Topics: News, What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Ethics and Canadian Charities
CRA has begun posting and releasing data from the 2013 T3010 which has extensive questions on Canadian charities and political activities. So far only 3400 have been released. Of them only a handful identify that they are doing political activities. Below are a few of the responses to the question “Describe the charity’s political activities, including gifts to qualified donees intended for political activities, and explain how these relate to its charitable purposes.” As more information becomes available as more charities file the T3010 for 2013 we will be able to see more information.
“The Society pursues political activities to encourage governments to develop health policy that will prevent cancer for all citizens and help those going through cancer, including their caregivers. Political activities include: e-advocacy campaigns directed at MPPs, hard copy letters to MPPs, deputations to city councils, presentations to committees of the provincial legislature, MPP Education Days at the provincial legislature, media releases, press events calling for restrictions on indoor tanning access by youth and youth-led advocacy events related to health matters in tobacco control and restrictions for indoor tanning. All of these activities educate policy-makers about important cancer prevention issues and in many cases have led to the development of legislation that is passed, will save lives and prevent the most vulnerable from developing cancer in their lifetime. Gifts to the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control are for the purposes of supporting a conference to educate Canadians working in the field of tobacco control about new developments and actions that can be taken to protect citizens from the deadly consequences of tobacco use. Discussion with municipal governments around the issue of smoke free outdoor spaces. These efforts support one of our mission focuses to reduce incidences of cancer.”
“Involves Cemetery - operations in East Farnham QC - 300+ interments since 1900. Open to all denominations.”
“Board Directors advocated/campaigned to retain funding government funding and awareness for the need for services provided by organization. 1) Reinstate separate line item for public library funding in provincial budget. 2) Reinstate community access program grants to libraries (federal)”
“The Foundation made a donation to Reserves 2000. Reserves 2000 is a lobby group concerned with the security and defence of our Country. Reserves 2000 keeps in contact with the Government and DND regarding changes etc effecting the contribution of the Canadian Reserves and Militia as a viable component of Canada’s Armed Forces.”
Just a reminder that charities are allowed to do some political activities but there are rules around the political activities. As CRA notes on the T3010 “A registered charity may pursue political activities only if the activities are non-partisan, related to its charitable purposes, and limited in extent. A political activity is any activity that explicitly communicates to the public that a law, policy or decision of any level of government inside or outside Canada should be retained, opposed, or changed.”
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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.