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Canadian Charity Law List

September 2021

FEATURED

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. We are delighted to have over 150 registrants so far.    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 including the following (subject to change):

 

12:45 p.m.                   State of the Sector, Federal Election, Disbursement Quota consultation  and Impact of COVID, Mark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP

 

1:30 p.m.                     For us, By us: How communities are leading the change, Liban Abokor, Foundation for Black Communities 

 

2:00 p.m.                     Dealing with the new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) Mark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP

 

2:20 p.m.                     BREAK

 

2:30 p.m.                     CNCA update, Coleen Kirby, Corporations Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

 

3:00 p.m.                     Indigenous Perspectives in Fundraising, Sharon Redsky, Redsky Fundraising

 

3:20 p.m.                     Provincial Corporations Moving to the Federal CNCA, Uma KarthigeyanBlumberg Segal LLP

 

3:40 p.m.                     Dealing with the complexity of compliance for non-profits and registered charities, Mark Blumberg, Blumberg Segal LLP

 

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.

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Should the disbursement quota for registered charities in Canada change or be left alone?

In this article “Should the disbursement quota for registered charities in Canada change or be left alone?”, Mark Blumberg and Jessie Lang discuss the disbursement quota (DQ) and the Department of Finance’s consultation on whether the Income Tax Act should be amended to increase the DQ.

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Blumbergs’ Written Submission to the Department of Finance with respect to the disbursement quota for Canadian registered charities

Here is Blumbergs’ Written Submission to the Department of Finance about the disbursement quota.

As we note in the submission, we are firmly in favour of an increase in the disbursement quota.   We so suggest possible changes in our submission to simplify the disbursement quota.   We discuss numerous “excuses” provided for the status quo and why they are not convincing, as well as suggest many reasons why it would be very positive to increase the disbursement quota.  We also respond to specific questions asked by the Department of Finance in relation to the disbursement quota.

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ACCS submission to Finance on the DQ suggesting no change to the rate is disappointing for operating charities

At a time when charities need funds and private foundations alone are sitting on $95 billion dollars, the Advisory Committee to the Charitable Sector (ACCS) has prepared a submission to Finance Canada stating that the disbursement quota (DQ) issue is complicated and not recommending any increase to the current 3.5% requirement. Although this is shocking it is not surprising as I believe both chairs of the committee have previously indicated their opposition to increasing the DQ.

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Updated CharityData.ca site has been launched - the largest portal of data on the Canadian registered charity sector

We have recently upgraded the CharityData.ca website. The work on the upgrade has taken place over the last eight months.  There are numerous improvements listed in this blog.

We hope that you find the website helpful.   Thank you to The-Wire and their developers for managing these changes and maintaining the website.

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Ontario government announces that ONCA and Ontario Business Registry will be launched October 19, 2021

It took many years but finally, it looks like the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) and the Ontario Business Registry will be launched on October 19, 2021.  We will have more on this at our upcoming Blumbergs’ Charity Law Institute 2021.  It will affect over 50,000 Ontario non-profit corporations.

We have a directory dealing with ONCA on our CanadianCharityLaw.ca website.

Some preliminary suggestions:

1) As we have been saying for a number of years it is usually not a good idea to set up an Ontario corporation.  If you insist on doing an Ontario corporation you might want to consider waiting for ONCA to come into effect on October 19, 2021.

2) For all non-profits that are under the Ontario Corporations Act you will need to think about updating your governance documents including By-laws.  There are many issues to consider as ONCA is quite different than the OCA but for most groups the most important issue is membership.  Some groups will move to ONCA but others will prefer to move to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”).

3) For registered charities (or “charities”) it is also very important to consider whether your objects are appropriate.

Now that we know that ONCA will be in force as of October 19, 2021, we have been working with many Ontario non-profits on how to handle a transition to ONCA.  Some we have helped to move to the Federal CNCA and others are looking at new articles and by-laws.

 

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Notice from Service Ontario about filings under OCA as ONCA is being launched

We received a notice from Service Ontario relating to filings prior to ONCA coming into force on October 19, 2021. Essentially any filings done by mail under the OCA need to be completed by September 17, 2021 even though ONCA is only coming in a month later. If they are not filed by September 17 they may be returned and will then need to be redone under the new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA). This is quite a gap but perhaps unavoidable with the changes coming down the path. Hopefully it does not cause too much disruption for Ontario corporations.

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Update for Online Filings with Corporations Canada under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”)

Corporations Canada recently announced that they have taken 2 additional security measures to ensure the accuracy of the information about federal corporations made available to the public. This will impact especially intermediaries such as lawyers and accountants when filing on their client’s behalf.

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Statistics Canada "Canadian Survey on Business Conditions" has some interesting feedback from non-profits.

In the Statistics Canada “Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, third quarter 2021” it has some interesting comments relating to non-profits. Stats Can notes that “This survey collects information on business expectations in the future and the ongoing impact of the pandemic on businesses in Canada.” Here are the comments relating to non-profits.

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Which Canadian charities issued the most official donation receipts in 2019?

We reviewed the Canadian registered charities that identified they issued official donation receipts and the total amount of donation receipts issued was approximately $19.6 billion. Here is a list of the Canadian charities that issued the largest amount of official donation receipts in 2019. Here is our article Which Canadian charities issued the most official donation receipts 2019?

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Which Canadian registered charities had the largest assets in 2019?

Here is our note on Which Canadian charities had the largest assets in 2019?. Canadian registered charities are required to disclose on the T3010 their assets. The total assets of all the 83,832 registered charities were over $518 billion. Below we have a table of Canadian charities and the value of their assets as reported for the 2019 fiscal year for those with assets over $10 million.

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Which Charities Received the Most Money from the Federal Government in 2019?

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2019 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project. The database covers about 83,892 of the approximately 86,000 registered charities in Canada that had filed their T3010 and were processed into CRA’s Charity Listing database by May 2021.

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Blumbergs' Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2019 - information on registered charities in Ontario from the CRA T3010 annual filings

Here is the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2019.

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2019 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project and focussed on the T3010s of Ontario registered charities.  The Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2019 provides information on the Ontario charity sector which is an important part of the Ontario economy. We have completed Blumbergs’ Snapshots of the Canadian Charity Sector for 2010 – 2018 as well. Keep in mind that these statistics only relate to registered charities under the Income Tax Act (Canada) and not to the many non-profits across Ontario which are not registered charities and for which CRA is not permitted to release information.

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Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2019 - information on the Canadian registered charity sector from the T3010 filings of Canadian charities

Here is the Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2019.

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2019 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project. The database covers about 83,892 of the approximately 86,000 registered charities in Canada that had filed their T3010 and were processed into CRA’s Charity Listing database by May 2021.

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How engaged are Canadian registered charities in this election?

I was asked the question “How engaged are Canadian registered charities in this election?” by a journalist and to be honest, I had to say I have no idea. There seems to be a big disconnect between the words spoken by charities about the importance of being engaged in the political process and the actual implementation. I looked at the Third Party registrations for the 2021 Federal elections and not many of the groups are registered charities. It appears about 6 charities are currently registered. I know the election is not over yet but still, it is late in the game. Unfortunately, CRA is no longer asking any questions on the T3010 annual relating to political activities or PPDDAs. So it is going to be harder to have any sense of the involvement of charities in political activities.

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Liberal party platform includes commitment to stop providing anti-abortion groups with charity status

The Liberals have recently released their Liberal Party Platform-Forward-For-Everyone. The Liberals and Conservatives have always played a culture war game at the expense of the charity sector.  Whether it’s political activities of environmental charities, abortion, etc.

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Conservatives propose Foreign Agents Registry Act which could prevent large Canadian charities from receiving foreign funding costing universities and others billions of dollars

The Conservatives have put forward some proposals in their platform that are unclear and could have a significant negative effect on the charity sector, especially larger charities such as universities, hospitals, international development and environmental organizations.

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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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MISCELLANEOUS

Almost every charity should by now have access to their CRA My Business Account (MyBA) for charities

It has been over 2 years since CRA has been offering CRA My Business Account (MyBA) for charities.  There are a large number of transactions that can be completed on the CRA MyBA and it is often quicker to do them online than by mail. The most important transactions include filing your T3010 Registered Charity Information Return and if you are a non-profit that is not a registered charity then filing your charity application.   But there are many other tasks that can be completed with CRA.   CRA has a lot of information on the system on their website. Here is an infographic from CRA on the MyBA system for charities.

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Good news for Alberta and New Brunswick non-profits that wish to move to the Federal Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”)

Corporations Canada has made it easier for Alberta non-profit corporations under the Societies Act (Alberta) and New Brunswick non-profits under the Companies Act that wish to move to the Federal Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”). They have also made it easier for CNCA corporations to move to the BC Societies Act and the New Brunswick Companies, although this will probably not affect many groups.

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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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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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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 the T3010 for registered charities.  ie.  no later than 6 months after your charity’s fiscal year-end.

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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