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Canadian Charity Law List

May 2021

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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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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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Recent webinar on trust based philanthropy from the MLSE Foundation provides lots of food for thought for Canadian foundations

I listened to a webinar recently that I thought was very good entitled: Community Learning Series – Trust-Based Philanthropy

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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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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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Update on ONCA - launch will be when new Ontario Business Registry (OBR) is ready

I asked MGCS for an update on ONCA and received the following on May 5, 2021:

We are targeting to proclaim ONCA as soon as possible and will update the ministry’s ONCA website here once further information is available.   The proclamation of ONCA is linked to the launch of the new Ontario Business Registry (OBR).  The new OBR is not yet live and the launch date is still to be confirmed

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Changes to T3010 filings for registered charities that are under the Ontario Corporation Act, effective May 15, 2021

Registered charities under the Ontario Corporations Act will be affected by some changes when filing their T3010. CRA will no longer be using the Form RC232, Corporations Information Act Annual Return for Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations. This will affect about 20,000 registered charities that are under the Ontario Corporations Act.  This will not affect other registered charities that are CNCA corporations, provincial corporations other than Ontario, unincorporated associations or trusts.

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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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"Ontario Taking Steps to Better Prepare and Support Youth Leaving Care" - Finally

On May 3, 2021 I was very pleased to read a press release from the Ontario government entitled “Ontario Taking Steps to Better Prepare and Support Youth Leaving Care”.  As you may know, most provinces including Ontario have largely cut off support for youth in care at age 18 and this includes “children and youth in kinship care, foster care and group care placements”.  In today’s society that is just ludicrous.   Anyway very pleased to see that the Ontario government has engaged in a conversation to develop a new framework with a number of groups, both non-profits and registered charities, to address this untenable situation.   This is a great victory for many including Cheyanne Ratnam, who is the President and CEO of the Ontario Children’s Advancement Coalition.

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Updates to CharityData.ca

We have recently made a number of updates to CharityData.ca.   The most important update is including more 2020 and 2019 charity returns.   Also, if you review the foreign activities of Canadian charities under the “Programs” tab you will see that for recent years there are now more groups listed.  In the past, CRA would only list 3 foreign groups but now the T3010 database has as many as there are – which could in some cases be 20 or 30 groups.  Stay tuned for other improvements.

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If a charity official donation receipt does not have all mandatory elements then it can be invalid

In a recent Federal Court of Appeal case called Kueviakoe v. Canada, the court decided that an official donation receipt lacking certain basic or correct information can be invalidated.  This is consistent with past court decisions.

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2021 Canadian Federal Budget - How will it affect the Canadian charitable sector?

A lot has changed in 2 years when the last Federal budget was delivered. On April 19, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has introduced a Federal Budget and you can see our initial comments at “2021 Canadian Federal Budget and its impact on the Canadian charitable sector“.

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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 yesterday 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 - Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2021 (Recording)

On April 21, 2021 we had our Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2021.   It is the second Boot Camp that we have conducted online and our tenth Boot Camp in total.   Those who missed the course can catch the course which it is now available online.

We received many kind and helpful comments after the event.  Here is one:

“I just wanted to thank you so much for an absolutely excellent presentation. It has to be one of the best trainings I’ve ever attended. Once I wrap my head around the info, I hope to be in touch. And I will definitely be taking more courses!”

We have over 20 online courses that can help Canadian charities, and foreign groups interested in Canada, to understand the regulatory framework in Canada as well as practical considerations.

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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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New Course – Should you agree to be a director or board member of a Canadian non-profit or registered charity?

There are over 600,000 directors of Canadian charities alone. There are many more people in Canada who serve on the boards of non-profits that are not charities. Non-profits and registered charities need to have directors who are capable, caring, connected for these sectors to operate properly.

This course will give you ideas of issues, questions and items to consider before agreeing to be a director or board member of a Canadian charity or non-profit. This course cannot answer the question for you of whether you should join a particular board as it is often a deeply personal and highly fact-specific decision that is sometimes easy to make and sometimes not. However, hopefully, this course will help you make a more informed decision.  The course is currently available for free.

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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?
  • 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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CRA provides additional information on foreign activities by Canadian charities

CRA has now changed the way the export data and publishes that data on the T3010 online so that with Schedule 2 dealing with foreign activities now has unlimited entries for Q2, Q3 and Q7.  Before there were only a few spaces for answers and the rest were provided by a charity in a separate sheet but not included on the online T3010.

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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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New Ontario Business Registry will one day become active and you should sign up now to get reminders and information

The Ontario Ministry of Government Services is launching a new Ontario Business Registry at some point over the next year or two.  This Registry will one day contain profiles on any business that is registered (including non-profit corporations), groups incorporated or licenced to carry on business in Ontario.  For now, there is no registry, but you can sign up for an email list to get updates in the future about the registry.   This is not your normal email list where anyone can sign up.  This is only for groups to provide their “official email address”.

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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