Tax Exempt Charity Failure : Warren Bell | Government of Canada | “Physicians for” {Fill in the Blank}

Federal government revokes physicians' group's charitable status


By Aaron Orlando – Revelstoke Times Review
Published: April 02, 2013 4:00 PM
Updated: April 02, 2013 6:33 PM


Editor's note: This story by Salmon Arm Observer reporter Barb Brouwer appeared in that publication this week. We're carrying the story online at the Revelstoke Times Review out of general interest, and also because Dr. Warren Bell has appeared before Revelstoke city council lobbying for a cosmetic pesticide ban in our municipality. The story tells the tale of an activist-oriented physicians' group who have had their charitable status yanked by the federal government, who deemed some of their activities overly-political. Enjoy.



By Barb Brouwer, Salmon Arm Observer



Promoting nuclear disarmament has cost Physicians for Global Survival (PGS) their charitable status, says active member and past-president Dr. Warren Bell.



A year ago, the Conservative government allocated $8 million over two years to the Canada Revenue Agency to audit the country’s non-profits, particularly in terms of political activities.



A year and $5 million later, PGS is the only one of 880 charitable organizations audited by the CRA to lose their status.



When contacted by the Observer, a CRA spokesperson said comment was not allowed because of privacy issues.



But two letters to PGS were forwarded to the Observer, one written in November 2008, following an audit of the organization’s books, charging that the non-profit group was “not constituted and operated for exclusively charitable purposes and does not devote all of its resources to charitable activities.”



CRA’s next letter, a notice of intention to revoke dated Feb. 22, 2011, rejected PGS’ response, noting that “it existed in part for ‘the promotion of nuclear disarmament,’ which we considered to be an unstated collateral political purpose… in our view, such a purpose was not charitable under the advancement of education or under other purposes beneficial to the community deemed by law to be charitable.”



Bell says PGS assumed they would be a target because the organization has been “very strenuous” in its approach to the federal government about abolishing nuclear weapons.



“One of (Prime Minister) Harper’s key plans if (tar sands) oil goes down, is to replace it with nuclear power and natural gas,” he says, noting the Harper government has been strongly promoting Canadian uranium extraction for nuclear power projects.



But, Bell maintains, nuclear power is far more dangerous than its proponents let on and a substantial amount of the uranium Canada exports has gone into making bombs.



“The two branches of the nuclear industry are linked,” he says. “The Harper government resents any criticism, not just about nuclear weapons, but nuclear power as well, and the Canadian government is heavily involved in promoting uranium mining and nuclear power.”



Thus, he adds, it is inevitable that a group espousing an end to nuclear weapons and power would raise the prime minister’s ire.



Bell also takes issue with legislation around non-profit organizations and with CRA’s audit assessment.



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



The CRA audit determined that PGS was guilty of using 26 per cent of its resources for political activities, which included a letter-writing campaign to the Prime Minister and MPs to support a ban on nuclear weapons.



“All charitable definitions are based on a document from 1601 called the Statute of Elizabeth, that’s when charitable targets were identified,” says Bell. “The law was repealed several centuries later but still forms the bias in all common law for how a charitable purpose is defined.”



Deeming it “remarkably fuzzy,” Bell says the definition can basically be altered according to the whim of the government of the day.



"A perfect example of that is when CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment) was formed (in the mid 90s),” he says.



“We attempted twice to get charitable status but were refused by the CRA. The reason we were refused was we had connections with colleagues in Cuba.”

2 comments on “Tax Exempt Charity Failure : Warren Bell | Government of Canada | “Physicians for” {Fill in the Blank}

  1. WILLIAM H. GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G April 4, 2013 12:43 am

    None of Warren Bell’s organizations deserve a charity tax-exempt status !  Why are Bell’s organizations necessary to society ?  They are mere fund-raising, profit-seeking, and lobbying organizations, and NOT science, research, health, or physicians’ organizations.  Bell’s non-expert organizations ridiculously imply that critical information about environmental issues is somehow being withheld from government agencies and policy-makers.  Warren Bell himself is no expert, either on nuclear power, tar sands, global warming, pest control products, and environmental issues in general.   And yet, Warren Bell founded and operated Canadian Association Of Physicians For The Environment ( CAPE ), prior to his operating Physicians For Global Survival ( PGS ).  Both never paid a penny in taxes.  The Government of Canada has determined that PGS is unfit as a charity tax-exempt organization, and CAPE will be next.  Bell used CAPE to invalidate Health Canada, and to impose anti-pesticide prohibitions, despite overwhelming scientific evidence proves that pest control products are scientifically-safe, cause no harm, and do not cause cancer.   This raised the question about the validity and credibility of CAPE.  Why are Warren Bell’s organizations, like CAPE, necessary to society ?   What are they for ?  They exist for one reason and one only  …  And that is to make money for people like Warren Bell.  Presently, all such organizations are under investigation for charity fraud and conspiracy.  The Government of Canada has allocated 8 million dollars for the Canada Revenue Agency to investigate them.  Among other things, these organizations are required to provide more information on their usefulness to society, their partisan political activities, and their roles as financial conduits that benefit their organizers.  Activists like Bell who operate these organizations have huge vested interests in perpetuating imaginary dangers about a variety of bogus environmental issues because they pay themselves vast sums of money to do so.   Additionally, why are Warren Bell’s organizations necessary to society ?  They are a waste of tax-payer money.  Their charity tax-exempt statuses must be eliminated for the good of society.  Furthermore, is Warren Bell himself doing any good to society ?  The answer is no.  This has led observers to demand that Warren Bell himself be investigated for receiving tax-free honorariums and for operating as an illegal lobbyist.  WILLIAM H. GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G   

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