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Canadian Charity Law List

June 2021

FEATURED

Canadian charities giving to Indigenous Charities and Qualified Donees - 2018

In this article Canadian charities giving to Indigenous Charities and Qualified Donees – 2018, Sharon Redsky, Wanda Brascoupe, Mark Blumberg and Jessie Lang reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2018 to see how many gifts and the value of those gifts were made from Canadian registered charities to “Indigenous Charities” and certain Qualified Donees such as First Nation Governments or ‘Bands’ (listed as “municipal or public body performing a function of government in Canada”). Together we refer to them as “Indigenous Groups”.

It appears there were 284 grants to Indigenous Groups out of 28,164 that were over $30,000.   So just over 1% of grants were to Indigenous Groups.    The total amount given by Canadian charities (including charitable organizations, public foundations and private foundations) to Indigenous Groups was $46,887,535.  This is about ½ a percent of the funds granted.

Even though Indigenous people are about 4.9% of the population, Indigenous Groups received just over one-half a percent of gifted funds.  As Indigenous people account for 4.9% of the Canadian population then Indigenous groups are receiving about 1/10th of the funding that they would receive as a result of population size, even if one ignores issues of need.  Indigenous Groups are getting about $1 for every $178 given to non-indigenous groups.

Just to put these total numbers in context, there are 11 non-Indigenous charities that each received more than all the Indigenous Groups in Canada combined in 2018.  As well, Brigham Young University, a foreign registered university and therefore a qualified donee received about $73 million in that same year from Canadian charities.  So, one foreign university received about 1.5 times more than all Indigenous Groups in Canada. One Christian religious private foundation in Cambridge, Ontario, in 2018 received more than twice what all the Indigenous groups in Canada received.

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The new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) is targetted now to come in later this year

I was in a session with the Ontario government related to user feedback for the new Ontario Business Registry (OBR).   In that session, they advised that the new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) is targetted now to come in later this year.  It will be launched together with the Ontario Business Registry (OBR).  They noted that there are a number of interrelated regulatory changes that need to take place for the OBR and ONCA to be proclaimed/brought into force and that the Ontario government hopes to give as much notice as possible of when it will happen.  They said at the very minimum they will try for 1 month’s notice but the target date is within this calendar year.  In this note we also discuss concerns about the lack of transparency in the new ONCA system.

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Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2021 - online

Every year Blumbergs has its Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute.  This year for the second time we will be doing a “mini-institute” – very virtual, much shorter and more affordable but covering a number of topics that are of concern to Canadian charities.  So please join us on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, for the 10th Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute.  Registration and introductions will begin at 12:30 PM EST and the Institute will run until 4 PM EST.

We will be covering a number of different topics and they will be posted closer to the time.

It will be a half-day of practical legal and ethical compliance information geared toward charities, professional advisors and those interested in regulatory issues affecting charities and the non-profit sector.    The price is $125 for the Institute.  There is an early bird special of $95 for a limited time.

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Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars. Registration is free but space is limited. Topics are subject to change. More information on each of these webinars and how to register is provided here.

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New online course - Should Our Canadian Business Establish a Corporate Foundation?

We have created a new online course, Should Our Canadian Business Establish a Corporate Foundation?  This course will discuss when it may be advantageous for a Canadian business to launch a corporate foundation. Whether you are a large bank, small construction company or global media company, if you have a strong desire to do corporate social responsibility or have a positive impact in society it may make sense in some cases to have a corporate foundation. Such a corporate foundation could be a non-profit or a registered charity.

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T3010 Filing Reminder

CRA recently sent out a reminder to file the T3010. More than half of registered charities have a year end date of December 31st, which means that their T3010 filing is due today June 30th. All charities must ensure that they file their T3010 on time and accurately. Failure to do so could result in sanctions or revocation. Registered charities can also file the T3010 online through the MyBA system.

Here is CRA’s reminder …

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Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) consultation launched by Innovation, Science and Industry until July 30, 2021

The CNCA came into force in 2011. It is a really good corporate act that is being used by thousands of Canadian non-profits and charities. The Federal government is launching a consultation on the CNCA and our firm will probably provide them with some suggested improvements to what is a really good act.  If you have suggestions let us know.  Here is the notice from Corporations Canada.

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Ontario publishes regulations for new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) - will it be brought into force on July 1?

A number of regulations for the new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) have been published in the Ontario Gazette. This raises the question we asked on June 19, 2021 of whether ONCA will come into force on July 1, 2021? It is possible but impossible to know as the Ontario government has maintained a high level of secrecy over developments relating to ONCA. Probably more likely is that ONCA will be brought into force in January 2022 but we will see. Having the regulations be published is a small step in the direction of ONCA being brought into force- there are still other steps like the online business registry working.

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Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) report on Transforming the Non-Profit Community is well worth reading

I recently read a fascinating report from the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) on Transforming the Non-Profit Community in Edmonton. It is relevant to all cities and communities in Canada.

So many great quotes but here are just a few.

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How has COVID affected funding of the Canadian charity sector? Part 2 - more data from the T3010

In our note “How has COVID affected funding of the Canadian charity sector Part 2?” we reviewed T3010 data and found amongst the 11,821 registered charities that total revenue for these charities from 2019 to 2020 is down by 5% and total expenditures are down about 3%.

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National Post "WE in hot water again — this time with the CRA over donation receipts"

In an article in the National Post entitled “WE in hot water again — this time with the CRA over donation receipts: WE’s legal fees will be far in excess of the $90,000 in dispute. Sometimes you just can’t win for losing” in which they discuss a penalty proposed by CRA against WE Charity that WE Charity is trying to overturn in the Tax Court of Canada.

Here is the text.

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CRA circulates information on rapid testing for COVID-19 in the Canadian workplace including for charities, NPOs and Indigenous groups

Here is a note from CRA trying to spread the word about rapid testing and workplaces dealing with COVID.  This also includes a program of the Canadian Red Cross for charities, non-profits or Indigenous community organizations with five (5) personnel (staff and volunteers) who work in close proximity or work with community members.

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Registered Journalism Organizations ("RJO") Updates

The 2019 Federal Budget introduced income tax measures to support journalism, which created a new qualified donee category, the Registered Journalism Organization (“RJO”). According to CRA’s list, there are currently 2 RJOs. CRA has recently provided more information on the RJO requirements, including the required Information Return for the RJOs.

Here is the text from CRA’s update.

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CRA increasingly emphasizing importance of separation between registered charities and non-qualified donees

In the last couple of weeks I have read two separate CRA notes on the importance of maintaining sufficient separation between a registered charity and a non-qualified donee (whether non-profit, foreign charity, for-profit, etc)

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Ontario Corporation Act non-profits can continue to hold virtual meetings till December 31, 2021

The Ontario government is providing some temporary legislative changes to the Ontario Corporations Act such that irrespective of your governing documents an OCA corporation can hold virtual meetings until December 31, 2021.

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"Cross-Border Philanthropy - A U.S. Perspective" by Eric Zolt - excellent paper

I just finished reading an excellent paper entitled Cross-Border Philanthropy – A U.S. Perspective by Eric Zolt. It both provides a good summary of the rationale for donation tax incentives but also raises questions of whether the US system is too heavily slanted in favour of some wealthy donors. He also looks at international philanthropy from the US and questions whether international and domestic charity should be treated similarly. While some of the issues are different in the US, there is also a lot of similarity with Canada.

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Will changing structured arrangements into a reasonable person test help the charity sector? - Part 1 - The preamble

Recently a bill was proposed in the Senate –BILL S-222 An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (use of resources), which will eliminate the “own activities” requirement of charities and change the rules for Canadian charities working with non-charities, both in Canada and abroad. The bill was introduced on February 8, 2021. In a series of notes, I will highlight some concerns with the bill.

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Will changing structured arrangements into a reasonable person test help the charity sector? - Part 2 - The Main Provisions and various general concerns

Recently a bill was proposed in the Senate –BILL S-222 An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (use of resources), which will eliminate the “own activities” requirement of charities and change the rules for Canadian charities working with non-charities, both in Canada and abroad. The bill was introduced on February 8, 2020.   In this brief note, I will highlight some concerns with the bill. We have already discussed our concerns with the preamble.

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Will changing structured arrangements into a reasonable person test help the charity sector? - Part 3 - The Reasonable Person - lots of questions

Recently a bill was proposed in the Senate –BILL S-222 An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (use of resources), which will eliminate the “own activities” requirement of charities and change the rules for Canadian charities working with non-charities, both in Canada and abroad. The bill was introduced on February 8, 2020.  In this brief note, I will highlight some concerns with the bill and specifically the reasonable person test.

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Will changing structured arrangements into a reasonable person test help the charity sector? - Part 4 - Charitable purposes and Conclusion

Recently a bill was proposed in the Senate –BILL S-222 An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (use of resources), which will eliminate the “own activities” requirement of charities and change the rules for Canadian charities working with non-charities, both in Canada and abroad.  The bill was introduced on February 8, 2020. In this brief note, I will highlight some concerns with the bill.

We have discussed our concerns about the “reasonable person” test here. Now let’s talk about what will be needed to ensure that the funds are spent on charitable purposes.

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New course - Separation and Independence by Canadian Charities from Entities that are not Canadian Charities

Canadian charities can have relationships with non-charities but need to have adequate separation.  We have now added a further course on “Separation and Independence by Canadian Charities from Entities that are not Canadian Charities” which discusses the importance of having adequate separation and how to monitor and achieve adequate separation.

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Blumbergs Online Courses

We have created some online courses on various charity law issues. These courses are meant to be easier to access, more convenient and available 24/7 exactly when needed. You can do an online course at your pace and redo sections if you wish.

We have courses on the following subjects:

  • Top 20 Charity Law Issues for Canadian Registered Charities
  • Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) In Canada
  • Fundraising from Canada – A course for groups outside of Canada
  • Mergers of Canadian Non-Profits and Charities and Dealing with Uncertain Times
  • Ontario not-for-profit corporations under the Ontario Corporations Act and dealing with ONCA
  • Receipting for Canadian Registered Charities
  • Should We Establish a Canadian Social Enterprise, Non-Profit or Charity and How to Do It?
  • Should Our Canadian Business Establish a Corporate Foundation?
  • Multiple Corporate Structures for Canadian For-Profits, Non-Profits and Charities to Enhance Flexibility + Impact
  • Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2020
  • Canadian Charities Working with Non-Charities in Canada
  • Restricted Gifts – Managing the Opportunities and Dangers of Restricted Charitable Gifts
  • Foreign Activities and Canadian Charities
  • Fundamentals of Running a Canadian Charitable Organization/Operating Charity
  • Fundamentals of Running a Private or Public Foundation in Canada
  • Transparency in the Canadian Charitable Sector and the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return
  • Membership of Non-Profits and Charities in Canada
  • So now you are a registered charity – What is next
  • Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2020
  • Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2021
  • Finance Bundle

We have created various price points depending on the needs of the organization.  We also will create bulk discount codes when courses are needed across a whole organization.

We are also doing customized courses for different organizations depending on their needs. Some are focused on boards of directors while others are focused on staff.  Let us know if your organization needs a customized or live online course.

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CRA Updates

In 2021 T3010s will be due within 6 months of the end of a charity's fiscal year, unlike 2020

In 2020 CRA gave an extension to many charities to deal with the unexpected events around COVID. In 2021, unless the situation changes drastically, there will be no extensions. The normal rules apply for filing of the T3010 for registered charities i.e. no later than 6 months after your charity’s fiscal year-end.   For many charities that just filed their 2019 T3010, they soon will need to file their 2020 T3010. We have written many articles on the T3010 and the key is to start collecting information early so that you are not rushing at the end.  Also, especially with complicated or large charities, it is important to have a number of people review the form to ensure it is accurate.

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Corporate Updates

Reminder from Corporations Canada re: AGMs in 2021 for CNCA corporations

Here is a reminder we just received from Corporations Canada relating to AGMs in 2021 for CNCA corporations and that they can be done virtually, partially virtually or by unanimous resolution in many cases.   Also if you wish to delay the date for your CNCA AGM you will need permission from Corporations Canada.   In 2020 there was an extension on deadlines for providing financials and having your AGM – one should plan on there not being a similar extension in 2021 and try to have your AGMs on time.

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Upcoming Events and Programs:

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2021 – online

Blumbergs’ 21 online courses for charities

Free 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.

mark@blumbergs.ca
416.361.1982