Global Affairs Canada (GAC) formerly CIDA
July 08, 2010
CRA has just released a new guidance called “Canadian Registered Charities Carrying out Activities Outside Canada”. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cgd/tsd-cnd-eng.html Although the name indicates “foreign activities” this document deals with a lot more than foreign activities. It covers the relationship between a Canadian charity and any non-qualified donee, whether in Canada or abroad. If a Canadian charity has dealing with, for example, a non-profit that does not have charitable status then the same rules apply as a Canadian charity dealing with a foreign entity. Essentially, almost all organizations outside of Canada are non-qualified donees. If you are going to transfer resources to them you need to maintain “direction and control” over those resources. This documents helps a Canadian charity understand what is required for direction and control. Failure to maintain direction and control can result in a 105% penalty of the amount transfered and/or revocation of charitable status.
May 11, 2010
This conference on June 11, 2010 may be of interest
May 07, 2010
Here is a copy of a presentation by the Government of Canada entitled “Response to Natural Disasters Abroad”. It was delivered May 5 to Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. This presentation will give one an idea of the process and thinking of the Canadian government in dealing with disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti.
April 13, 2010
The New York Times has reported that “The Gates Foundation has withdrawn a $5.2 million grant to a Canadian research center for planned tobacco control work in Africa, after learning that the chairwoman of the center’s board was also a board member for a unit of one of the world’s largest tobacco companies.” What is unusual about this story is how public it has gotten with press releases etc. Canadian charities should take the issue of conflicts of interest seriously and should have conflict of interest policies and they should follow them. It is easier and better to avoid problems such as this one rather than having to deal with them.
March 05, 2010
The March 4, 2010 Federal budget increased Canada’s foreign aid or “International Assistance Envelope” by 8% for the 2010/2011 year. The government has said that it will review thereafter whether there is any increase. In light of the difficult financial circumstances in Canada this is a good news story. Hopefully the government will continue in future years to increase the budget as Canada is a wealthy nation and we are still far below the 0.7 gross national income target. There will also hopefully be greater transparency at CIDA and in the aid process so that Canadians and others can understand how their money is being spent and how decisions are arrived at to spend that money.
February 06, 2010
[the archived recording of the webinar Haiti - Legal and Ethical Issues for Canadian charities is now available at https://ocsa.webex.com/ocsa/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=TC&rID=619547&rKey=680663606ebf9a91&act=pb (It is approx 1h and 10 min)] We are also beta testing some other webinars at: http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/blog/comments/webinars_on_canadian_charity_law_-_charity_law_information_program_clip_by_/
OCIC, myself and Capacity Builders will be organizing a free one hour webinar entitled “Haiti - Legal and Ethical Issues for Canadian charities responding to the earthquake” As we are all aware with the earthquake in Haiti, Canadians have responded quickly and donated generously. Canadian charities have received record contributions to help with the disaster in Haiti. Many of the charities raising funds for Haiti have never operated in Haiti and/or been involved in disaster assistance. We have learned from past disaster responses in post-conflict areas that good intentions and money are not enough. Join charity lawyer Mark Blumberg (editor of www.globalphilanthropy.ca) as he highlights some of the top legal and ethical challenges facing Canadian registered charities operating in Haiti. From Income Tax Act rules to ethical dilemmas it is important that charities are aware of these and other issues. For all Capacity Builder Webinars you can see https://ocsa.webex.com/mw0306l/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=ocsa
January 24, 2010
This article by Laura Payton is particularly timely.
January 16, 2010
Keep the lines and internet sites busy. Donate to reputable, experienced, knowledgeable Canadian aid organizations that already have operations in Haiti such as the members of the Humanitarian Coalition (http://www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca/) or Doctors Without Borders Canada (http://www.msf.ca/) Here is an article on the outpouring of support by Canadian donors.
January 15, 2010
Here is some information from CIDA with respect to their Haiti donation matching program
December 29, 2009
In 2009 I attended the Interaction Forum held in Washington, D.C. The Interaction Forum is the largest gathering of US and international NGOS involved with international development. I met some very interesting people and learned quite a lot. One of the important themes of the conference is that security is increasingly important concern for charities doing international operations – security for your employees, expat workers, national staff and beneficiaries. To summarize, for those who do not want to read more than one paragraph - aid organizations who don’t not take security seriously probably should be getting out of the humanitarian aid area. Your employees will not want to work for you, funders will not want to fund you and you may be unnecessarily endangering the lives of national staff and beneficiaries. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when I reviewed a large CIDA draft contribution agreement - what was interesting was that in project conducted in a moderately dangerous country about 1/4 of the contribution agreement related to security and safety.
November 19, 2009
Here is a CIDA press release on food security http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/ACDI-CIDA.nsf/En/NAD-111881935-HMS?OpenDocument
November 11, 2009
Here is an interesting article by Lee Berthiaume in Embassy on CIDA http://embassymag.ca/page/view/cida-11-11-2009
November 04, 2009
Here is the 2009 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada and Chapter 8—Strengthening Aid Effectiveness—Canadian International Development Agency which is located at http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_200911_08_e_33209.html#hd3a
October 22, 2009
The purpose of the proposed “Corporate Accountability of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries Act” is to “ensure that corporations engaged in mining, oil or gas activities and receiving support from the Government of Canada act in a manner consistent with international environmental best practices and with Canada’s commitments to international human rights standards.” If you want to read the text of the proposed act see: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3658424&Language=e&Mode=1&File=27#1
October 19, 2009
I will be making a presentation on Legal Structures for Canadian Companies Carrying out CSR Abroad at the Risk Mitigation and CSR in Africa Seminar which will be held in Toronto on Thursday October 22, 2009. This full-day seminar is geared towards people doing business, or thinking of doing business, in Africa. The program is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, HATCH, MineAfrica, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.
For more information please see Risk_Mitigation_and_Corporate_Social_Responsibility_in_Africa_Seminar.pdf
September 21, 2009
A number of NGOs have tried to spotlight the famine in Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa and CIDA has just committed further funds to the problem. Here is an article by Kevin McCort of CARE Canada http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/789516 “We must make famine in Africa personal”. The Humanitarian Coalition has described it as a “perfect storm” at http://www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca/
September 09, 2009
CRA has provided some more detail on how organizations are included in Attachment to IC84-3R5, Gifts to Certain Charitable Organizations Outside Canada. There are only about 5 organizations left on the list and perhaps this policy commentary will encourage the Canadian government, and especially CIDA and DFAIT, to consider adding a few more foreign charities to the list.
August 04, 2009
Mango (Management Accounting for Non Governmental Organizations) is a UK registered charity that works to strengthen the financial management of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). It has a very good reputation for providing training and resources to international development organizations. They are offering a 4 day course in Ottawa from Monday October 19, 2009 till Thu October 22, 2009 entitled Training for Finance Trainers: How to Take the Fear Out of Finance. They identify that it will be most useful for “Qualified / experienced finance professionals whose work includes training others in finance”.
May 28, 2009
Here is the latest CRA Registered Charity Newsletter # 32. It includes an extensive discussion on applications for charity status and how to improve your application and avoid unnecessary delays. It sets out the procedures that CRA will follow upon receiving a charity application.
May 28, 2009
In an article in Embassy Magazine CIDA Minister Bev Oda say that “she plans to hold extensive consultations over the coming months on how to make the agency work better.”
May 20, 2009
CIDA Minister Bev Oda announced today “A New Effective Approach to Canadian Aid”. Here is the press release and below it is the speaking notes. CIDA will be focusing on increasing food security, stimulating sustainable economic growth, and securing the future of children and youth.
May 19, 2009
CIDA announced today $20 million in funding for malaria and pneumonia treatment to Save the Children. The press release notes that this will “will make a difference and directly benefit approximately 1,100,000 children under five. This initiative of Save The Children is expected to save up to 45,000 children’s lives.”
April 02, 2009
If one is interested in international development in Canada CIDA is hard to ignore, and one would not want to ignore CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency. It spends about 4 billion per year on international development in bilateral, multilateral and partnership areas. In the last budget Canada will increase its ODA commitment by 8% this year, which although less than some would want, is a significant amount in these difficult times. I have been looking for information on CIDA and I am finding it really hard to find that information. Not sure what I am missing but I thought that I would blog a little about CIDA and see what I will find out. For a government department spending $4 billion there is surprisingly little on the web, except that which is placed on the CIDA website, or information put out by organizations that receive substantial amounts of CIDA funding. Even then the information is often very basic.
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