The cy-près doctrine: The court’s discretionary power to vary the terms of charitable gifts

This is the third in a series of articles focused on various aspects of charity law that have been a burden on the Canadian charitable and non-profit sector for 70 years. The articles are written by members of the Canadian Bar Association’s Charities and Not-for-Profit Law Section, who deal with these issues on behalf of their clients on a regular basis. In this piece, Anna C. Naud looks at the doctrine of cy-près.



Diversity and Inclusion

Case Studies & Guides

Decolonization and Reconciliation

What would true, reparative giving in the philanthropic sector look like?

In this first episode of the Reimagining Philanthropy podcast, host Senator Ratna Omidvar asks guests Kris Archie and Edgar Villanueva a big question that looms over the philanthropic sector: “If accumulated wealth comes from years of oppression, exploitation, and colonization, then is philanthropy simply an expression of atonement at best or a cover-up at worst?”

Series on Rethinking Philanthropy

Sector News Digest

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    This week: Ontario’s inaugural Non-Profit Sector Appreciation Week, Black History Month: February and forever Organizations condemn “freedom convoy”, underfunding LGBTQ2S+ organizations and more. Ontario’s inaugural

  • Angela Long

    This month: the historic Indigenous child welfare settlement; Omicron pressure on non-profits; poverty and disability; and a new crop of environmental youth leaders. Indigenous child

  • Angela Long

    Choosing hope: Acts of reconciliation “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” wrote Emily Dickinson. But for the Mi’kmaq of Atlantic

  • Angela Long

    1.5 degrees of separation Against the backdrop of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the Fondation du Grand Montréal, the Trottier Family Foundation, and the

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Why philanthropy needs a new story

The story of philanthropy is not static; it evolves with every new challenge faced. Recently, the calls for reform have been loud and clear – to unlock the billions locked up in endowments, remove “direction and control,” and shift to more reciprocal relationships.

More articles From the Archives

Charity and public welfare in history: A look at Ontario, 1830–1950

Several historical works have described 19th-century Ontario as lacking a conception of public welfare, where the poor were largely left to the benevolence of religious charities. This assumption, however, ignores the complex web of relationships that characterized the delivery of social services in Ontario and in many English-speaking regions across Canada.