Hikma Public Affairs Council is concerned about the findings of the Charity Begins with Fairness: More to Explore report that was released on March 28, 2023 by the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson. While we thank the Minister of National Revenue and the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson for the work that was done, we believe that the lack of information provided to Mr. François Boileau, the Ombudsperson, severely impacted the ability to create any real change to the systemic discrimination faced by Muslim charities in Canada.
The administrative obstacles that Mr. Boileau faced in this important examination ultimately negated his ability to answer the core question regarding the targeting of Muslim charities by the Review Analysis Division (“RAD”). Systemic change cannot occur without properly and independently identifying the root causes of an issue.
Hikma Public Affairs Council fully supports the call for mandatory unconscious bias training at CRA, as recommended by Mr. François Boileau. Hikma has previously called for the implementation of a mandatory training course for all public servants to eliminate all forms of anti-Muslim bias and discrimination. We renew our call, once again, and urge the School of Public Service to design a targeted and comprehensive mandatory training program in collaboration with Muslim organizations and the office of Canada’s Special Representative to Combat Islamophobia. Hikma also urges the CRA to immediately update its websites to reflect the updated guidelines for charities.
Secondly, as the Ombudsperson did not have access to sufficient information to answer the core question of whether or not Muslim charities are being unfairly targeted by the Review and Analysis Division, Hikma Public Affairs Council calls for a full and expanded investigation with additional powers under section 6 of the Inquiries Act, to be headed by Mr. Boileau.
Hikma encourages the government to do all it can to investigate and eliminate the rot of anti-Muslim discrimination in the Public Service.