Not terrorists, white-collar crooks, or climate change -- it seems the real threat to Canadian society hides behind a much friendlier face: charities. Or to be more specific, charities critical of the Canadian government. This week it was made public that the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is auditing PEN Canada for its "political activities." In 2012, the Canadian government earmarked $8 million of the CRA's budget for auditing political activities, and then upped that amount again to $13 million. In a time of austerity, there is still a plenty of money to go after enemies of our federal government.
While you're reading this, nearly two million employees are busy trying to make our world a little bit better through their work at Canada's more than eighty thousand registered charitable organizations. Until recently, few of us have had a reason to think about charities beyond the value of their good works. However, a deep chill has settled upon Canada's non-profit sector as a result of a federal initiative to ensure that the Canada Revenue Agency more rigorously monitors the activities of charitable organizations.