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The new audit program has led to what has been dubbed "advocacy chill," as some groups self-censor to avoid aggravating auditors. The audits are also draining scarce resources, especially through spending on legal fees.
Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay has said the tax agency's political-activity audits are conducted at arm's length, without her input, and agency officials say their targeting decisions are neutral, non-partisan and balanced.
The open letter, addressed to Findlay, says the government appears to have singled out a think-tank that frequently criticizes the Conservative agenda.
"We are therefore left with the conclusion that the decision to audit the CCPA is politically motivated to intimidate and silence its criticisms of your government policies," says the text, endorsed by 421 academics by mid-day Sunday.
"Instead of trying to muzzle and impede sound and legitimate research, it is now time for you to try to promote more effectively the public good in the form of sound critical research for which Canadian researchers are respected internationally."
Organizer Louis-Philippe Rochon, an economist at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., says endorsements for the letter arrived quickly.
"This was a powder keg waiting to happen," he said, noting the support was broad-based.
"Mostly from the social sciences and humanities, but some from the sciences. We have Canada Research Chairs, heads of departments, younger faculty, more established faculty, and from almost every university in Canada."
"It hit a raw nerve amongst academics," he said in an email. "The idea that if we reach a conclusion other than the official doctrine of the government, our research is somehow biased and political."
originally posted by: boncho
a reply to: bobs_uruncle
Have you made a thread about that? Heck, you could probably write a book.
originally posted by: Snarl
There have to be harsh penalties for political shenanigans. I'm talking the removal of body parts like eyes and ears and fingers ... and all at the same time.
Trick is ... they're the ones who control what goes into the law books. They're sitting up there in their ivory towers laughing down at all of us.
ETA: And the academics are no better. They're the ones who empower the elite.
originally posted by: stirling
So is the information more publically available and more detailed somewhere we could access it?