In the belief that he was displaying his finest progressive, feminist credentials, Justin Trudeau announced, during the 2021 federal election, that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be requested to remove the charitable status of Pregnancy Help Centres if they provide “misinformation”. Trudeau apparently didn’t realize what a kettle of fish he had fallen into with such a policy.
Trudeau’s side kick, Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, was, apparently, just as much in the dark as Trudeau when she stated in the House of Commons on December 2, 2022:
Given this generosity and other tax privileges provided to charities, organizations that choose to register as charities are required to follow a particular set of rules set out in the Income Tax Act. These rules [are] primarily designed to ensure that donated funds are used for charitable purposes, protecting public trust in the charitable sector as a whole. All registered charities are required to ensure that the information that they provide is accurate and evidence-based, and are prohibited from disseminating information that is false or misleading. (Emphasis ours)
According to the CRA, a registered charity must deliver a charitable benefit to the public. The charity is exempt from paying income tax and can issue tax receipts for donations it receives, what CRA calls “significant fiscal advantages.” But some abortion and referral centres are under the control of community activists and incorporate many services in additon to abortion in their tax exempt, “charitable programs”. Their charitable status is highly questionable.
Abortion Clinics in Canada with Charitable Status
It is revealing to review the operations of abortion clinics that have charitable status. They are focused on encouraging, persuading, and facilitating abortions – that is, providing women with only one option. Why are these left-leaning operations regarded as charities? What advice and information are these organizations providing? In some cases, it includes information on homosexuality and transgenderism. It is unlikely these organizations are providing pro-life or conservative information, as their information is entirely based on left-wing ideology, not on evidence-based facts. Yet, they are given charitable status, despite a declining birth rate and population crisis. This is an indication that they decidedly are not providing a “benefit” to Canadian society.
In short, while accusations of misinformation are directed at pro-life pregnancy centres, providers and promoters of abortion are given a pass.
Why? It is interesting that abortion clinics are trying to cover up their unpopular and disgraceful activities by misinforming the public. They avoid the term “abortion” and use instead more “palatable” titles, such as family planning, sexual health, reproductive health, reproductive justice, women’s rights, choice, and gender equality. According to the U.S. National Abortion Federation list of abortion facilities in Canada, none of them uses the word ‘abortion’ in its name. Although disguising their purpose, this doesn’t change the fact that abortion is the main focus of their work.
For example, Planned Parenthood (PP) Toronto provides detailed information on all types of abortions, but not on any other options. PP Toronto’s most recent annual revenue was $4.3 million, PP Ottawa Carleton, $541, 030, and PP Regina, $764, 424. All are receiving over 80% of their revenues from government and are designated as charities. PP Toronto refers clients to Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (ACSHR), see below, if they require transportation to have an abortion.
As part of its “charitable” programs, Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre offers “Harm Reduction” advice and provides free condoms and related supplies, as well as free needles and sundry drug supplies for the consumption of illicit drugs. One of their “charitable programs” is “OUT in the Woods/City: normally a 4 day sleepover camp intended to provide leadership and communication skills as well as community connection to 2SLGBTQIA+youth.” Is this leadership or is it, in fact, grooming youth? Their advocacy in the community includes Teen Healthy Relationships, a 12-week program for teens 14-19, and Warm Line, a Peer Support Line for and by 2SLGBTQIA+ people only. This tax-favoured charity also offers left-leaning sexual education outreach in schools, workplaces, and communities.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (ACSHR) has been an aggressive abortion advocacy group since 1997, and actively opposes charitable status for pregnancy crisis care centres. It reported revenue of $4.2 million in 2020-21, 38% from taxpayers. It has received $3.35 million from the US Ford Foundation since 2006. According to its CRA Charities submission, ACSHR “improves access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services” in Canada and globally. How “balanced” and “impartial” is their information? In addition to abortion, the ACSHR develops resources for teachers and health professionals, operates a national 24hr information and referral line, and encourages governments to advance “sexual health rights”, and “strengthens collaboration of diverse networks” of providers globally and across Canada. Again, how “balanced” is this information?
The ACSHR website states, “Thanks to a four year (2020-2024) contribution of $10.89 million from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, the Rights from the Start project, works in partnership with organizations across Latin America and the Caribbean to provide critical sexual reproductive health services and information that advance gender equality”.
The ACSHR also provides the controversial Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) programs for children, which are considered to be pornographic. CSE is objectionable because it advances the early sexualisation of children, often without the knowledge of parents. Such programs are well-known for the “misinformation” they provide. They never provide alternate information, such as abstinence.
Everywoman’s Health Centre, Vancouver, “assists individuals to obtain reproductive health care services and provides facilities for the provision of reproductive health care.” Their most recent annual revenue was $2.6 million, 93.8% from government.
Torcan Reproductive Health Clinic (CIHC, Choice in Health Clinic), Toronto, claims to have been “providing abortion care for 30 years.” CRA lists its most recent annual revenue as $1.2 million, 99.97% from government sources. The CIHC website claims: “Driven by the desire to increase access and abolish shame, CIHC recognizes that abortion is not merely permissible under the law, but essential, important, positive and powerful.” It is? They claim that, “Pregnant people face many invisible barriers, and we are here to identify and remove them.” With only one option provided, how impartial is that?
Women’s Health in Women’s Hands community health centre, Toronto, provides “holistic health services” targeting “racialized” women in the GTA. On their website, they specifically list providing trans and non-binary people with primary health care within a “trauma-informed, intersectional feminist, pro-choice, anti-racist, anti-oppressive, sex-positive, harm reduction” framework. Several basic medical care services are also listed. In their CRA report, their most recent annual revenue is $8.4 million, 71% being taxpayer funded, down from 94% in 2018. They link with Planned Parenthood and provide “abortion counselling and referrals” as services.
Vancouver Women’s Health Collective (VWHC) reported a revenue of $980,082 for 2021-22, 32% taxpayer funded. VWHC began operations in 1971. Their website claims they were formed “when women who were angered with the health care provided by their doctors got together to do something about it. The founding women recognized that women’s health care needs were often ignored, underrepresented and trivialized within the medical system.” They claim that “organizing as a collective, rather than a hierarchical structure, made all women participants in the organization’s decision making process.”
VWHC claims to be there to empower women to take charge of their own health care through free access to primary care, wellness programs, including yoga, counselling, acupuncture, herbal medicines, women’s circle, referrals and support through advocacy and peer led projects, along with material support. Health Collective volunteers help “self-identified women foster health, wellness and equity through feminist approaches to advocacy, shared knowledge and low-barrier programs and services.” What about women who do not share this feminist approach?
The organization has lobbied for divesting the police and claims “the sole existence of a police institution is based on colonial, patriarchal, heteronormative oppressive views”. VWHC applies a “decolonizing, intersectional and racial lens” to accomplish their goals. Why this “feminist” approach only? Doesn’t this create discrimination against women who desire another approach? How evidence-based is their position?
Erosion of Confidence in Genuine Health Care
The government pays many millions of dollars annually directly to these advocacy centres and also allows millions of tax dollars to go uncollected because of their charitable status. This occurs despite the fact they advance only one, narrow, unbridled ideology in their communities. Some of this information and counselling is directed at youth without full parental knowledge.
Trudeau’s policies on removing charitable status from Pregnancy Help Centres has opened the door to questioning the extreme ideologies of government funded abortion clinics. Their leftist, woke activism is foreign to the successful Canadian, family-based culture, which is the backbone of Canadian society.
In short, Trudeau’s diversion of tax dollars to expand Marxist feminism, abortion, and the 2SLGBTQIA+ agenda in Canada is counter to our culture. This agenda erodes confidence in our once dependable federal institutions.
The Liberal government’s attempt to remove the charitable status of pro-life pregnancy help centres has exposed the fact that their own favourite institutions, funded by the taxpayers, have been improperly allowed a charitable tax status.