The New York Times has reported that “The Gates Foundation has withdrawn a $5.2 million grant to a Canadian research center for planned tobacco control work in Africa, after learning that the chairwoman of the center’s board was also a board member for a unit of one of the world’s largest tobacco companies.”  What is unusual about this story is how public it has gotten with press releases etc.  Canadian charities should take the issue of conflicts of interest seriously and should have conflict of interest policies and they should follow them.  It is easier and better to avoid problems such as this one rather than having to deal with them.

For the New York Times story see:


Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto, Ontario.  To find out more about legal services that Blumbergs provides to Canadian charities and non-profits please visit or  Mark can be contacted at or at 416-361-1982.

This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. You should not act or abstain from acting based upon such information without first consulting a legal professional.