Trudeau gov’t stomps on pro-life petitioners begging him not to destroy pregnancy centres
June 23, 2022 (Campaign Life Coalition) – Trudeau’s Liberal government is ignoring the pleas of some fifteen thousand Canadians who are demanding that the government not strip pro-life pregnancy centres of their charitable tax status. The Prime Minister’s finance minister recently responded to the petitioners, telling them that despite their concerns, the “Government of Canada is committed to taking action” against pro-life organizations.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, said in her response to the pleas that “all Canadians should have the information they need to freely make decisions over their own bodies.” She added that “registered charities that provide reproductive health services are required to provide ACCURATE, JUDGEMENT FREE and EVIDENCE-BASED [caps original] information to women with respect to their rights and options at all stages of their pregnancy.”
“In this regard, the Government has committed to introducing amendments to the Income Tax Act to ensure that organizations that provide dishonest counselling to pregnant women are ineligible for charitable registration,” she added.
News of Freeland’s response comes at a time when an investigation by Rebel News reveals levels of government corruption in Trudeau’s move against pro-life pregnancy centres.
It was near the end of last year that Canadians started petitioning the government not to strip pro-life organizations of their charitable status. This was in reaction to a Liberal 2021 election campaign promise to revoke the charitable status of pro-life establishments, such as crisis pregnancy centres. The Liberals said that, if re-elected, they would “no longer provide charity status to anti-abortion organizations that provide dishonest counselling to women about their rights and about the options available to them at all stages of the pregnancy.”
David Cooke, Campaigns Manager for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), commented at the time that if the Liberals fulfilled their promise, revoking charitable status could easily be expanded to include other groups including churches, ministries, missions, camps, Christian colleges, and schools.
“I believe that revoking the charitable status of Crisis Pregnancy Centres is just the first step. The Trudeau Liberals are on the warpath to shut down every single charity in Canada that voices any pro-life beliefs whatsoever,” he said.
CLC created a petition asking Members of Parliament (MP) to do everything in their power to "oppose any bill, motion, or regulatory policy that seeks to penalize Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Canada.” The petition was signed by over twelve thousand people, and was presented to MPs at a November 24 rally on Parliament Hill that was organized by CLC. At the rally, MPs Leslyn Lewis, Cathay Wagantall, and Arnold Viersen promised to do everything in their power to protect crisis pregnancy centres from the Prime Minister’s plans.
Various paper petitions to the House of Commons by over three thousand citizens (here and here) also called on MPs to do “everything in their power to prevent, block, organize against, and vote against any effort by the government to revoke the charitable status of pro-life organizations in Canada.”
These petitions have been read forty times in the House of Commons by pro-life MPs since mid-December. The MPs reading the petitions include: Mel Arnold (North Okanagan—Shuswap), Kelly Block (Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek), Frank Caputo (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo), Damien C. Kurek (Battle River-Crowfoot), Ted Falk (Steinbach), Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan), Leslyn Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk), Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West), Glen Motz (Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner), Mark Strahl (Chilliwack—Hope), Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland), John Williamson (New Brunswick Southwest), Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock), and Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies).
The first MP to submit a petition on this topic to the House of Commons was Garnett Genuis on December 16, 2021. Minister Freeland responded to his petition at the end of January, and has responded to subsequent petitions by various MPs with the same response.
Despite strong opposition from so many citizens, Prime Minister Trudeau instructed Freeland in mid-December to “introduce amendments to the Income Tax Act to make anti-abortion organizations that provide dishonest counselling to pregnant women about their rights and options ineligible for charitable status.”
CLC National President Jeff Gunnarson commented at the time that “Trudeau is attacking the epitome of what it means to be charitable.”
“Pregnancy resource centres help tens of thousands of new moms and pregnant moms in crisis each year. They give of their donated resources and ask for nothing but the ability to offer their donors a charitable tax receipt. With this mandate, Mr. Trudeau, a self-proclaimed feminist, is attacking mothers and babies at their most vulnerable stage in life,” he said in a press release.
Reacting to the news of Freeland’s response, CLC’s Cooke commented that when the Trudeau Liberals talk about “dishonest” organizations, they are the ones, in fact, being dishonest.
“The Trudeau Liberals say they want to clamp down on ‘dishonest pro-life charities.’ That sounds reasonable to most people. Who wants to allow a dishonest charity to continue? However, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) already screens for fraud and would close down a fraudulent charity like a shot. The real issue is the Liberals’ new ‘definition’ of ‘dishonest,’ which for them essentially means an organization not promoting or endorsing abortion. The Liberals actually see all genuinely pro-life charities as dishonest,” he said.
“It is not only false to portray pro-life pregnancy care centres this way, but it is extremely dishonest,” he added.
Cooke said that despite winning the 2021 Federal election, the Trudeau Liberals have no right or mandate to attack honest, hardworking pro-life organizations that only exist to help women.
"Most voters were not even aware of Trudeau’s policy commitment to attack crisis pregnancy centres. Just being elected does not give Trudeau the right to de-certify charities that have already gone through the rigorous and highly-scrutinized process of securing charitable status in Canada. Politics needs to stay out of the charitable screening process entirely,” he said.
A recent deep-dive investigation by Rebel News uncovered that Mr. Trudeau began his attack on stripping pro-life pregnancy centres of their charitable status even before winning the election. Rebel News investigator, Sheila Gunn Reid, discovered through an access to information request on this topic that the Trudeau government had already been negotiating with the CRA to move on this file even before winning the election.
The documents uncovered by Rebel News (read documents here) show the Trudeau government in early September, prior to winning the election, reaching out to the CRA and giving them a “heads up” about “compliance considerations” regarding implementation of the “anti-abortion item.”
Rebel News reported the following about its findings: “By November, Finance was putting material together and seeking input from CRA — though only from people with Secret clearance: ‘Do we have the necessary tools.’ A further email hints at ‘another secret finance request’ linked to compliance and ongoing audits ‘and it's not to be discussed beyond the 3 of us.’ The rest of the emails regarding the secret meetings are redacted.”
Gunn Reid commented that the documents suggest government interference with the Canadian Revenue Agency, and reeks of corruption.
“Who in the Liberal government is tampering with the CRA's independence? Who is weaponizing the tax collectors to go after Justin Trudeau's ideological enemies for the crime of wanting to help women and girls?”
Newly uncovered documents from pro-life researcher, Patricia Maloney, reveal that the CRA made it clear to the Trudeau government that it was not within its jurisdiction to revoke the charitable status of pro-life organizations. Maloney uncovered this information also through a freedom of information request. The documents show that when the CRA was asked about weighing in on the matter, it referred the matter to the Department of Finance, stating that the CRA can only judge whether or not an “activity of a charity is acceptable” based on current “common law” found in the Income Tax Act. The CRA added that it cannot make the law, only apply it, stating that “legislative changes to the Act are the responsibility of the Department of Finance Canada.”
“So clearly,” commented Maloney, “CRA will not do anything about Justin Trudeau's hateful, discriminatory, mean-spirited, devoid of merit, election promise.” Maloney said that she is now waiting for documents from the Department of Finance that she hopes will reveal what Trudeau’s next move might be.
Meanwhile, Gunn Reid said in a video about her findings in the documents she uncovered that she would love for the Liberals to tell her how it is “dishonest” for pro-life pregnancy centres to tell a woman that “‘it will be hard to raise a child’ but also that she is perfectly capable of raising a child and that there will be help if she wants it.”
“I think, in fact, that the Liberal’s position is infantilizing and demeaning. I mean, it’s demeaning to tell a woman that there’s only one acceptable option [namely, abortion] available to them because they’re not capable of raising their child,” she commented.
Whatever one’s view is on abortion, Gunn Reid said, helping vulnerable women and girls who are in a crisis, “that's actual charity.”
CLC’s petition to stop the Liberals from removing the charitable status from crisis pregnancy centres can be found here. This petition remains open and can still be signed and shared.
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