Canada’s “Symbolic” Rescue of Journalism May Be Too Little, Too Late

Canadians have become accustomed – especially with President Donald Trump presiding over his country’s fall from grace on the world stage – to hearing almost embarrassingly glowing reviews of our nation as a global bastion of democracy, tolerance, and good governance. So it is somewhat sobering to read, in none other than The Washington Post,…

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Book Review: The Shifting Terrain: Nonprofit Policy Advocacy in Canada

The Shifting Terrain: Nonprofit Policy Advocacy in Canada, Nick J. Mulé and Gloria C. Desantis. eds, Montreal & Kingston, Ontario, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017, ISBN 978-0-7735-4864-0 At what point did advocacy become a dirty word? Should charities be governed in accordance with their purposes? Is the role of government one of regulator, or enabler? These…

Beyond Synergy: Charities Building the Future Canadians Want

The charitable sector is an important force in meeting Canada’s social, economic, cultural, and environmental objectives. As a big part of the economy, the sector can contribute to growth, innovation, and job creation. As a social mission sector, it is expert in delivering social, economic, and environmental solutions, especially at the community level. But fundamental…

The Case Against Policy Advocacy Deregulation

Introduction Over the last year, many have argued in these pages that the rules restricting Canadian charities from intensive policy engagement should be relaxed or rescinded (Gibbins, 2015; Gibbins, 2016; McRae, 2016; Cave, 2016; Juneau, 2016; Northcott, 2016). Some go so far as to argue that restrictions on advocacy and political activity impose “unreasonable limits…

Book Review: The Public-Private Nature of Charity Law

The Public-Private Nature of Charity Law, by Kathryn Chan, Oxford and Portland, Oregon, Hart Publishing, 2016, ISBN 978-1-78225-848-3   The 19th century social reformer Lord Brougham, commenting on opposition to the establishment of a regulatory apparatus for charities, said: Th[e] law [of England] regards the inheritance of the poor as a matter of public, not…

Foreign Activities by Canadian Registered Charities: Challenges and Options for Reform

The following paper is the culmination of  The Philanthropist’s series “Canadian Charities Working Internationally,” which began in March 2015.  In it, Toronto charity lawyer Andrew Valentine outlines the challenges with the current “direction and control” rules that apply to Canadian charities working abroad. He also presents proposals to reform the system, ranging from simple administrative…