Like many Canadians I will be watching the election. I will be blogging on whether there are implications for the charitable sector and whether any of the parties have anything particularly interesting to say about the charitable sector. Also, a quick reminder to registered charities, that they cannot be involved with partisan political activities and there are restrictions on the scope and resources that registered charities can use on political activities. Here is an article on legal requirements for Canadian charities wanting to conduct political activities in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election.
What are some of the issues that could come up?
1. Is there more funding for charities? - not likely in light of the current fiscal situation.
2. Will any party commit to having a cabinet minister who deals exclusively with charities?
3. Will any of the parties suggest accountability and transparency measures such as allowing CRA to identify charities that it is concerned with which is currently prohibited under s. 241 of the Income Tax Act?
4. Will there be any simplification or improvements in the grants and contribution system?
5. Will there be any capacity building initiatives to help charities deal with the many challenges that they have (eg. risk management, transparency, accountability etc).?
Here are some questions that I asked in 2008 of the political parties. “Charity questions for our political parties in this 2008 Canadian election” http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/blog/comments/charity_questions_for_our_political_parties_in_this_2008_canadian_election/#comments There was some movement on some issues.
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.