The Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget submission deadline for the 2013 Canadian Federal Budget has passed. I put in a brief submission with a number of recommendations including: Recommendations: 1) We need better governance in the charity sector through education and training to ensure that there is appropriate stewardship of the resources that charities have. 2) We need more transparency in the charitable sector through a. changes to the Income Act to allow CRA to disclose more about registered charities and also non-profits; b. an improved T3010 Registered Charity Information Return which provides greater details on charities, especially large charities, as we have seen in the UK and US improving their charity sector’s transparency over the last few years; and c. Canadians need to encouraged to be more knowledgeable and aware in their giving and to be able to carefully select worthy charities and avoid scams; 3) We need to reduce the amount of abuse of charities by a relatively small number of people a. by monitoring the implementation of the “ineligible individual” rules, and if these rules are not sufficiently effective in removing those who abuse charities, or their beneficiaries, then considering additional measures.; and b. making greater use of police forces to investigate abuse of charities and establishing a dedicated police unit that focuses on complicated schemes involving charity fraud. 4) We don’t need more tax incentives that will disproportionately benefit a few charities, including closely held private foundations, and some very wealthy individuals. Rather we should make small changes to the disbursement quota to increase the payout from 3.5% to 5%, so hundreds of millions of dollars can be used for charitable programming that would have been otherwise an unauthorized encroachment on capital.
CANADIANS ARE INVITED TO SHARE THEIR PRIORITIES FOR THE 2013 FEDERAL BUDGET
Ottawa, June 08, 2012 -
Today, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance launched its annual pre-budget consultation process, which will result in a report to be tabled in the House of Commons prior to the December 2012 parliamentary break.
“I am very pleased to be announcing the pre-budget consultations for this year,” said Mr. James Rajotte, Chair of the House Finance Committee. “Last year, for the first time, the briefs submitted by those contributing to the consultations were translated and put on the Committee’s website. This year, we are happy to introduce another innovation to the consultation process: online submission of answers to specific questions on which the Committee is focussed at this time.”
Mr. Rajotte concluded: “As always, I am sure that Canadians can be counted on to contribute their views on the priorities that should be reflected in the federal budget in 2013. I am always impressed by the wide range of ideas that are brought to our attention during the pre-budget consultation process, and hope that we will have the same experience this year. Certainly, all Canadians are invited to contribute their responses to the questions posed by the Committee.”
The site at which Canadians can contribute their ideas online opened today and will be open until August 3, 2012. Individuals and groups are invited to access the secure online questionnaire, to which responses can be made only once per individual or group, at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/PBC2012. Those who lack access to the Internet and are thereby unable to contribute online should contact the Clerk of the House Finance Committee at the address or telephone number indicated below for assistance in determining another means by which to provide their thoughts and ideas.
Like last year, pre-budget consultation submissions will be put on the Committee’s website after they have been translated. Following translation, the submissions will be circulated to all members of the House Finance Committee, who will then identify those whom they would like to invite to make an oral presentation. Hearings are expected to begin in September 2012.
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For more information, please contact:
Suzie Cadieux, Committee Clerk
Standing Committee on Finance
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.