Canadian tax experts say there are no blanket federal bans on the public disclosure of donor names
[UPDATE: After this article was initially published, the Clinton Foundation sent The Federalist two links (here and here) allegedly supporting its contention that federal law in Canada prohibits public disclosure of the names of charitable organization donors. Unfortunately for the Clinton Foundation, neither link supports the organization’s rationale for deliberately withholding donor information from the public. In fact, one of the links actually includes information that directly contradicts the Clinton Foundation’s assertion.
According to a guide for non-profit compliance that is prominently linked on the page provided by the Clinton Foundation, fundraising activities of non-profits are specifically exempt from the privacy protections in Canada’s federal privacy law. Why? Because, as the article below states, public disclosure of non-profit donors does not constitute “commercial activity” and is therefore not at all prohibited:
Most non-profits are not subject to the Act because they do not engage in commercial activities. This is typically the case with most charities, minor hockey associations, clubs, community groups and advocacy organizations. Collecting membership fees, organizing club activities, compiling a list of members’ names and addresses, and mailing out newsletters are not considered commercial activities. Similarly, fundraising is not a commercial activity.
As noted by tax experts quoted in the story below, and contrary to the claims of the Clinton Foundation, there is simply no blanket federal ban in Canada on the public disclosure of non-profit donors.]
The Clinton Foundation is coming under light fire for the way it does business. The New York Times reported that folks connected to uranium mining deals in Kazakhstan gave lots of money to the Clinton Foundation while the involved firm had business before the State Department run by Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton was given half a million dollars to speak for a Russian bank connected to the deal. And things went well for the companies involved when it came to getting support for their deals from the State Department.