The enemy list was handed over to the IRS by the White House, but luckily for those on the list, the head commissioner refused to cooperate with the Nixon enemy plan. Nixon's presidency would go down as one of the lowest points in US political history, and it would have been even lower if Nixon was able to fully execute his audit-the-enemy strategy. Flash forward to Canada today. Not only do we now know that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office maintains a political enemy list, we also saw an extra $8 million dollars in new funding directed to Revenue Canada last year "to audit charities suspected of receiving foreign funding to finance political advocacy beyond the accepted 10% of overall activities allowed under CRA codes." The audit funds became available after the Harper government named environmental groups and First Nations as 'adversaries' in a campaign to increase exports of tar sands bitumen to Europe and after an open letter from Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver characterized prominent environmental groups and citizens as 'foreign funded radicals' and ideological extremists. Today full-blown audits are being executed against environmental and progressive organizations - the same groups that have been critical of Harper and his government policies. Right-wing, industry friendly groups, like the Fraser Institute, who receive large sums of cash from US sources have not been the subject of audits by Revenue Canada. These Revenue Canada audits have had their intended effect and are bringing groups who oppose Conservative government policies to a screeching halt with endless amounts of paperwork and information requests from Revenue Canada staff. Groups subjected to an audit also experience a chilling effect and are reluctant to speak out aggressively against the government for fear of being audited again. Almost 40 years after Nixon resigned his presidency, Harper is picking up where the disgraced US president left off.
"This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies."
- Kevin Grandia, DeSmog CanadaSuggest a correction