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Canadian Charity Law List

January 2020


Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2020 - April 20, 2020 but don't miss the early bird special which expires on Friday!

Blumbergs will be having its Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp on Monday April 20, 2020. An easy enough date to remember!   This is a one-day boot camp on compliance and standards issues for Canadian registered charities. You can find out more information and register for the program here. This Boot Camp will cover the differences between for-profits, non-profits and registered charities and why in some cases you may wish to have one or more of each to have maximum impact. It will focus on matters that are significant for any operating charity surrounding revenue generation rules, receipting, transparency, and protecting your charity against risks. Topical issues such as collaboration, foreign activities, political activities, the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA) and Ontario Non-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will be touched upon as well.

We only do the Boot Camp once a year in Toronto so sign up early to take advantage of the limited number of early bird specials and register for your ticket as the event typically sells out.  The early bird special expires on Friday!

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Recent CRA letters of revocation for Canadian registered charities -2015-2018

Here are the CRA letters from a number of recent Canadian registered charity revocations.  These letters from CRA cover many different grounds for de-registration. Some relate to relatively minor matters such as an organization being inactive for many years, to more serious matters such as lacking appropriate direction and control, private benefits, and even terrorism.

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Corporations Canada Changes to Fees + Service Standard Times and improves transparency

Here is our article Corporations Canada Launches Changes to Fees and Service Standard Times and New Express Services Today.  There is some very exciting news in that article about changes on January 15, 2020 and how they affect Federal non-profits and transparency.

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Some initial issues for a new Canadian grantmaking foundation

Here is our article “Some initial issues for a new Canadian grantmaking foundation“.   Hopefully, it will provide some ideas as to issues that new (and perhaps existing) foundations should be considering.   Also here is our more comprehensive Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.

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Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars on receipting and foreign activities. Registration is free but space is limited. Topics are subject to change.

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Australian Wildfires and Canadian donors

We all see from the media the terrible wildfires in Australia.  Some Canadian donors or charities have wanted to assist with the relief and recovery efforts as well as research and prevention.  Here are a few thoughts specific to the wildfires in Australia.

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Class action lawsuit certified for GLGI donation scheme

The Canadian Lawyer has an article entitled Class action certified for “sham” charitable donation tax scheme.  It discusses the class action lawsuit against a number of defendants dealing with the “Global Learning Gifting Initiative Charitable Donation Program” and how that class action lawsuit is now certified.  We had covered this lawsuit in 2017 in our blog Class action lawsuit for $800 million over Global Learning Group Inc. (GLGI) donation program.

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Another update from the Ontario government on ONCA

On January 6, 2020 I posted “Ontario government update re: ONCA transition -there will be an update”  in which I noted some changes on the Ontario Government ONCA page and the next day there was an “update” from the Ontario government on ONCA.  I warn you for those who read my blogs that the update does not really update anything but here it goes ….

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Universities outside of Canada that are qualified donees and fundraising in Canada

If a University is outside of Canada and on a special list maintained by CRA then that foreign university can issue Canadian “official donation receipts” under the Income Tax Act or tax receipts which are very valuable to Canadian taxpayers.   I recently took a look at the list.  It is divided into 3 parts – the US (529 universities in total including 1 terminated and 45 revoked), the UK (52 universities with 1 revoked) and Other (80 universities with 10 revoked).

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The war on philanthropy that does not exist, apparently continues!

The Wall Street Journal on January 8, 2020 in an opinion piece entitled “The War on Philanthropy:  Private giving achieves what government can’t—which is why authoritarians hate it” basically provides an unabashed defence of philanthropy and response to those who criticize some philanthropy for advancing more the interests of billionaires than the public interest.  I discuss the article and why the coverage and public’s perception of charities is changing.

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Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation is for now a qualified donee in Canada

There is a list called “foreign charities that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada”.  As the name suggests a group that gets a “gift” from the Federal government can apply to CRA to be on the list for a period of 2 years.  Being on the list means that the foreign charity can issue official donation receipts to Canadians and also receive gifts from Canadian charities.  When a Canadian charity provides funds to a foreign group that is listed as a qualified donee under this category there is no need for direction and control.  The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation has been added until February 19, 2021.  Groups that are on the list must be careful to only issue official donation receipts in accordance with the Income Tax Act (Canada).

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Online Charity Law Courses from Blumbergs - 24/7 compliance education for registered charities

We have created several online courses for those who are interested or need to understand compliance issues that affect Canadian registered charities.  You can do an online course at your pace and redo sections if you wish.  The course can be accessed over a one year period.   The courses include:


If you require pricing for a group or multiple licences let us know.

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Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2017

If you want an overview of the charity sector from T3010 data you might find our Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2017 to be helpful.  2017 is the last year that there is currently full data available from CRA.

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CRA releases application form for qualified Canadian journalism organizations

The CRA on December 20, 2019, put out a press release on their incentives relating to journalism.   As well CRA has released the T625 Application for Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization Designation form both as a regular PDF and a fillable PDF.  As the form explains “Federal Budget 2019 introduced three income tax measures intended to provide support to Canadian journalism organizations producing original news content.  The gateway for each of the measures is for an organization to first be designated as a “qualified Canadian journalism organization” (QCJO). While designation as a QCJO does not automatically entitle organizations to claim specific tax measures, it is the necessary first step in accessing the support. An organization wishing to apply for designation as a QCJO is required to complete and submit Form T625.”

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Church of Atheism of Central Canada v. CRA - atheism is not a religion for Canadian charity purposes

A recent Federal Court of Appeal case Church of Atheism of Central Canada v. Canada (National Revenue) deals with a group promoting atheism who applied for registered charity status, CRA rejected the application, the group appealed to the FCA and the FCA dismissed the appeal.  The FCA sided with CRA that the atheist group should not be a registered charity.  Essentially atheism is not a religion and therefore could not be registered under “advancing religion”.

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The CRA has released an updated 2019 version of its T3010 Registered Charity Information Return

The CRA has released recently the 2019 version C of its T3010 Registered Charity Information Return.  The major changes deal with replacing political activities with “public policy dialogue and development activities” (PPDDAs).  As a result of Finance’s 2018 changes, CRA no longer asks for much information on “public policy dialogue and development activities”.  CRA asks whether your charity did PPDDAs and give you a paragraph to describe the PPDDAs and how they relate to your purposes but don’t ask how much you spent on them.

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Mark Blumberg speaking at the 17th Annual Foundation, Endowment and Not for Profit Investment Summit

I recently spoke on top compliance issues and transparency with investments at the 17th Annual Foundation, Endowment and Not for Profit Investment Summit (January 22-23, 2020)

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Upcoming Events and Programs:

Blumbergs’ Charity Law Boot Camp,

Blumbergs’ online courses on certain charity law issues;  and

Upcoming Canadian Charity Law Association webinars.

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

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.