Of the many associations in Canada who pretend to work for the good of the public, the Non-Smokers Rights Association (NSRA) is one of the most hateful, radical and dangerous, with the clear resolve to slander, libel and intimidate anyone who gets in the way of their tax-grabbing anti-smoker agenda. Terence Corcoran, the reporter who wrote an article for the Globe and Mail exposing the NSRA’s guerilla tactics, was sued twice for libel along with his employer. On the first occasion, he and The Globe and Mail published a correction and an apology for a minor discrepancy. The second allegation of libel has not been made public.
Ironically, both the NSRA and their sister charity Smoking and Health Action Foundation (SHAF) ”holier than thou” organizations, have been audited by the taxman when John Bryden, at the time an MP for Hamilton-Wentworth in Ontario, issued a report on Canada’s Charities citing NSRA as a blatant example of money laundering between charity status organizations and their non-profit counterparts.
Here’s what Mr. Bryden had to say about the NSRA/SHAF scam:
"(…) Given that all things pertaining to audits of charities are secret, there are not many examples to go by. A personal experience involving the relationship between the non-profit lobby group, the Non Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA), and a charity, the Smoking and Health Action Foundation (SHAF), will have to suffice. Both organizations operate from the same address and share the same person as chief executive officer."
"In February, 1994, I wrote to then Revenue Minister David Anderson and observed that in comparing the charity’s T3010 form with the non-profit group’s annual financial statement, it appeared that the charity’s revenues – mostly in the form of government grants – were being used to pay the salaries and operating costs of the advocacy organization that shared the same premises and apparently the same paid personnel."
The documentary evidence was compelling. The NSRA spent next to nothing on salaries and its own brochure admitted that the foundation was funding the non-profit organization:
SHAF is a separate but related non-profit, registered, charitable health foundation. SHAF supports the important work of the NSRA not directly related to law reform, including research and public education. For example, SHAF funds the critical non-law reform work of our office staff including education and our extensive, highly praised work with the media.
Since the courts have decreed that educating the public to a particular point of view is "political" in nature and therefore not a charitable activity, and "work with the media" for an avowed lobby group could be nothing other than lobbying, it appeared that the NSRA/SHAF was caught dead to rights.
In his April reply, the Minister stated that he could not discuss the affairs of a particular charity, but noted that:
. . . a charity that would use its resources to finance the activities and expenses of another organization which is not a qualified donee would be contravening the Income Tax Act. . . . When a charity devotes a substantial amount of its resources to advocating a particular cause, it is deemed by the courts to have a purpose which is "political" and hence, not charitable.
A few weeks later the joint executive director of the Smoking and Health Action Foundation ($81,000 a year) and president of the Non-Smoker’s Rights Association (unpaid) complained angrily to the media that Revenue Canada auditors had arrived at the door to examine the books of the two organizations.
It was just as well he did make noisy protest. Not only does Revenue Canada never admit that it is acting on a specific complaint, it never reports having done so. Had he not reported it to the media, the public would never have learned of the audit.
Then silence. The months passed, then a year. The only detectable change in the operation of the twin organizations was that the T3010 form ceased to record the salary of its executive director, last seen at $91,500, now blank.
That was back in 1995 and the NSRA along with SHAF are still operating seemingly under the same arrangement. From their 2007 financial report we find out that they employ nine people costing them in salaries, wages, benefits, and honoraria the modest sum of $ 729,594, and in travel and vehicle $ 45,607.
Not bad for a ‘’charitable’’ organization where the only revenue they got from actual gifts in 2007 is $ 68,372 and the rest came mostly from the tax payers’ pockets through government grants. And this doesn’t even account for their ‘’not-for-profit’’ NSRA organization of which financial statements are not accessible since not-for-profit organizations in Canada are not obligated by law to disclose them to the public. There is however an oddity left open to interpretation at the bottom of SHAF’s expenses showing a reduction of $505,803, and under liabilities an amount owing of $ 153,684 to non-arm’s length parties.
Admittedly, it takes nerve and arrogance that they would attempt to discredit under-funded grass-roots organizations such as C.A.G.E. (Citizens Against Government Encroachment) with no base or proof whatsoever as we can read from the link at the bottom.
Actually we take that back, it doesn’t take nerve and arrogance, all it takes is to be anti-smoker snake oil salesmen selling their wares at any price!
Obviously C.A.G.E. must be a thorn in the sides of these self-serving zealots since two different entities have now attempted to discredit their integrity. Keep it up C.A.G.E., you make us proud!