LETTER: Minister’s answer puzzling on audit

Revenue minister should give Canadian citizens some credit for their intelligence.

Re: CRA follows tough rules (Opinion, Aug. 20)

I read National Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay’s letter discussing matters about auditing charitable organizations.

I was amazed that she would think we would believe all the explanations she provided.

For instance, many of us are involved in giving to these organizations and we know who is being audited. It is puzzling to me why she defended the CRA ruling of secrecy and her claim that it makes the compliance regime more effective.

Surely there is a better way to do this than trying to pretend there is secrecy and that it is effective.

Contrary to Ms. Findlay’s view that there is no political bias in selecting organizations to audit, it is public knowledge that a number of audits were aimed at environmental groups who have taken positions that may run counter to the Harper government’s agenda.

We are also aware  that Oxfam was advised to alter their mission statements by changing the wording of the “prevention of poverty” to “alleviation of poverty” raising questions about whether refusal would interfere with their charitable status.

What on earth does the conservative government understand about poverty and what is the basis of such a request?

These are just a few examples that have frustrated the citizenry and which the minister’s letter does nothing to alleviate.

Ms. Findlay, please give Canadian citizens some credit for their intelligence. Have you learned nothing from the past years about the public’s increasing urgent demands  for honesty, accountability and transparency from our democratic government?

Jessie Mantle, Saanich