From the Editor

For summer reading this issue offers some hot topics for all tastes.

Canada’s tax laws encourage gifts of cultural property to Canadian institutions to help avoid the export of culturally valuable goods. The operation of these laws is examined by Harry Erlichman, who touches briefly on the appalling decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the Friedberg case. His article reminds us that the support of worthy objectives through the tax laws is not free; we all pay for it.

Evert Lindquist returns to our pages to discuss the potential for private support for public goods, namely humanistic services. He describes the laissez faire philanthropy that characterizes Canada’s charitable sector and proposes more systematic evaluation of the needs of the public and of the abilities of service providers to ensure that private doners can be persuaded that their dollars will be well spent.

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants recently proposed rules by which generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) can be applied to not-for-profit associations. Cynthia Orr sets out the main features of CICA’s proposals and a number of questions that charities should be asking themselves as they respond to CICA’s request for comments. AI Rosen then joins issue radically with the philosophy of CICA’s proposed rules, calling GAAP outmoded technology that should not be imposed on a sector of the economy to which they are totally unsuited.

Dedicated readers of this journal have seen this issue developing over the years, notably in two articles by Colin Grahem in Volume VI, Number 3 (Fal986) and Volume VII, Number 1 (Fall 1987).

On the Bookshelf this issue we have installed a television set, as we review our first videotape. Not to go too far out on a limb, we deal with a printed book in the same review.

Claudia Willetts has once again brought her dedication and expertise to the production of the Index to Volume X, to save our previous articles, wise or otherwise, from obscurity. Her annual contribution is much appreciated.

John D. Gregory

Editor