From the Editor

What are our priorities as a society? Shall we eliminate universality in the provi­sion of social services because we “can’t afford it” while at the same time permitting tax breaks for capital gains and investments in yachts and recrea­tional vehicles?
As we noted in our last issue, changing tax policy through a change in govern­ment priorities creates uncertainty in those trying to provide services through charitable organizations. Those same organizations are affected by any deci­sion by government to pull back from the provision of social programs. When governments reorder their priorities, many charities find their own priorities must be reconsidered.

In this issue’s Viewpoint, Claude Castonguay discusses the issues of both universality and indexing of social programs and his own views of how services might be maintained even after revisions in these principles. His viewpoint is particularly timely after the recent controversy surrounding the federal government’s announced intention to reduce indexing of old age pensions.

We are happy to welcome Blake Bromley back to our pages with an informative article on Canadian planned giving instruments that will be of interest both to senior development staff and their legal and financial advisors. John Gregory, who speaks from personal experience, offers some sound advice to those who are considering restructuring their volunteer boards and Eric Jackman provides an insider’s look at the workings of family foundations.

A new feature, “Counterpoint”, appears for the first time in this issue on p. 39. In it Norman White of the Baycrest Centre Foundation provides a different interpretation of the figures found in J.F. Deeg’s study of “How and What Canadians Contribute to Charity” which appeared in Vol. IV, No. 1 of The Philanthropist.




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