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Canadian Charity Law List

November 2020


CRA updates and releases new charity guidances

On Friday, CRA put out 2 new Guidances (we discuss later in the newsletter)

Also, they put out an updated CG-027, Public policy dialogue and development activities by charities

As well CRA updated two guidance dealing with intermediaries, in Canada and outside of Canada.


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Despite WE Charity Scandal and 5 months of intense coverage the Federal government is reducing transparency on the charitable sector

If you have followed the WE Charity scandal one of the major concerns is the lack of transparency with Canadian registered charities. That is not to say that a charity cannot be transparent, but the legally required transparency for registered charities is lacking in Canada. WE Charity is a Federal Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) corporation that is a registered charity under the Income Tax Act.

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Some are calling for changes to Canadian charity rules for foreign activities

I wish I did not have to write this article about the Canadian rules around international philanthropy and foreign activities but unfortunately, a small group of people has been constantly complaining about direction and control for 20 years. It is quite surprising in the midst of a global pandemic that certain groups are advocating for a major change to the rules for Canadian registered charities conducting foreign activities and a Senator has said that she will be introducing such legislation in December which is in the midst of the “giving season”. When many Canadians think we need more regulation over registered charities not less, how can this possibly go wrong?

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T3010 deadline is December 31, 2020 - but get your forms in as soon as possible

As we have discussed extensively, as a result of COVID the CRA has extended the deadline for filing the T3010s that were or will be due from March 18, 2020 till December 31, 2020 to a deadline for this year of December 31, 2020.

For many charities this meant an extension of over 8 months. Many charities did not need that amount of time and thankfully as we discussed before many have filed already.

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CRA's New Education Guidance - CG-030, Advancement of education and charitable registration

CRA issued a few new guidances on Friday (November 27), including a guidance on the advancement of education: CG-030, Advancement of education and charitable registration. This is a welcome new guidance that explains what CRA expects from a charity or an entity applying for charitable status under the “advancement of education” head of charity. This new guidance replaces previous CRA commentary, including the commentary on advancement of education and scholarships. The policy statement on Research as a charitable activity is still in force and separate.

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CRA's New Guidance - CG-029, Relief of Poverty and Charitable Registration

Friday (November 27), CRA released it’s new Guidance, CG-029, Relief of poverty and charitable registration. This relatively short guidance provides some useful information on what CRA considers to be charitable activities that relieve poverty. As so many charities are involved with relief of poverty it will probably become a widely read guidance.

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CRA releases foreign activity guidance after multi-year delays as well as guidance on intermediaries working in Canada

CRA released on Friday (November 27) the updated guidance CG-002, Canadian registered charities carrying on activities outside Canada. Essentially, this guidance deals with Canadian charities conducting foreign activities. About 5000 Canadian registered charities conduct foreign activities every year. Over the next 10 years up to $80 billion, much of it highly tax-subsidized funds, will be sent by Canadian charities to work abroad and we need to have a vigorous system for ensuring that funds are used appropriately.

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Updated T3010 Form

Earlier this month, CRA update the T3010 form found here. With the CRA’s COVID-19 extension for the T3010 Annual Return, many charities must file their T3010 by December 31, 2020. This deadline is fast approaching and many charities may have already started filling out the form. We recommend that all charities ensure that they not only get the T3010 form in on time, but also that they ensure they are using the correct T3010 form.

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CRA's Reminder to File T3010 by December 31, 2020

CRA recently sent out a newsletter reminder that charities with a T3010 (Registered Charity Information Return) filing due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020 must file by December 31, 2020. It is vitally important that all charities file their T3010s accurately and on time, otherwise charities can face penalties and/or revocation of their charitable status. Blumberg Segal LLP can review your charity’s T3010 filing before it is submitted.

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Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2018

Here is our Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2018.

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2018 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  The database covers about 84,323 of the 85,800 registered charities in Canada that had filed their T3010 and were processed into CRA’s Charity Listing database by May 2020

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Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2021

We will be having our Blumbergs’ Charity Law Boot Camp on April 21, 2021.   It is a one-day workshop that deals with questions for those considering establishing a social enterprise, non-profit or charity.

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Capacity building, education, and online courses for the Canadian charity and non-profit sector

Our firm has been using online tools for over 10 years – primarily webinars.  In 2018, we moved to providing paid online courses dealing with charity and non-profit legal compliance and risk management to the non-profit and charity sector as well as professional advisors.  We have 520 students who have signed up for our courses over the last two years.  They range from 1 hour to 7 hours in length.   We now have 19 different courses ranging from $75 to $399.  We also have bundles and group discounts.

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Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2020 - online

Every year Blumbergs has its Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute. This year we did a “mini-institute” – very virtual, much shorter and more affordable but covering a number of topics that are of concern to Canadian charities. The amount of change over the last few months has been staggering. For those who were unable to attend, we have a recording of the institute available for access.

In the Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute we covered:

State of the Sector and Impact of COVIDMark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP (2:25)

The We Charity ControversyMark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP (27:23)

Race and Racism in the Non-profit SectorOlumide Akerewusi, Founder and CEO, AgentsC (56:00)

Charities Directorate: Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the way forwardTony Manconi, Director General, Charities Directorate of the CRA (1:33:30)

CNCA update – What is new this year with COVID and maintaining a CNCA corporationColeen Kirby, Corporations Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (2:10:00)

Political activities and Lobbyist registrationMark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP (2:35:13)

ONCA updateLynn Gluckman, Blumberg Segal LLP (2:58:05)

Transparency – a little effort can save you a lot of time and headachesMark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP (3:21:20)

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Blumbergs has changed addresses

As of October 1, 2020, Blumberg Segal LLP is moving to a new office address which is:

Blumberg Segal LLP
2300 Yonge Street, Suite 1600
Toronto, ON M4P 1E4

Like many of you, our firm has been working remotely since mid-March of this year and we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Therefore, this new address will only be important if you are mailing or couriering us documents.

All other firm contact information remains the same including emails, telephone, fax, websites and social media.

Don’t worry if you have sent anything to the old address as all letters and parcels will be forwarded for the next month.

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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 Course
  • 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
  • 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 focussed 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 Service standards for charities for 2020 - 2021

The CRA has service standards and the Charities Directorate publishes those service standards.  The service standards are for “enquiries” and “charity applications”.  At the moment, despite COVID, anecdotally it seems that CRA has been quite quick in their responses especially if one is using their online system.

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CRA Charities Directorate announces extension of T3010 filing deadlines until December 31, 2020 in response to COVID-19

The CRA announced on March 20 that registered charities filing deadline for the T3010 that were or will be due from March 18, 2020, till December 31, 2020, will only be due on December 31, 2020. This will be a welcome relief for many registered charities in Canada. As well, this will be a relief to many accountants who need to do audits of charities that would have to be completed prior to the completion of the financial statements and filing of the T3010. This will reduce some of the stress on registered charities who may not even have access to their offices because they are working from home etc.

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CRA notice on charity applications – yes CRA is processing charity applications

CRA has been processing charity applications during the COVID pandemic – even when they were “shut down”.   This recent CRA notice advises charities that if they have a deadline to respond to on a charity application that the deadline will be extended (makes good sense) and that charity applications will not be closed just because there is no response.  Keep in mind that this is a dual-edged sword – if you take longer to respond to CRA’s requests your charity application will also take longer.  It also discusses other aspects of the notice for charity applications.

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Corporate Requirements and Changes

Corporations Canada extends AGMs for Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) corporations till Dec 31, 2020

In what is very good news for many non-profits and registered charities in Canada, Corporations Canada has extended the deadline for AGMs for Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) corporations till Dec 31, 2020.  This helps these organizations in that they don’t have to now request an extension.  Also, it applies to both presenting financial statements and AGMs.  It is retroactive to March 13, 2020.

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Ontario government has extended ability for OCA corporations to have virtual meetings until May 31, 2021

The Ontario government has recently extended the ability for Ontario Corporations Act (OCA) corporations to have virtual meetings until May 31, 2021. It is contained in O. Reg. 544/20: EXTENSION OF TEMPORARY SUSPENSION PERIOD. This will be useful for some Ontario corporations that have governing documents that don’t allow for virtual meetings as they will be able to have virtual meetings despite the governing documents until May 31, 2021. Any corporation with such restrictions should consider revising their governing documents to allow for virtual meetings. Alternatively consider moving out of the antiquated Ontario system to the Federal CNCA.

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COVID-19 and AGMs for Federal non-profit corporations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) - UPDATED

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing some non-profit organizations and registered charities to rethink the timing and manner of conducting their annual general meeting of members (AGM).  Every organization is different, and a one-size-fits-all approach does not apply.

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Upcoming Events and Programs:

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2021 – online

Blumbergs’ 19 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.