Political Activities and Canadian charities

April 02, 2019

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2019 (SOLD OUT)

The Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp will be held again on Monday April 8, 2019. This is a one-day boot camp on compliance and standards issues for Canadian registered charities. You can register for the program here

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March 28, 2019

CRA announces upcoming changes to the T3010 and T2050, removing Political Activities

On March 15, 2019, CRA announced that there will be changes to the T3010 Annual Return and the T2050 Application to Register a Charity to account for the recent changes to the political activities rules for Canadian registered charities. Instead of reporting on their political activities, charities will report their public policy dialogue and development activities (PPDDAs). According to CRA, registered charities will have less to report for PPDDA than they previously reported for their political activities. The changes to the T3010 and T2050 are set to come in November 2019. Until the changes are made, CRA has provided instructions on how to fill out the current T3010 and T2050 for PPDDA. 

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March 19, 2019

Canadian Federal Budget 2019 and its impact on non-profits and charities

Finance Minister Morneau delivered the 2019 Federal Budget today.  Here is our article "2019 Canadian Federal Budget - How will it affect the Canadian charitable sector?"

Finance has already released a Fall Economic Statement that did contain a number of initiatives relating to the charity sector and you can see our article "Finance 2018 Fall Economic Statement and its Impact on Canadian Charities, Journalism and Social Finance".   

March 08, 2019

CRA Minister Responds to changes in Political Activities of Charities

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).  

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March 08, 2019

Minister of National Revenue press release on the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS)

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! 

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February 27, 2019

T3010 and political activities - changes are coming

The CRA recently posted on their T3010 page that "In December 2018, the rules governing the political activities of registered charities changed as a result of new legislation that permits charities to carry on unlimited public policy dialogue and development activities in furtherance of a stated charitable purpose. Under the new rules, the reporting requirements related to a charity’s spending on political activities are no longer relevant. The Canada Revenue Agency is revising Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return, and will publish instructions on its webpages soon."

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February 27, 2019

CRA releases Q&A on public policy dialogue and development activities by charities

The CRA recently released a question and answer document on the December 2018 political activity changes and the new guidance on public policy dialogue and development activities by charities.  Here is the Q&A

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January 21, 2019

CRA releases draft guidance “Public policy dialogue and development activities by charities”

The CRA today released its draft guidance "Public policy dialogue and development activities by charities".   This guidance will replace CRA's Guidance CPS-022, Political activities.  The CRA is asking for feedback on this draft administrative guidance and providing until April 23, 2019 for that feedback.  Here is a PDF of the draft guidance and here is a link to the draft guidance on the CRA website.  We will be providing further information on this draft to our clients and on our blog.  

January 14, 2019

Course - Should We Establish a Canadian Social Enterprise, Non-Profit or Charity and How to Do It?

We have created a course entitled "Should We Establish a Canadian Social Enterprise, Non-Profit or Charity and How to Do It?".   The course is $149 and you can register at https://charity-law.teachable.com/   Here is an overview of the course:

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January 13, 2019

Fallacies about private foundations in 2019 - an article on the many myths about private foundations

The compliance requirements and restrictions on private foundations in Canada are frequently misunderstood, even by those who run large private foundations.   Here is our article Fallacies about private foundations in 2019 that might be helpful in dispelling these myths. 

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January 10, 2019

“Impossible to Justify” A Political Scientist Takes on American Philanthropy - David Callahan review

David Callahan recently reviewed Rob Reich's new book "Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better." in an article "Impossible to Justify" A Political Scientist Takes on American Philanthropy".  The review and the book are a further wake-up call that there are concerns in the public about philanthropy.    We can wait for people to become more cynical of the charity sector or we can act now to prevent that.   It is definitely worth reading David Callahan's review.  

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December 14, 2018

Bill C-86 Receives Royal Assent

On Thursday December 13, 2018, Bill C-86 received Royal Assent. Within this Bill, there are several changes to the Income Tax Act related to charities, especially with regards to political activities.  The change allows Canadian registered charities to conduct public policy dialogue and development activities (PPADA) connected to the legal purpose of the charity as long as they are not directly or indirectly partisan.   We are awaiting guidance from CRA on how they will interpret the new provisions on political activities.  Also the CWP decision will probably one day end up in the Supreme Court of Canada and perhaps they will have a thing or two to say about political activities and how purposes and activities relate to registered charity status.  

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November 29, 2018

Standing Senate Committee on Finance and their review of Political Activities - November 28, 2018

On Wednesday November 28, 2018 I presented to the Senate Committee on Finance in Ottawa. My presentation dealt with Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act, 2018, and specifically the proposed changes to the rules and regulations on political activities carried out by charities within the Bill. 

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November 24, 2018

Special Senate Committee on the Charity Sector and Mark Blumberg’s testimony November 19, 2018

On Monday November 19, 2018 I presented to the Special Senate Committee on the Charity Sector in Ottawa.  My presentation dealt with a number of areas especially transparency of non-profits and registered charities, good charity regulation, and political activities by charities.

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November 05, 2018

New Canadian Registered Charity Legal Checklist by Mark Blumberg

Here is the new Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.  For those who are interested in reviewing legal compliance for their registered charity they may find the checklist helpful.  

October 31, 2018

Finance Changes to Political Activities and Canadian Charities

There have been large changes over the last week in the rules for Canadian registered charities and political activities.  Here is our article Finance Changes to Political Activities and Canadian Charities.

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October 28, 2018

Finance Legislative Proposals Notice of Ways and Means related to charities and political activities

On October 25, 2018 the Department of Finance posted Legislative Proposals Notice of Ways and Means Motions and Explanatory Notes which among other things change the rules for Canadian charities carrying out political activities.

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October 16, 2018

Blumbergs’ Submission on Finance’s Legislative Proposals Regarding Political Activities of Charities

Here is Blumbergs' submission to the Department of Finance on their recent Draft Legislative Proposals Regarding Political Activities of Charities.  For further information on political activities and Canadian registered charities see our directory of blogs and documents.  

October 02, 2018

CRA releases guidance on “Charities and public policy advocacy”

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency today released guidance on "Charities and public policy advocacy".  This is on the heels of the Finance Department releasing draft legislative proposals recently and requesting comments by October 13, 2018.   CRA notes that it accepts suggestions to guidances on an ongoing basis -  in other words, you can comment at any time on this guidance.  I will be discussing the topic of political activities at our upcoming Blumbergs' Charity Law Institute.  

September 18, 2018

CRA delays Charities IT Modernization Project (CHAMP) till June 2019 instead of November 2018

The CRA announced today that they are delaying the Charities IT Modernization Project (CHAMP) till June 2019. When CHAMP is launched, charities will no longer be able to make application by paper application and will have to use the CHAMP system. As well, although not required, charities will be able to file the T3010 under the CHAMP system.   Because all charity applications will need to go through CHAMP, it is ideal that it works seamlessly and if that means a delay of 6 or 7 months, I don't think many people will care.

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September 17, 2018

Finance to Consult on Draft Legislative Proposals re Political Activities of Canadian Charities

Finance has put out a press release that it will be consulting on the new political activity proposals that were released on Friday.

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September 15, 2018

Finance releases legislative proposals on charities and political activities

On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:01PM the Department of Finance released the "Legislative Proposals Notice of Ways and Means Motions" and also the "Explanatory Notes" on their website.   We will be commenting on these changes to the Income Tax Act over the next few weeks.  

August 24, 2018

Gail Picco’s article on the CWP decision

Recently author and fundraiser Gail Picco wrote an extensive article on the CWP decision entitled "How an Ontario Superior Court Decision Has Remade the Charity Sector, Failed Vulnerable Canadians and Why Some People Are Cheering?

August 18, 2018

Althia Raj’s article “Super PACs In Canada?” on CWP decision on charities and political activities

Althia Raj's article "Super PACs In Canada? Liberals Wrestle With Politically-Active Charities After Court Ruling" covers the fallout from the Canada Without Poverty case and provides some important updates. 

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August 15, 2018

Finance and CRA promise to clarify rules on political activities and CRA appeals CWP decision

The CRA announced today that they are appealing the CWB decision.  This is not surprising as we noted in our blog on July 30, 2018 "Canada Without Poverty vs. AG – a pyrrhic victory for CWP and a disaster for the charity sector".  The CRA and Finance press release noted that "the Government of Canada identified significant errors of law and has served notice that it will be appealing the decision to address the uncertainty created by it, and to seek clarification on important issues of constitutional and charity law."  As well, the government has said that they will be introducing legislation in the spring and then responding to the report of the Consultation Panel. 

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Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

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.

mark@blumbergs.ca
416.361.1982
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