Charity and Politics in Canada—A Legal Analysis

A Pemsel Case Foundation Occasional Paper 1. Introduction Under the present income tax law of Canada, corporations, trusts, and organizations that are registered charities are exempt from taxation on their income and may issue receipts to donors that will entitle them to credits against their tax otherwise payable if they are individuals and deductions in computing…

Funding Terrorism And Charities

Summary:  The previous two issues of The Philanthropist, 23 (4) and 24 (1), featured an article prepared by Blake Bromley for the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 in support of his personal testimony in Ottawa on October 26, 2007. The following is the final installment: the text of…

What’s The Law: The Evolution Of Advocacy And Political Activities By Charities In Canada: An Overview

Introduction Advocacy has been defined as the act of speaking or of disseminating information intended to influence individual behaviour or opinion, corporate conduct, or public policy and law.2 Many people believe that the act of advocacy as a form of free speech is an essential part of democracy.3 While many registered charities in Canada believe…

What’s The Law: Registration Of Ethnocultural Charities

Organizations that provide settlement services for immigrants and ongoing support for immigrant communities play a vital role in Canadian society. These organizations provide benefits—including assistance with housing, language training, employment preparation, and social services for new immigrants, as well as ongoing programs designed to support disadvantaged communities and eliminate discrimination—that are now recognized as accruing…

What’s The Law: Eliminating The Disbursement Quota: Gold Or Fool’s Gold?

Introduction The federal budget in March 20101 announced the elimination of a significant part of the disbursement quota for charitable organizations and changes to related provisions. The reform of the disbursement quota came after a substantial effort by associations representing charities, such as Imagine Canada and the Canadian Bar Association, to reform the disbursement quota. Charitable…

Charities and the Rule Against Perpetuities

Introduction Charitable status is a legally privileged status. The law in numerous ways, ranging from the trivial1 to the noteworthy,2 confers legal advantages upon charities. These legal advantages are often misunderstood. This is true in terms of the technical dimensions to the various advantages. It is also true at the more fundamental level of understanding…

New CRA Policy on Umbrella Organizations

Introduction This article provides a brief overview of the draft policy entitled Guidelines for the Registration of Umbrella Organizations (“Guidelines”) that was released by Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) on July 29, 2005. The Guidelines discuss the eligibility of umbrella organizations for charitable registration and are available on CRA’s Web site at <http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/charities/ consultations/umbrella-e.html>. What is…