Revoke Charitable Status of Anti-choice Groups, says Pro-choice Group

For immediate release

NATIONAL – Several anti-choice charities have misrepresented or failed to report federal funding for their Canada Summer Jobs grants on their Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) charity returns, after a review by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). The group looked at charity tax returns for all anti-abortion charities that received Canada Summer Jobs grants in the period 2011-2017. Of the 44 agencies that misrepresented or failed to report federal funding, $859,404 in federal grants were received, but only $416,363 was reported.

ARCC had reported several “crisis pregnancy centres” to the CRA in 2016, but many continue to misrepresent their federal funding.1 “Canadians expect that organizations will be honest and transparent in their reporting to the Canada Revenue Agency. Donors rely on this information to make informed choices” said Kathy Dawson, a Board member with Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada and Alberta Prochoice Coalition.

ARCC welcomes the news that the Canadian federal government has updated Canada Summer Job applicant rules to ensure that groups advocating against abortion rights or the equality of LGBTQ2 Canadians will not be able to get funding.2

However, ARCC points to another major problem – of the estimated 282 anti-abortion groups in Canada, 77% have charitable tax status.3

“No anti-abortion agency should be registered as a charity,” said Joyce Arthur, Executive Director of ARCC. “The mission and activities of anti-choice groups are inherently political and biased, which should disqualify them from charitable status. They work to stigmatize abortion, constrain individuals’ access to it, and ultimately to recriminalize it. They seek to subvert the Charter rights of Canadians through deception and misinformation.”4

ARCC is renewing the request to disqualify anti-abortion agencies from charitable status and has again asked the Canada Revenue Agency to audit their charity returns.

“Our pro-choice Liberal government would be protecting the rights of women and LGBTQ2 people, as well as the integrity of the charity registration system under the Income Tax Act, by ensuring that federal funding is reported correctly on returns. The government should also revoke charity status from anti-abortion political groups, because the benefits of charitable registration should only be available to organizations that operate exclusively for charitable purposes,” said Arthur.

1   Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, January 1, 2018. “Canada Summer Jobs Grants Misreported or Not Reported on Anti-choice CRA Returns.” www.arcc-cdac.ca/CPC-study/Canada-Summer-Jobs-Reported-Misreported-to-CRA.pdf

2   Global News, December 15, 2017. Amanda Connolly. “Canada Summer Jobs program will no longer fund anti-abortion, anti-gay groups”. https://globalnews.ca/news/3914528/canada-summer-jobs-anti-abortion-anti-gay-groups/

3 Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. January 2018. “Anti-choice and Pro-choice Groups in Canada.” http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/Anti-choice-pro-choice-groups-charities.pdf

4 Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, November 30, 2016. “Position Paper #82, Anti-Choice “Crisis Pregnancy Centres” Should Not Have Charitable Tax Status. http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/CPC-study/8-CPCs-should-not-have-charitable-status.pdf

Media Contacts:

Joyce ArthurExecutive Director /
Directrice générale, ARCC-CDAC, Vancouver
joyce@arcc-cdac.ca604-351-0867
Kathy DawsonAlberta Pro-Choice Coalition,
Edmonton
kathy@arcc-cdac.ca780-914-4695
Carolyn EganOntario Coalition for Abortion Clinics, Torontoc.egan@sympatico.ca416-806-7985
Julie Lalonde
(parle français)
ARCC-CDAC, Ottawajulie.s.lalonde@gmail.com613-301-2697
Colleen MacQuarrie, BA, MA, PhDProfessor, University of Prince Edward Island / Professeur, Université de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard, Charlottetown, PEcmacquarrie@upei.ca902-566-0617
Christopher Kaposy, PhDEthicist, Memorial University / Éthicien, Université Memorial, St. Johns NL / T.-N.christopher.kaposy@med.mun.ca709-864-3375
(w / bur.)
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