Conservatives block bid to review Canada Revenue Agency's charity audits

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OTTAWA - Conservative MPs have blocked an opposition bid to review the government's ongoing audits of a number of charities, saying it's offensive to suggest the tax agency is the subject of political interference.

The NDP had convened a rare summer sitting of the finance committee to consider a motion to study the Canada Revenue Agency's recent audits of a number of charities.

Groups such as Amnesty International, Environmental Defence and the United Church of Canada's Kairos organization have faced audits to determine if they are overspending on political activities.

Both the New Democrats and the Liberals have raised concerns that groups critical of the Conservative government are being targeted disproportionately.

Today's closed-door committee meeting ended after only an hour, with no commitment to pursue a study.

Conservative MP Gerald Keddy emphasized the revenue agency's activities are conducted at arm's length from government, and noted that audits should remain private.

Organizations: Canada Revenue Agency, NDP, Amnesty International Environmental Defence United Church of Canada Kairos organization

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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