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…

Advancing Religion as a Head of Charity: What Are the Boundaries?

Without the values and principles which underlie not only the Charter but also our democratic institutions and policy, there can be no recourse to rights or freedoms. The Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci1 Introduction All world religions follow some equivalent to the “Golden Rule” for Christians: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”2 This principle also forms the…

A Comparison of the Three Categories of Registered Charities

Introduction This article provides an overview of the differences between charitable organizations, public foundations, and private foundations and their requirements under the Income Tax Act (Canada) (the “Act”).1 As a result of recent proposed amendments concerning the definitions of charitable organizations and public foundations, as well as the recently amended disbursement quota rules that apply…

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…

Charities and Compliance with Anti-Terrorism Legislation: A Due Diligence Response

1. Introduction As discussed in the first part of this article, “Charities and Compliance with Anti-Terrorism Legislation: The Shadow of the Law,” published in volume 19, number 1 of The Philanthropist, a “new day” has arrived for charities in Canada. The new reality that charities face involves understanding several aspects of Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation, including…

Charities and Compliance With Anti-Terrorism Legislation: The Shadow of the Law

A. Introduction This article examines Canada’s recent legislative initiatives to combat terrorism, and their impact on Canadian charities and those who advise them. It will demonstrate that recent anti-terrorism legislation directly affects many Canadian charities and their activities both inside and outside Canada. Charitable activities that were until recently thought to be commonplace and uneventful…

For the Record

The following is a letter from Terrance S. Carter, chair of the National Charities and Not-for-Profit Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, to then-Minister of National Revenue Elinor Caplan. December 4, 2002 Dear Minister Caplan: Re: Charity and “Political Activities” I am writing on behalf of the Charities and Not-for-Profit Law Section of the…