Canadian registered charities are not allowed to make donations to political parties. The Calgary Herald in an article entitled “U of C documents point to political donations that may have contravened election law” states “Thousands of dollars in “indirect contributions” apparently flowed from the University of Calgary to the Alberta Progressive Conservative party, according to documents obtained by the Herald on Friday through freedom of information laws.” The matter is being investigated by the chief electoral officer and none of the allegations have been proven.
Here is the article:
U of C documents point to political donations that may have contravened election law
Here is an earlier Alberta Government press release which now makes a little more sense:
January 12, 2012
Minister releases statement on post-secondary donations
Academic institutions expected to obey the law
Edmonton… Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology Greg Weadick issued the following statement in response to allegations that post-secondary institutions illegally donated money to political parties.
“I expect our post-secondary institutions to obey the law, and so do Albertans. The Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act is clear that it is inappropriate for colleges, universities and technical institutes to make political donations to any party or expense these related costs for reimbursement. It is that simple.
I expect the leadership of these institutions to ensure that all their staff know what is expected of them under this Act and all other provincial legislation. My department has reached out to each of them to ensure they understand what government and taxpayers expect of them. There is no excuse for ignorance of the rules.
Any issues related to the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act should be brought to the attention of the Chief Electoral Officer and Elections Alberta immediately.”
Alberta’s Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act was first passed in 1978 and has been extensively updated since then. The prohibitions against post-secondary institutions making contributions to political parties were first enacted in 2004.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Director of Communications
Advanced Education and Technology
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.