Thank you for your excellent editorial and for very succinctly putting the issue of charitable status out there to educate us, the general public.
In answer to your question: in my opinion, the role of a charity is to do good works that benefit society as a whole. It is NOT to influence political decisions on projects that would benefit families by bringing economic growth to our region.
There is a big difference between these types of charities and those that raise funds to provide local hospitals with equipment, support the arts, and assist in developing healthy lifestyles by keeping kids in sport. The definition of a charity is an organization that helps those in need; giving of help, such as money or food, to those in need; help given; kindly attitude towards people.
How, in any way, does this definition apply to some environmental groups that employ people to apply for grants and then turn around and spend most of the grant money on wages for themselves? How does their obstruction of projects that would bring jobs and money to members of the community help those in need?
The worst of it is that funding is not unlimited and many truly charitable groups operated by volunteers and unable to obtain charitable status cannot secure funding as the lions share of the money is vacuumed up by professional environmental groups. Environmental obstructionism has become BIG BUSINESS and well-organized groups with well-padded bank accounts and fee for service arrangements are job creation agencies for those who have chosen careers as environmental radicals.
Its time we got back to the dictionary definition of charity in defining which groups are worthy of receiving charitable status. Things have gone badly awry, again because we citizens of our democracy have been asleep at the switch.
Cheryl Willard, Windermere