Kate Bahen from Charity Intelligence
Kate Bahen is a self-appointed watchdog of the charitable sector in Canada, despite having no credentials for this role. Kate Bahen, and her colleague Greg Thomson, have regularly made false and misleading statements about charities in Canada in their desire to receive media coverage. Despite employing only three full-time staff, none of whom are CPAs, Charity Intelligence issues annual ratings of charities, including giving them a grade on their financial transparency. Between 2014 and 2020, Charity Intelligence had consistently given WE Charity an overall grade of “A”, and did so as recently as 6 months before the CSSG was announced in June 2020. Soon after the CSSG controversy began, the rating was quickly downgraded. Charity Intelligence used the media coverage during this period to increase her notoriety and raise money for her own organization, having four times the cash reserves on hand following the attacks on WE Charity.
During this time, Kate Bahen was regularly in line with Conservatives in their talking points attacking WE Charity in Canada. She failed to disclose that she was a regular donor to the Conservative Party of Canada and her Board Chair Graeme Hepburn has donated over $44,000 to the Conservative Party as well as hosting fundraisers for Conservative leaders at his home. Graeme Hepburn’s wife, Claudia, has also donated $24,000 to the Conservative Party and is the former Director of right-wing think tank Fraser Institute.
Kate Bahen is not a Certified Public Accountant and has no evident professional training in accounting that would qualify her to make such assertions and conclusions. Her assessments were directly refuted and proven false by multiple lawyers, tax experts and forensic auditors. Kate Bahen also has a history of making false and inflammatory comments about charities. In May 2019, she was forced to formally apologize for false and misleading statements she made about the True North Foundation – the charitable arm of the Winnipeg Jets hockey team.