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 are pleased to announce that we will be holding a full-day event on international philanthropy on April 12, 2019: Blumbergs' International Philanthropy Conference 2019. See below for more details and we hope to see you there.
There has been a lot of coverage of the college admission scandal in the United States, in which many celebrities and wealthy executives paid large sums of money (some over $1 million US) to cheat their children's way into top universities. While some will focus on which celebrities participated and corruption in the competitive admissions processes, we shouldn't overlook the fact that money involved in this scheme was funnelled through an American 501(c)(3) corporation, which is a charitable organization. This means that in addition to cheating the system, taking a spot from a deserving and qualified but less wealthy student, and continuing privilege of the rich and famous, some participants in this scheme were getting tax deductions for their bribe money.
The CRA announced today a number of different matters including "The Government is providing up to $5.3 million in new funding over the 2018–2019 to 2023–2024 period for the CRA to enhance sector outreach and education. This will include reinstating in-person information sessions and introducing videoconference information sessions for charities across Canada." It is so well hidden in the press release I barely noticed it!
Today CRA has released the Minister of National Revenue's response to the recent changes on Political Activities by Canadian registered charities. The Government has announced that this is their final response to the Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities, which came out March 31, 2017. It has taken the Government almost 2 years to release its final response on the report which came out at the end of March 2017! This report was promised for the summer of 2017 so I guess we can chalk this up to the Canadian government has never been so efficient at putting out announcements as in the week that the PM is being skewered on SNC-Lavalin. I wonder if the Liberals will release the religion guidance they have been hiding for 4 years (and the Conservatives for many years before that).
The Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier put out a news release on March 7, 2019 dealing the new Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS). I was expecting details in the budget but receiving these details today by press release was a bit surprising. Forgive me for being a bit cynical in this time of the SNC-Lavalin affair in Ottawa I can only imagine that there is pressure on civil servants to put out lots of releases and information to distract, I mean focus, the attention of people on what is really important!
The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars. Registration is free but space is limited. Topics are subject to change.