Apr 012013

Laugh or cry?

. . .  the scare of nuclear weapons – enough of them on the planet to blow us all to oblivion a few times over

. . .  the people around the world who have worked decade after decade toward “nuclear nonproliferation”?


One year and $5 million later, Harper’s charity crackdown nets just one bad egg    (The text of the article is below, and I copied some of the Comments from readers).

WHO IS ‘THE BAD EGG’ that the charity crackdown caught?   . . .  PGS.   (Physicians for Global Survival, it’s been in the business of nuclear nonproliferation for 30+ years now.)

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Dale wrote:

This article (BELOW) from the Metronews is too funny – especially with a photo of Warren!  So PGS was a “bad egg”!

Dale Dewar, MD, FCFP
Executive Director
Physicians for Global Survival

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Warren writes:

And here is my response (since my photo was used!):

One Bad Egg….

The federal government has just spent $5 million dollars on a totally terrific cause. They’ve caught a gang of Evil-Doers, a shadowy organization lurking around the edge of decent society, aiming to pounce on innocent politicians and corporations, eager to disrupt law and order and good governance.

One year ago, the government of Stephen Harper promised to spend $8 million to root out bad charitable organizations who were being “political” – that is, lobbying for changes in government behaviour that the government itself wasn’t ready to support.

Now Metronews-Vancouver reporter Katie Gibbs has found out what happened this year past.

After closely auditing 880 organizations, our Prime Minister and his trusty lieutenants Natural Resources Minister Joe “Tough Guy” Oliver and Environment Minister Peter “Sniff-‘em-Out” Kent have found a pretty bad criminal organization that was “getting political”.

What they found was a bunch of doctors, banded together in an organization brazenly called “Physicians for Global Survival” (I mean, who gives a fig about global survival when we’ve got the Oil (Tar) Sands on our side).

And the unspeakable actions this hardy band of rogue physicians were promoting were… well, nothing small potatoes like bombing the Parliament Buildings, or lying down on the train tracks, or naked protest marches.

Physicians for Global Survival were pushing to abolish nuclear bombs, and the uranium industry consortium that supports them.

No wonder they had to go.

And Physicians for Global Survival didn’t stop there. They were advocating for “the prevention of war, non-violent conflict resolution, social justice and a sustainable world.”

They didn’t even bother to hide it. They spelled it out, right in the open – on their website. If you don’t believe me, then go have a look.

You’ll see how really bad these guys are.

What’s more, it turns out that Physicians for Global Survival have been getting away with this kind of evil-doing for over 3 decades – flying under the radar, quietly undermining the work of the beloved military-industrial complex and corporate weapons manufacturers and the uranium industry for (gasp) 32 years – and all these years, previous weak-kneed, lily-livered governments had turned a blind eye.

But no more.

Stevie and Joe and Pete are on the job.

This is a good news story. Physicians for Global Survival have been caught and punished. They’ve been forced to give up their charitable status, and create a whole new organization that promises to never go rogue political again.

Now if they behave, then maybe their new organization can have charitable status and grant tax receipts to donors – as long as they behave.

But there’s more good news.

At the top I mentioned the government had set aside $8 million to catch more bad guys. It’s true. But they’ve only spent $5 million of it. So now Stevie and Joe and Pete can get more bad guys next year – or maybe they’ll just get the old ones all over again. Whatever.

And here’s one further piece of good news. The Fraser Institute, full of good guys who just love to tell it like it is, and appreciate nice donations from good old guys like the Exxon gang, and those Koch brothers who love to have Tea Parties – the Fraser Institute will never be shut down.

Because, you see, it isn’t political at all – it says so in Section C5 of its Charitable Intormation Return. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/haip/srch/t3010form22-eng.action?b=119233823RR0001&e=2010-12-31&n=THE+FRASER+INSTITUTE&r=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cra-arc.gc.ca%3A80%2Febci%2Fhaip%2Fsrch%2Fadvancedsearchresult-eng.action%3Fn%3DFraser%2BInstitute%26amp%3Bb%3D%26amp%3Bq%3D%26amp%3Bs%3Dregistered%26amp%3Bd%3D%26amp%3Be%3D%2B%26amp%3Bc%3D%26amp%3Bv%3D%2B%26amp%3Bo%3D%26amp%3Bz%3D%26amp%3Bg%3D%2B%26amp%3Bt%3D%2B%26amp%3By%3D%2B%26amp%3Bp%3D1#section_c

All the Fraser Institute does is explain why the government has to do what it does – things like catching evil-doers.

But now, I have to make a confession. I have a big fat conflict of interest.

I was once president of Physicians for Global Survival.

And I’m still a member.

And a supporter.

Sigh…..I’d better go down to the jail-house and turn myself in.

Or maybe…maybe….I’ll just let Stevie and Joe and Pete come and get me.

With those Three Amigos on the trail, it’s only a matter of time.

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“It is time to abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue nuclear weapons, but morally acceptable for others to rely on them. Our aim must be clear:  a secure structure that is based on our shared humanity and not on the ability of some to destroy us all.”     Tariq Rauf, IAEA

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One year and $5 million later, Harper’s charity crackdown nets just one bad egg, MetroNews, March 30

By Kate Webb


PGSOttawa/Flickr                 Salmon Arm, B.C. physician and former president of Physicians for Global Survival Dr. Warren Bell speaks at a 2009 conference in Montreal.

An $8-million pot of money included in last year’s federal budget to crack down on charities suspected of engaging in “excessive” political activities has so far resulted in only one having its charitable status revoked, out of nearly 900 that were audited.

Under the Canadian tax code, registered charities are permitted to devote a maximum of 10 per cent of their total resources to non-partisan political activities, defined as any type of call to political action.

The agency has already spent $5 million to educate charities and increase transparency and compliance around those limitations, and expects to spend the remaining $3 million in the coming year.

Environmental charities were widely reported to be the primary target of ramped up compliance measures after Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said environmental and other “radical groups” were trying to undermine the national economy by blocking pipeline and other fossil fuel projects.

But Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) spokesman Philippe Brideau said after roughly 880 audits in the last year, the only charity whose status was revoked for exceeding limits on political activity was Physicians for Global Survival, a group dedicated to the promotion of nuclear disarmament.

A CRA audit found the organization was using 26 per cent of its resources for political activities, including a letter-writing campaign urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper, party leaders and MPs to support an international treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Several high-profile B.C.-based charities, including the David Suzuki Foundation and ForestEthics, told Metro the CRA’s attention actually inspired them to become more politically active, because they realized they were not spending anywhere near the 10 per cent threshold.

ForestEthics split into two organizations after the March 2012 budget announcement, with a non-charitable branch dedicated solely to advocacy, while David Suzuki stepped down from the board of his own foundation so that he could publically denounce Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s policies.

“It wasn’t because there was any feeling like we were over that 10 per cent, I think it was actually that we wanted to do more than 10 per cent,” said Ben West, tar sands campaign director for the now one-year-old non-profit, ForestEthics Advocacy.

“I think a lot of groups there was this desire to not get bullied and instead to stand up and fight… but it wasn’t a defensive move, it was an offensive move.”

The CRA declined an interview request from Metro, and refused to divulge how many charities had received less serious reprimands for political activity, such as warning letters, compliance agreements, fines or suspension of tax receipting privileges.

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And what of the Fraser Institute? Their entire raison d’etre is “political action”. They’re known to accept large donations from “foreign radicals” ( ExxonMobil and the US-based Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation as well as the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, both under the control of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch two name but three groups) who do not work in the “interests of Canadians” and yet, under this petty and destructive government under Dear Leader™, the Fraser Institute gets a free pass from CRA. While calling for annual audits and accurate reporting and transparency of funding for organizations that are deemed to be opponents of Dear Leader™ and his acolytes, TRULY political so-called charities like the Fraser Institute are completely off the hook. Hypocrisy is the only kind of transparency we’ve actually seen from the so-called Conservatives since 2006.

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Jean Chard

I didn’t realize that the Fraser Institute was a charitable org? Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and Council of Canadians are not.

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Jean Chard

Indeed it is…check the CRA web-site. Pathetic, eh?

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Stewart Vriesinga

Pathetic is right. And if we{re not outraged we’re apathetic. Channel that rage!

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Harper is the King of Waste.

In addition to the $10 million rent-2-pandas monstrosity….

– He took $50 million from the Treasury to essentially fund Tony Gazebo Fake Lake Clement’s election campaign.

– $56 million spent advertising his Economic Action Plan.

Nearly half of that he spent during the 2012 Super Bowl, Grammys & Oscars

– $5 million (initially) for an Office of Religious Freedom. Redundant since the Charter protects religious freedoms. Contradictory since he pulled non Christian pastors from Corrections.

– $1 billion for a G8 weekend (2 days!)

– $1 million to airlift two armoured limos to India which has the exact same

armoured limos for heads of state.

– $20 million a year for the PMs security budget, which is double what any other previous PM spent. Between 2009 and 2011 he spent $46 million, 70 times the amount spent on the entire cabinet and other VIPs

– Increasing the number of seats in the HOC.

– Appointing senators who breach ethics and take money that is not rightfully


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Ralph Torrie

It seems to me that a group like Physicians for Global Survival is exactly the type of group that should enjoy charitable status. There is no self-interest there, only concern for the future of mankind.

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One wonders how many millions of charitable donations were spent by the organizations under investigation to defend themselves…

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I think that was the real point, actually. If there’s one thing the Cons don’t want them doing, it’s spending their charitable donation money on, you know, helping or advocating for the environment. So they found a way to make them waste some of it.

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Bill Curry

PGS a ‘bad egg’?!! That’s blaming the victim.

In fact, the work of Physicians for Global Survival has been thoroughly educational, diagnostic and prescriptive – about the dangerous hair-trigger-alert status of nuclear weapons, about proliferation realities, about the accumulating evidence and modern medical understanding of radiation risks, and the absolute necessity of prevention.

Peace is a threat to pronuclear militarists, so PGS was deliberately attacked by the arms dealers’ political minions – source of that horrible rotten egg stench.

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