It has now been about 7 weeks that many businesses, non-profits and charities in Canada have either been shut down or are trying hard to adjust to the frequently changing environment.  It is hard to believe how much has changed.   For a sector that often talks about innovation – I can truthfully say that I have seen more innovation in the last 7 weeks than in the last 7 years.

The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and other Federal supports will assist non-profits and charities.  McGill announced today that “To allow McGill students to begin, or continue, their academic path no matter where they are, fall 2020 courses will be offered primarily through remote delivery platforms”.  There is a greater appreciation for the importance of public health and prevention.  We have worked on a number of massive granting programs that are responding to the pandemic.

At Blumbergs we are working to ensure that we can continue to assist our non-profit and charity clients as they are facing some great challenges. We are doing regular client legal work, special work occasioned by the COVID-19 crisis, and we are trying to provide regular communication of reliable information through blogs, social media and webinars to assist charities and non-profits.

Our last updates on our website on March 15, 2020, and March 23, 2020, and April 24, 2020.

As of March 16, 2020, all Blumberg Segal LLP staff have been working remotely and it is working very well.

  • We are using conferencing and video conference software to facilitate communication and all meetings have been done electronically and this will continue for the foreseeable future.
  • We use online booking tools to easily allow clients to book calls and videoconferences.
  • We can receive client documents and large files through an internet portal.
  • We have provided webinars and updates to boards and umbrella organizations.
  • We have portals such as CanadianCharityLaw.cawww.CharityData.ca, and www.SmartGiving.ca with tens of thousands of pages of information on compliance and practical issues for Canadian charities and foreign charities operating in Canada as well as data on the charity sector and they are available 24/7.
  • We are offering online courses (as opposed to in-person programs) and we will be adding to the 12 available courses that we currently offer.  For example, we have recently launched a 4-hour course on foreign activities and cross border philanthropy and this Saturday we launched our course on Canadian Charities Working with Non-Charities in Canada (with a special offer to access it for free this week! see below)
  • For many years we have strived to do electronic filings, where possible, and now with the CRA Digital Services for Charities system online we can incorporate a non-profit and apply for charity status with all government filings being done online.  We can also do many other tasks or services online.
  • With the Charities Directorate now operating at greater capacity, we are continuing in our regular work of putting in applications and requests to CRA.

 

On April 20, 2020, we had our Blumbergs’ Charity Law Boot Camp in a virtual format.  It went very well.  As a result, we have decided to have 2 more online day-long courses that we will discuss below.

 

For more regular updates you can follow us on Twitter, Linkedin, and our website CanadianCharityLaw.ca has been and will be updated on a regular basis.

 

We wish everyone well in this difficult time and if we can be of assistance let us know.