New Democrats call for independent investigation of CRA charity audits

More than ever, New Democrats are convinced that we need to investigate allegations of intimidation and political interference that continue to emerge in connection with the targeted audits of charities undertaken by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

“Canadians must have complete confidence in the integrity of the CRA and our tax system. However, I fear that the evidence strongly suggests that the Conservative government has been misusing the CRA to target its political opponents,” said NDP National Revenue critic, Murray Rankin (Victoria). "We must clear the air."

When it was first announced as a measure in Budget 2012, then-Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver touted the initial $8 million Conservative plan to audit charities as cracking down on “environmental and other radical groups,” which he said were working to undermine Canada’s national interest.  The special fund earmarked to audit charities’ political activities now totals $13.4 million, established at a time of massive cuts to the CRA.

Conservatives used their majority to hold today’s committee meeting in camera. The committee was released after 30 minutes, with no plans to study the allegations.