent on funding from Ontario taxpayers. Gross revenue for the seven was just under $39 million. Six of the seven charities (Pembina attributed no salary costs to their charity in CRA flings) reported salaries for their top 10 employees in a range from $40K to $350K and the average salary of each of the 54 of them, would appear to be just shy of $100K per annum. Those salaries are not what one would expect from those who are benevolent and want to help the needy,
It should also be noted those seven “environmental” charities are just a few of the thousands of environmental groups active in Canada and registered with the CRA as charities. Many of them can be found on “RECEN” (The Canadian Environmental Network) and many others can be found listed on the Canadian Directory for Environmental Groups. Additionally a number of major corporations such as TD Bank and Suncor have established charities that hand out money to many environmental charities such as the Clean Economy Fund (a Bruce Lourie creation) who in turn hand it out to other environmental charities. Another example is “Evergreen” a Pan-Canadian Expert collaborator who received $375K from the Suncor Foundation and additional funds from MaRS Discovery District. The latter (a provincially owned charity) also received funds from Suncor. It’s become a game of “follow the money” for a lot of us taxpayers.
How Dare They!
The Federal and Provincial governments in Canada need to take some time and speak with those who are engaged in real philanthropy and stop calling climate change activates, charitable institutions.
Save the jobs of real charitable workers and let the eco-warriors figure out how to keep their lights on!
*The David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, The Pembina Foundation, Environmental Defence, Equiterre and the Ecology Action Centre