Political Activities and Canadian charities

March 24, 2018

CRA’s “Compliance Framework for Files with Identified Political Activities”

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Compliance Framework for Files with Identified Political Activities.  It explains how political activity audit files are identified by CRA, screening criteria used, and different types of audits that may be used depending on the screening finding.  CRA even has a cool infographic on sources and screening - ok it was from 2012 and they have gotten a lot better since then.   

March 24, 2018

What type of charities were audited by CRA under the political activity program

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system What type of charities were audited by CRA under the political activity program. It shows as of February 2014 with 31 charities being audited in terms of the 4 heads of charity how CRA divided up the political activity audits.

read more

March 13, 2018

More ways to sort Canadian registered charity data at www.charitydata.ca

Blumbergs has created the largest Canadian registered charity information portal at www.charitydata.ca with up to 13 years information on every Canadian registered charity. We have just added additional ways to sort data at www.charitydata.ca.  You can search by name, BN, Program, Charity Type, Revenue, Province and City.  

read more

March 12, 2018

Heavily redacted memorandum to PM Justin Trudeau from PCO on the political activities audits

March 10, 2018

CRA media points on consultation panel report on political activities - May 3, 2017

March 10, 2018

Recent CRA presentation on political activities by Canadian registered charities

Here is a recent CRA presentation on political activities by Canadian registered charities that has some good examples of allowable and prohibited political activities.  It was obtained through ATIP.  Some have complained that the examples in CRA's political activities guidance are dated. This presentation provides more up-to-date and relevant examples. 

read more

February 27, 2018

Canadian Federal Budget 2018 and its impact on non-profits and charities

The Liberal government has unveiled their 2018 Federal Budget today.   Here is our article Canadian Federal Budget 2018 and its impact on non-profits and charities.  

January 27, 2018

Our directory of top resources for Canadian registered charities

Over the last 10 or more years, we have published over 2500 blog posts.  Except for a few avid readers, that might be a little overwhelming so we have started to create a directory of some of the top resources for Canadian charities.  This will be particularly helpful for those who are new to registered charity compliance issues or to the charity sector.

read more

January 22, 2018

Common Paragraphs for an Administrative Fairness Letter from the Charities Directorate of CRA

Here is our note "Common Paragraphs for an Administrative Fairness Letter from the Charities Directorate of CRA". It contains explanations of common concerns that CRA may find during an audit that, unless appropriately addressed, may result in various penalties, sanctions or even revocation.

December 20, 2017

Top Canadian charity law compliance issues By Mark Blumberg

Here is an article on Top Canadian charity law compliance issues by Mark Blumberg.  Hopefully it provides a good overview of the most common compliance issues for Canadian registered charities with an emphasis on concerns from the Charities Directorate of CRA.

October 25, 2017

CRA presentation to Minister Lebouthillier on options in dealing with political activities

Here is a presentation from the Charities Directorate to Minister Lebouthillier about options for political activities.  It provides a good overview of the issues and some of the options.  It is provides a concise summary of some legislative and other changes. Some of the presentation is redacted.   

October 24, 2017

CRA’s Draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration is released through ATIP

There are approximately 32,000 registered charities in Canada that are religious charities. They account for approximately 40% of all the registered charities in Canada.  It is important that Canadian registered charities are aware of CRA‘s views on what is religion and when are activities of religious charities that are ostensibly religious not in fact “advancing religion”.  Or when are such activities providing undue private benefit.  We just obtained a copy of CRA's draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration and it is important that charities and others interested in this topic are aware of the guidance.

read more

October 17, 2017

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2015

July 29, 2017

Charity Village article “Setting a new tone” deals with Canadian charities and political activities

Here is a recent Charity Village article by Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf entitled Setting a new tone: The newly released report on the political activities of charities.  The article discusses The Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities and we have discussed that report and charities and political activities in general in certain earlier blogs such as here

June 18, 2017

Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives from the CCLA

The Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) is pleased to present: Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives on June 22, 2017 at 8:30AM in Toronto.  The 1/2 day program will cover 4 thought provoking topics (see bios below) and have two excellent international guests.  The room can only hold 33 people so if you are interested book quickly.

read more

June 17, 2017

Some of the Canadian charities that spend the most on political activities?

In this article Some of the Canadian charities that spend the most on political activities? I have not only listed some of the Canadian charities that spent the most on political activities but also showed readers how they can find and sort the information themselves.  There is more to charities than just political activities and you can do your own searches depending on what information you need.  

June 11, 2017

Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada by Canadian Registered Charities in 2015

Here is an article entitled Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada by Canadian Registered Charities in 2015 which lists the Canadian charities that received the largest contributions from outside of Canada.  

read more

May 28, 2017

Some recent blogs on charities and political activities by Mark Blumberg

Here is a note I prepared called Some recent blogs on charities and political activities by Mark Blumberg.  Yes I know the title is very original.  I came up with it myself.    

May 27, 2017

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2017 - save the date!

We are pleased to announce the Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2017 will be on Monday October 16, 2017. Further details will follow.  Registration and early bird information is here.  

May 22, 2017

CRA welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities

In a press release entitled "Minister Lebouthillier welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities" CRA noted the receipt of a report on charities and political activities.  That report was reflective of the vast majority of the "nearly 20,000" submissions received as part of the consultation.   

read more

May 09, 2017

Presentation on community foundations and political activities in Ottawa - May 13, 2017

Mark Blumberg will be co-presenting on "How community foundations can lead and engage in small ‘a’ advocacy" in Ottawa at the Community Foundations of Canada 2017 Conference on Saturday May 13, 2017.

read more

May 08, 2017

“Second Thoughts: Why I Changed My Mind About Philanthropy and Public Policy” by David Callahan

David Callahan, is the editor of Inside Philanthropy, and he is one the top progressive experts on philanthropy in the US.  His article "Second Thoughts: Why I Changed My Mind About Philanthropy and Public Policy" has nothing to do with Canada - but it has everything to do with the dilemma that the Liberal government is going to be dealing with over the next year or two as to how much "political activities" is too much for charities.  I would argue that the current rules give lots and lots of room to charities to conduct political activities - but yes not enough for maybe 50-100 groups.   At what point do we prioritize the sector over those groups?  

read more

March 30, 2017

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2015

We have just released our Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2015. Lots of interesting statistics and information on the Canadian charity sector.  As well if you want information on individual charities or want to sort charities based on about 20 criteria checkout our charity data site at www.charitydata.ca

March 18, 2017

Australian charity commission to crack down on inappropriate political activities by charities

This recent article in The Guardian entitled Charity regulator to crack down on political advocacy after complaints discusses how the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has cracked down on certain political activities by charities in Australia and how the ACNC is asking for less secrecy and more transparency in dealing with charity compliance issues.

read more

February 10, 2017

Charity Commission case report on charity political activity AND funding non-charity

The Charity Commission has released a case report that deals with political activities of a UK charity and also its funding of a non-charity.  This case report is interesting from a Canadian perspective as there have been people in Canada advocating for changes to the rules relating to Canadian charities and political activities and also "direction and control" by Canadian charities when they are providing resources to non-qualified donees (such as foreign organizations).  This particular case report covers both of these types of issues.

read more

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

Contact

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
Download vCard

Connect

Locate

Blumberg Segal LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
#1202 - 390 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2Y2 Canada

Charity Law List

Join Blumbergs' non-profit and charities newsletter
View recent issue: October 2018