Lubavitch Foundation – Federal Court of Appeal finds that there is no reasonable apprehension of bias where an appeals officer only had minor involvement in a prior taxpayer audit

The principal argument of a charitable organization in challenging the proposed revocation of its registration was that there was a reasonable apprehension of bias arising from the involvement of Mr. Racine, a Directorate employee, in the first audit and his assignment as the appeals officer in the appeal from the Notice of Intention to Revoke that was issued as a consequence of the second audit. In rejecting this submission, Gleason JA stated that “the involvement of Mr. Racine in the first audit was minimal” and that “Mr. Racine cannot be said to have sat in appeal from a decision he made.”

In going on to dismiss the appeal, Gleason JA noted that there was significant support in the record for various of the grounds for revocation, including the organization’s participation in a donation scheme under which it indirectly returned to a donor approximately 80-90% of the $3.5 million for which he had been receipted.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Colel Chabad Lubavitch Foundation of Israel v. Canada (National Revenue), 2022 FCA 108 under s. 172(3)(a.1).