Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Sure, let's talk about tax receipts, shall we?

Much more on this later but, as I've blogged about before,  Rebel News is currently bragging that, if you donate to their "Fight the Fines" program through this interesting entity called "The Democracy Fund," then your donations are (you guessed it) tax deductible:

which is some kind of interesting since neither Ezra Levant nor Rebel News is a registered charity under CRA rules, which means The Democracy Fund has agreed to use its charitable tax status to effectively "launder" donations to Rebel News, and far be it from me to suggest that CRA might want to take a close look at this, so if you wanted to suggest it, that is entirely up to you.


Anonymous said...

Given how much Ezra is bragging about this, I wonder whether something larger and more strategic is going on. Here's a long answer, but I think I may be right.
The Rebel's new "business" model is very clear; and while sleazy, it's certainly a clever exploitation of their strengths.
Having given up completely on advertising and sponsorships, and having wrung subscription fees from pretty much every yokel and goober in Canada, they appear to have decided that their preferred survival strategy is collective parasitism with other like minded groups - a financial shell game conducted under the heroic smokescreen of "constitutional freedom".
The emerging game seems to be:
- initiate as much legal action as possible on any front that evokes a primitive, tribal, mock-populist anger among the rubes. That usually requires provoking police, security personnel and others until they respond, then furiously suing them: OR serial violation of the law (COVID regulations, trespass and privacy laws, election act violations, and so forth.)
- funnel this money to a selected team of lawyers for a string of challenges to COVID fines, lockdown requirements, bylaws and so on. Note that the actual plaintiffs don't get to choose their own lawyer - the Rebel will only fund their own "top notch world class legal expertise. Note also that the poor schmucks facing the fines don't direct support, and when the legal action fails, they're stuck with the fine; I would assume the Rebel-chosen lawyers get paid notwithstanding.
- the point of all this sturm and drang is to stay visible, maintain and promote the Rebel brand, and generate enough in donations to sustain the Rebel's operation.As their site notes, donations may be spent on any "related" expenditures, which is pretty much anything at all.
- there has been little to no actual reporting on the "success" of the "Fight The Fines" scheme; what cases are being dismissed appear to be the result of a admin or procedural error in the issuance of a charge or ticket (the usual ambulance-chaser's bread and butter) or changes in regulation.
- As far as has been reported, NO charges have been overturned on "Constitutional" grounds or the "illegality" of the law through Rebel intervention. Although the Rebel has announced such "challenges" are in the works, they will fail. Low level courts don't invent or rewrite the law; they determine whether or not the law, as written, was broken. Much to Ezra's chagrin, no doubt, it was announced last week that the government will NOT be required to produce evidence that COVID is real, or that lockdown measures were "justified". A potentially profitable string of high profile soapboxes has just been taken away.

All of which, taken in concert with Ezra's recent and repeated boasts about sponsorship and tax receipts from a brand new charitable organization which says it "provides post-secondary journalism students with opportunities to obtain on-the-job skills training required to complete their education program", might suggest to the cynical that Ezra is actually HOPING for a CRA challenge. Nore coverage, more self-referential stories, more lawyers, more fundraising...

The "Democracy Fund" itself is curiously opaque, providing no information about its actual programs, services, outputs, outcomes, funding sources or levels, staffing or governance. Their CRA site lists a Lyle Dunkley, who may or may not be the same "Lyle Dunkley" who works for Strive Energy, an oil and gas pipeline company.

Anonymous said...

As predicted, the Supreme Court has tossed out the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms silly attempt to challenge certain quarantine restrictions under the Charter. This is neither surprising, nor, I suspect, entirely unwelcome at the Rebel. The point isn't to actually "win" any of these baseless assaults on the rule of law: it's to continue the fiction of Covid as an attack on yokel rights, generate lots of really clumsy handheld, barely edited segments of inarticulate rubes drooling at rallies, and most of all, keep the shekels rolling in for an appeal of the appeal of the appeal. https://www.jccf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/T-340-21_20210423_OR_E_O_OTT_20210423103819_PNT_2021_FC_361.pdf