Here's some humour for your day .... May 10, 2016 Canada’s Competition Bureau issued a news release warning donors about charity scams and highlighting the Canadian Red Cross as a trusted charity.

Is the Competition Bureau turning to scare tactics? Is this a genuine threat? Charity Intelligence is normally one of the first to hear about such shenanigans.  As of May 13, all quiet on the phone lines.

Or could it be an opportunity to warn Canadians to give to a charity that is trusted – give to the Red Cross?

Does this news release imply that “other charities”, perhaps the Salvation Army, the United Ways, and Fort McMurray’s frontline charities, are “fakes?”

It’s fascinating that the Competition Bureau issued this press release. It wasn't the CRA Charities Directorate. Now let’s refresh on who the Competition Bureau is and its job: the Bureau is an independent government agency that ensures fair markets and stops the abuse of market power. Through the Competition Act, it seeks “to prevent firms that dominate a market from abusing market power, ... like cutting off essential supplies to other firms.”

So when the Red Cross receives, say, 99% of disaster relief donations for Fort McMurray through brand power, massive blitz of advertising, (much of this also donated) is this a “dominant market position”? And does this cut off essential supplies to others ….. like essential donations to other charities in Fort McMurray?

It just feels like the Competition Bureau's press release is crossing a line. 

Food for thought … To read the Competition Bureau's Alert

 

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