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Canadian Charity Law List

October 2013

FEATURED

Advisory from Blumbergs– it is best not to incorporate a charity under the Ontario Corp. Act

It looks like the new Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 ("ONCA") will not come into force until July 2014 or perhaps in 2015.  If one is considering establishing a new charity today and you are based in Ontario we would strongly encourage you to use a Federal corporation under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) and avoid using the old Ontario Corporations Act (OCA).  READ MORE


Canada scores #2 on CIVICUS ‘Enabling Environment Index’ (EEI) -conditions for civil society

CIVICUS is an important organization that supports civil society around the world.  In their new "Enabling Environment Index" they looked at the best and worst countries in terms of enabling environment.  "New Zealand tops the list, followed by Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway while the Democratic Republic of Congo has the worst rated EEI, followed by Uzbekistan, Iran, Burundi and the Gambia."  READ MORE


Some historical CRA letters when revocation of charity status

For a number of years we have been providing the public with copies of CRA revocation letters. We recently requested from CRA some of the older revocation letters and we have posted them on our website.  READ MORE


Updated Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act Suitcase from Blumbergs

Here is an updated version of Blumbergs' Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) Suitcase. You might find the CNCA Suitcase a useful resource. READ MORE


Latest numbers from Industry Canada on continuances and incorporations under the CNCA

Under the CNCA since it came into force in October 2011 there have been 2700 incorporations and 1800 continuances.  This is according to numbers provided by Industry Canada. Clearly there are a large number of Federal non-profits and charities that need to move over to the CNCA and time is running out. READ MORE


CANADA REVENUE AGENCY

Political activities self-assessment tool

CRA has recently posted a “Political activities self-assessment tool” on their website.  The “Political activities self-assessment tool” is a helpful, plain language English/French tool that will help charities understand whether they are conducting political activities, and whether they are appropriately tracking and reporting on those activities.  READ MORE


Charities Directorate of CRA adds additional webinars to website on charity law

The CRA has added a number of new webinars to their websites on arts, community economic development (CED), the T3010 and political activities. READ MORE


Some recent CRA webinars dealing with political activities

The Charities Directorate has recently put up new webinars dealing with political activities. These webinars will help charities understand CRA's views on what is a political activity, what kinds of political activities can charities be involved with and the restrictions on registered charities.  READ MORE


Article “Initial T3010 Descriptions of Political Activities by Canadian Charities” by Mark Blumberg

So far the CRA 2013 database has about 10% of charities reporting.  So this is a small sample of charities but we have reproduced some of their descriptions of the political activities they conduct.  READ MORE


How does a Canadian charity change its fiscal year end with CRA?

Occasionally a Canadian registered charity will want to change its fiscal year end.  If you are a Canadian charity and want to change your fiscal year end here is information from the CRA on how to do that. READ MORE


CRA’s view of compensation of directors of registered charities.

I am looking at a number of old audit letters from CRA. Here are some paragraphs from a CRA letter calling for the revocation of a particular registered charity’s status with one of the concerns being director compensation. READ MORE


Charity Directorate Service standards for charities and charitable giving

How long does it take the Charities Directorate to answer a call, respond to a letter or respond to a charity application?  Well, it depends.  READ MORE


Revelations from the T3010 about Canadian charities and political activities

CRA has begun posting and releasing data from the 2013 T3010 which has extensive questions on Canadian charities and political activities.  Below are a few of the responses to the questions.   READ MORE


COURT DECISIONS

Cost decision in Lipson v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell - law firm ordered to pay $298,000 in costs

In the ongoing case of Lipson v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell there has been a cost award in the certification motion. READ MORE


Sowah v. The Queen -2013 TCC 297 -another tax receipt rejected by Tax Court of Canada

The CRA denied a claim by Emily Sowah $10,252 because the receipt did not have all the required elements and also Emily Sowah was not able to prove that she had made such cash donations to the Jesus Healing Center, which is a registered charity.  READ MORE


Federal Court of Appeal deals with motion by IRFAN

A few months ago IRFAN appealed their revocation and over the summer there was a procedural motion brought before the FCA.  The FCA notes "In its appeal, the appellant alleges that the Minister abused her discretion and acted unreasonably, in a procedurally unfair manner, and with a closed mind." READ MORE


Class Action Lawsuit Against CEAF and OACSS over tax receipting program for Christian schools

The Hamilton law firm Scarfone Hawkins has just filed another charity class action lawsuit.  The case is Terry Emms vs.  Christian Economic Assistance Foundation and Ontario Alliance of Christian School Societies.  READ MORE


Hall v. The Queen - donation to Scientology does not result in tax deduction in Canada

In Hall v. The Queen, Mr. Hall donated money to the International Association of Scientologists and argued that the fact that he did not get a tax benefit is a violation of his Charter rights.  READ MORE


MISCELLANEOUS

Charity Commission of England and Wales refuses to register Human Dignity Trust

The Charity Commission made it clear that it is not questioning the worth of the organization but refused to register it as it did not have exclusively charitable objects.  READ MORE


Toronto Star article “Toronto Christian program tries to ‘heal’ gays”

The Toronto Star published an article entitled “Toronto Christian program tries to ‘heal’ gays” with a by-line “A Star reporter goes undercover inside a gay conversion program in Toronto to uncover the controversial practice of “healing” homosexuality.”  READ MORE


Kenya terrorist attack and reminder from the Charity Commission about being careful about terrorism

The Charity Commission of England and Wales has reminded UK charities who provide humanitarian assistance in certain areas of the importance of avoiding terrorist activity.  READ MORE


Vancouver Sun article “McCort plans for Foundation growth” deals with Vancouver Foundation’s new CEO

There was a very nice article in the Vancouver Sun on Kevin McCort, the new CEO of the Vancouver Foundation.  The Vancouver Foundation is the largest of the community foundations in Canada. READ MORE


PAST PRESENTATIONS

Presentation to Circle on “Compliance Issues with Successfully Funding Aboriginal Groups”

I had the privilege of making a presentation on Compliance Issues with Successfully Funding Aboriginal Groups for The Circle of Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s All My Relations Gathering in Toronto. READ MORE


Presentation to the Schulich School of Business, York University on Structures for Social Enterprise

Here is a copy of my presentation to an MBA class at Schulich School of Business at York University on Structures for Social Enterprise.   READ MORE


Canadian Charities and CSR in the New DFATD World

Here is a presentation that I delivered to the Canada Southern Africa Chamber of Business's11th Risk Mitigation and & CSR Seminar entitled Canadian Charities and CSR in the New DFATD World READ MORE

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Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

Mark Blumberg

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.

mark@blumbergs.ca
416.361.1982