TORONTO, March 15, 2016 – The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) today expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear its appeal of a decision by the Canada Revenue Agency.
“We are of course disappointed that the high court has decided not to hear our appeal,” said Michael O’Sullivan, Executive Director and CEO of the HSC. “But it will not deter us from our core mission – which is to promote animal welfare, and protect animals from harm and neglect. Our love of animals is what drives all of us. We will not let this legal setback get in the way of that.”
As with many other non-governmental agencies, the HSC was targeted by CRA “audits” during the Harper government era. These audits – which the new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau have recently pledged to abandon – were aimed at punishing NGOs whose “politics” were at odds with then then-governing Conservative Party. The HSC has had a long history of advocating against the seal hunt on the East coast, and whale hunts on the West coast.
“To put us out of business, the Harper regime went through years and years of documents which we willingly supplied to them,” said O’Sullivan. “The best they could come up with were flimsy allegations about old expenses. All of these have been repaid already. And the the others were all legitimate expenses, designed to further the HSC’s work.”
For example, O’Sullivan said, the CRA objected to the purchase of various publications – comic books and the like – that were later sold for more than twice their value for investment purposes. Even when provided with proof that these items were sold to benefit the HSC (see attached photograph of HSC sales booth at Fan Expo Canada 2013), CRA refused to listen. They later leaked information they hoped would be damaging to a Toronto newspaper, in the hopes that it would smear the HSC.
O’Sullivan concluded by assuring donors and supporters of the HSC that his organization will continue to operate, and added that any support would be gratefully received. “Supreme Court appeals are expensive, but in this case, we had no choice,” said O’Sullivan. “The HSC is disappointed, but not defeated. We will not be deterred by a few rogue bureaucrats, or a couple of reporters on an unfair personal crusade. We will fight on.”
The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. It carries out programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.
The only organization of its kind, HSC works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.
HSC has depended entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations have been gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would still like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here.
Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.
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