We assist Canadian charities, their staff and boards of directors, to understand their legal and ethical obligations when operating a Canadian registered charity and provide insights and information to non-Canadian charities interested in operating or fundraising in Canada.
The charitable sector in Canada has become more challenging. It is highly competitive with over 86,000 Canadian registered charities. As well donors, regulators, media, the public as well as other stakeholders, have increasingly high expectations of charities and how they operate. We assist charities in Canada grapple with these important legal and standards issues.
We had previously covered the V. Ross Morrison v. The Queen case dealing with the Canadian Humanitarian Trust and the Canadian Gift Initiatives donation programs. The appellants appealed the earlier decision of Justice F.J. Pizzitelli of the Tax Court of Canada and that appeal was recently dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal.
As many know the CRA has launched a consultation on political activities by Canadian charities. The Canadian Charity Law Association will be having Mark Blumberg present a webinar on the consultation and various ways of responding or not responding to it. The webinar will be on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 12:00PM EST. You can register here for the webinar. It is free but there is limited space.
The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars. Registration is free but space is limited.
The UK Charity Commission has published a report regarding its inquiry into a registered charity (the Bristol Community Church Trust). The inquiry started in 2011 and related to sexual abuse allegations that were made against the charity's youth pastor and the inadequacy of the charity's internal safeguarding practices with respect to their response to these allegations.
As part of the CRA focus on political activities the CRA did some educational activities and awareness raising about the rules for Canadian charities conducting political activities. Here is a copy of the Charities Directorate Political Activities Education and Information Plan.
CRA has released a letter which discusses whether improvement districts, particularly in British Columbia, would be considered municipal or public bodies performing a function of government for the purpose of paragraph 149(1)(c) and therefore able to issue donation receipts as a qualified donee. CRA determined that improvement districts could qualify as a municipal or public body performing a function of government because they have a governance function, and exercise powers similar to those of municipalities (whether providing one or several services to the public). Here is a copy of the full CRA letter.