Topics: What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Applying for Registered Charity Status
Barry Bussey published an op ed in The Province on the Canada Summer Jobs program and the reluctance of the CRA Minister to release it guidance on religion which has essentially been complete for a number of years.
Bussey is a respected and prominent lawyer who is an expert in religious freedom and related issues. I will leave others to deal with the Canada Summer Jobs program and the clash of rights, but I certainly agree with Bussey's concern about a CRA guidance being withheld by the Minister's office from the charity sector and public. It is basic rule of law stuff if the CRA has a guidance or policy, whether one likes it or not, that the guidance or policy should be made available to the public so that you know CRA's position, whether it is correct or not. In this case the guidance has been consulted on ad nauseum and it has become so vanilla that some could object - but that is not the point - charities who apply for registration who are religious can benefit from reviewing it and the operations of over 32,000 religious charities can also benefit from that knowledge.
You can see a copy of and read more about the draft CRA Guidance on religion at this blog post.
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.