The ROM collected millions in wage subsidies during COVID-19 closures. Now, the Canadian government wants the money back
The museum has appealed the Canada Revenue Agency’s decision that it’s ineligible for CEWS because it is a public institution.
It would be funny to read about which ROM employees got laid off and which ones kept their salaries - surely the cleaning/maintenance of the building and security of the artifacts would be the only staff needed during the early days of the pandemic, and then the people operating the online services as the programs began.
I reckon a lot of the senior managers were kept on at full salary while the union staff were laid off. I'd love to see how exactly it happened, as it's a crown corporation - we are allowed to submit Freedom of Information requests for these internal communications, I wonder if the journalist that wrote this article had attempted that?
Of all the organizations that we should pay to keep afloat, I would pick the ROM over something highly profitable like a bank
Kind of stupid for them to pick a fight with the ROM when they gave waaaay more money to Rogers and bell etc., Who didn't need the money and also still proceeded to fire thousands of employees and then do stock buybacks with the COVID handout lol. Clearly they shouldn't of qualified for COVID payments but here we are years later and CRA cries that they can't go after business because it's too much work lol
Fuck this whole process.
I was on EI to begin the pandemic, as I was laid-off for non-pandemic related reasons.
They took me off EI, to give me CERB. I recieved a SINGLE payment, and then found a new job to move on to.
cRA is now clawing the money back, even though I was entitled to EI at the time, and I had no choice but to take CERB as 'no other programs were available' after CERB was introduced.
They essentially told me to suck eggs, and that I owe them $2K.
The $13.4-million dispute essentially boils down to whether the ROM, a corporation, should also be considered a public institution that performs a function of government or whose capital — assets less debts — is owned by a provincial government.
It’s a “highly technical matter,” said former CRA adviser Allan Lanthier, who says the case could go either way.
“The CRA may have an uphill battle convincing a court that ROM is performing a government function,” said Lanthier, who is a retired partner of an international accounting firm. “On the other hand, if the Ontario government doesn’t own ROM’s capital, who does?”
As a corporation without share capital, the ROM’s members and trustees do not own shares, meaning they don’t stand to profit from the museum.
While the ownership of capital of a corporation like the ROM is not directly described in the tax code, the CRA says it should be determined by factors such as the right to select directors, right to profits, and right to assets upon dissolution.
The Ontario government appoints the majority of a 21-trustee board, which is the governing body for the museum.
The surplus of the museum also goes toward the Ontario government, and its dissolution would require the government’s approval, the CRA states, concluding the museum is a “public institution.”
Canada’s auditor general, Karen Hogan, found in a December report that $4.6 billion of the federal government’s COVID-19 benefits went to ineligible recipients and at least $27.4 billion was paid to recipients that should be investigated further to confirm eligibility.
This dispute is a literal drop in the bucket of CEWS funds that were provided - 13.4 Million of 27.4 Billion.
I don't understand why they got the money if they weren't eligible. The feds fucked up and now they are spending even more money on lawyers to resolve this.
Why do our public institutions suck so much?
CRA always goes for the lowest hanging fruit. and guess what? whatever the outcome might be, we the taxpayers will foot the bill for any legal proceedings.
Here's hoping they have to sell off that ugly crystal in order to make up for the lost funds 🤞
In all seriousness though, it would be a real shame if they have to pay that money back. I hope the CRA drops this and goes after the real abusers of the system!