HLI ruled ‘political,’ while abortuaries given charity status

Weird things have been coming out of Ottawa recently. Planned Parenthood, a $462-million-dollar-a-year operation that operates 915 abortuaries under its own name in the U.S., has been ruled a charity by Revenue Canada.

In a letter to this writer, sent Nov. 27, 1998 in response to my charge that Planned Parenthood was a business and not a charity, Bill McCloskey, assistant deputy minister of Revenue Canada’s policy and legislation branch, said, “In Everywoman’s Health Centre Society (1988) v. Minister of National Revenue, (1992) 92 DTC 6001, the Federal Court of Appeal held that a (British Columbia) clinic providing abortion services was eligible for registration as a charity.” This ruling was never appealed to the Supreme Court.

The shocking aspect of this is that if a facility providing abortion “services” is eligible for registration as a charity, why wouldn’t the Toronto Centre for Advanced Reproductive Technology, which is listed in the yellow pages of the Toronto phone book, be one? It tries to address the problem of infertility – why is it not also considered a charity? It seems to be in the same ball park – except that one “clinic” wants to kill the unborn and the other wants to bring babies into the world. And what about the Ontario Breast Screening Program? Is its goal of early breast cancer detection not worthy enough for Revenue Canada to consider it to be a charity?

Glaring inconsistencies

What about the Children’s After Hours medical clinic (that sounds like a good idea when an emergency occurs). Or the Evans Occupational Health Clinic that addresses the problems of work injuries? There are two pages in the yellow section of the Toronto phone book that list a slew of medical clinics – equally meritorious and much more affirmative in their approach to life than an abortuary. One can count 96 other medical clinics in the Toronto yellow pages that are more worthy to be considered a charity than some buck-hungry abortion mill dedicated to killing the unborn.

McCloskey continued in his letter: “Registered charities may charge fees for services they provide without jeopardizing their charitable status; for instance, a charity with a mandate to provide mental health services may charge a fee for counselling sessions. Charities may also pay salaries to their employees, and transfer funds to an agent with whom they have a formal agreement to carry out their charitable purposes.”

Answer, please

That sounds like an open invitation to medical clinics all over Canada to apply for charitable status. It certainly fits Revenue Canada’s criteria for charitable status. A group of medical clinics should start a class-action suit against Revenue Canada using the argument, “Why not us? Aren’t we as desirable in the community as some abortuary?”

Planned Parenthood recently launched a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against an Internet website that displays abortionists’ names and addresses, as well as other background details. It doesn’t sound like PP is much in favour of freedom of expression unless it’s the politically correct kind. This smacks of PP also taking on the role of a lobbying organization. Where does it say in its mandate that it can spend millions of charitable bucks suing anybody? One would have thought that PP was in the abortion industry and not in the business of suing.

This issue was first raised when Jim Peterson, MP for Willowdale, Ont., in a letter dated June 22, 1998, responded to a letter received from Mrs. Maureen Harrington, a constituent, which articulated her objections to Planned Parenthood being a registered charity. This was based on my Interim column of April 1998, “Profitable Charity.”

Peterson forwarded her complaint to Herb Dhaliwal, the minister of national revenue, and requested a reply to Maureen Harrington, with a copy to him. A letter from McCloskey dated August 17, 1998 did not satisfy Mr. Peterson, so Mr. McCloskey was asked to review the matter raised. In his most recent letter sent to this writer on Nov. 27, 1998, the startling news than an abortuary is eligible for registration as a charity was revealed.

Why is an abortion clinic considered a charity when other medical clinics are not?

Answer, Revenue Canada, please. We’re waiting.