Editorial

Welcome to the new, online version of The Philanthropist. When The Philanthropist was established in the early 1970s, its goals were not dissimilar to those of today—to be a forum for ideas and discussion within and for the charitable and not-for-profit sector. However, a few things have changed over the almost four decades since the…

Rethinking School-Based Community Service: The Importance of a Structured Program

Introduction In September 1999, the Ontario government instituted a new set of curriculum requirements for the Ontario Secondary School diploma, including a controversial 40-hour mandatory community service requirement. The benefits and drawbacks of school-based community service programs have been widely discussed in both educational and voluntary sector literature. While our research into previously existing community…

The People Have Spoken: Is Anybody Listening?

Introduction Talking About Charities 2004: Canadians’ Views on Charities and Issues Affecting Charities was released in October 2004.1 The study, carried out by Ipsos-Reid for The Muttart Foundation, was the second wave of public opinion polling commissioned by the foundation to provide information of use to charities and public-policy makers.2 Almost 3,900 Canadians completed a 20-minute…

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…

Universities in Canada’s Voluntary Charitable Sector: Do They Belong?

In the recent Government of Canada/Voluntary Sector Joint Initiative’s report, the Table on Improving the Regulatory Framework posed the question: “Should hospitals and universities be regulated as charities?” (Working Together, p. 48). While the Table chose not to address this question (leaving it instead for possible future consideration by a proposed “Implementation Group”), the fact…

Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Woman v. M.N.R.

1 [Rarely does the Supreme Court of Canada take up the perennial question: What does “charity” mean?2  Even rarer is the case where it does so with the benefit of extensive legal and scholarly debate. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women v. M.N.R. is an important decision…

Vancouver Immigrant Women: The First Judicial Interpretation

When all is said and done, the views of lawyers, academics and other bystanders about the “meaning” of a Supreme Court decision become secondary to the understanding of members of the judiciary. The Supreme Court often speaks in apparent parables but it is up to the reader or listener to interpret what those words actually…

A Personal View of the Vancouver Society Decision

At a time when most Canadians have become familiar with many modes of education, ranging from the Internet and CD-ROMS to workshops and discussion groups, it was peculiar that, for the purposes of the Pemsel2  test of charity, the phrase “advancement of education” has been considered by the Federal Court of Appeal, in a number of…

Legal Developments

No “Legal Developments” section appeared in either of the last two issues of The Philanthropist, so there is plenty to talk about on this occasion. As everybody in the charity community probably knows, in February 1999 the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its judgment in Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Woman v….