Blowing the whistle on the Fraser Institute.

Fair’s fair. Babel-on-the-Bay would like to file a complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency. The complaint is against the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute and its offices in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. This pseudo think-tank enterprise has been found to be biased and one-sided. It is more of an unthinking-tank as it has a clear bias on its research subjects and seems to only hire researchers prepared to support that bias.

What has brought about this demand for retribution is the outrageous treatment of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The Canada Revenue Agency is harassing the centre with an unnecessary and vindictive audit. The agency has not told us who made the complaint. The Centre for Policy Alternatives is a think tank that actually encourages thinking. It is honest about its bias. It is concerned about people and their needs. It appears to be left wing because the policy alternatives it studies are alternatives to right-wing government action and, in many cases, inaction.

Have you ever seen a more obvious prejudice than auditing the Centre for Policy Alternatives and not the Fraser Institute? This is trashing the reputation for fairness earned over many years by Canada’s revenue agency. It makes the agency look like some kind of lackey for the Harper Conservatives.

And what is enraging academics across Canada is that it is obvious that the Harper government is using the government agency to carry out a partisan political agenda. If the agency cannot stand up on its hind legs and say ‘No,’ it is only hurting its own reputation with Canadians. It is obvious that the Conservatives have expanded their vendetta that was originally just against environmentalists and scientists to any people who do not think like them.

What is particularly wrong is that the Conservative government has given the CRA a special budget of $13.4 million to harass specific charities that appear to be targeting Conservative policies. These include the lack of environmental policies related to the exploitation of the tar sands in Alberta, the promotion of pipelines to move bitumen and now general policies that are impacting Canadian citizens.

A letter demanding an end to this practice of advocacy-chill was signed recently by more than 400 Canadian academics. They want this form of intimidation to stop.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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