Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Charitable activities?

Why hasn't the Manning Centre's charitable status gotten more attention? CRA's own guidelines on political activities raise some interesting questions. For e.g.,
Under the Income Tax Act and in common law, an organization established for a political purpose cannot be a registered charity. The courts have determined political purposes to be those that seek to:

further the interests of a particular political party or support a political party or candidate for public office;
If you review the Manning site, their School of Practical Politics is devoted to training conservative political activists:
With voter turnout at an all time low, the political process needs to be demystified and reinvigorated. By drawing on years of political experience, and some of the brightest minds in the conservative movement, the Manning School of Practical Politics aims to: Train future political leaders at the grassroots level, Teach key campaign skills to improve the quality and effectiveness of grassroots activists and Help more conservatives get elected

The Manning Centre believes that the conservative movement’s most important resource is its people, and that as a movement we must invest more in our grassroots activists and our future leaders.
See also this page.

Their conference on the weekend included such agenda items as "How can we win political campaigns promoting a reduced role for government?"

Recall during the Ontario provincial election when that one video of David Suzuki walking with Dalton McGuinty caused such a huge ruckus from right wing commentators over the Suzuki Foundation's charitable status. Seems like the Manning Centre, with the goal of helping more conservatives get elected, among other things, might warrant some scrutiny of its own.

Update (6:00 p.m.): Dave recently raised the issue of the Manning Centre's charitable status as well, in the context of a Manning op-ed a few weeks back.