Canada: Nouvelle Infraction Pouvant Mener À La Révocation : Acceptation De Dons d’États Étrangers Qui Soutiennent Le Terrorisme

Le budget prévoit une nouvelle infraction pouvant mener à la révocation dont l'objectif est de freiner l'utilisation abusive des organismes de bienfaisance par certains États étrangers qui soutiennent le terrorisme. Le budget propose que les organismes de bienfaisance enregistrés ou les associations canadiennes enregistrées de sport amateur (ACESA) qui acceptent un don d'un État étranger (ou de l'une de ses agences) reconnu pour son soutien au terrorisme en vertu de la Loi sur l'immunité des États (Canada) fassent l'objet d'une révocation de leur inscription. Le budget propose également d'accorder au ministre du Revenu national la discrétion de refuser l'inscription à titre d'organisation caritative ou d'ACESA à tout organisme qui accepte de tels dons.

Anticipant sans doute les inquiétudes quant à la façon de mettre cette mesure en application, le budget confirme que le ministre, dans l'exercice du pouvoir qui lui sera conféré par ces dispositions, prendra en considération les faits propres à chaque cas et qu'il exercera son autorité de manière équitable et judicieuse. En tant qu'avocats, cette affirmation ne nous rassure pas.

Le budget suggère que l'ARC fournisse de l'information plus détaillée sur les pratiques de vérification préalable que les organismes de bienfaisance doivent adopter afin de prévenir les abus de la part de tout groupe terroriste. Il confirme également que l'ARC utilisera les rapports d'information sur la conformité pour vérifier ces dons. Les organismes de bienfaisance enregistrés sont déjà tenus de déclarer dans le formulaire T3010 tout don de plus de 10 000 $ reçu d'un donateur étranger. Ceci permettrait vraisemblablement à l'ARC de juger si un organisme de bienfaisance a accepté un don d'un État étranger reconnu pour son soutien aux activités de terrorisme en vertu de la Loi sur l'immunité des États.

Les associations caritatives doivent faire preuve de la plus grande prudence dans l'exercice de leurs activités afin d'éviter que leurs ressources ne tombent entre les mains de groupes terroristes ou criminels et pour éviter d'être utilisées par mégarde à des fins de blanchiment d'argent. L'ARC a déjà publié une liste de contrôle pour les organismes de bienfaisance sur des façons d'éviter l'abus à des fins terroristes. Les organismes devraient prendre attentivement connaissance de cette liste ainsi que de toutes nouvelles directives publiées par l'ARC. Il est inutile de rappeler que le fait d'être reconnu coupable de soutien à des activités terroristes entraînera de très graves conséquences, non seulement en vertu de la Loi de l'impôt sur le revenu (Canada) (« Loi de l'impôt »), mais aussi en vertu du Code criminel. Les organismes de bienfaisance devraient dès maintenant évaluer chacun des dons versés par des États étrangers ou par leurs agences afin de s'assurer que l'éventuel donateur ne se trouve pas sur la liste de la Loi sur l'immunité des États. La liste des États étrangers qui soutiennent le terrorisme en vertu de cette loi est jointe en annexe au Décret établissant la liste d'États étrangers qui soutiennent ou ont soutenu le terrorisme qui est lui-même annexé à la Loi et qui en découle.

Cette mesure s'applique aux dons reçus le jour du dépôt du budget et ultérieurement.

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