Ethics and Canadian Charities

January 13, 2019

Fallacies about private foundations in 2019 - an article on the many myths about private foundations

The compliance requirements and restrictions on private foundations in Canada are frequently misunderstood, even by those who run large private foundations.   Here is our article Fallacies about private foundations in 2019 that might be helpful in dispelling these myths. 

read more

January 09, 2019

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2019

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp again on Monday April 8, 2019. This is a one-day boot camp on compliance and standards issues for Canadian registered charities. You can register for the program here

read more

January 02, 2019

Safeguarding and preventing abuse of vulnerable and other individuals by charities

The Charity Commission of England and Wales has significant material to help charities understand the importance of putting in place systems and implementing them to safeguard charity beneficiaries, as well as staff and volunteers.   Sometimes the issue is framed in terms of "vulnerable" beneficiaries such as children or the elderly but similar principals apply to employees, volunteers, suppliers etc.  The issue has been covered recently in the media and for Canadian charities, there is little guidance on the topic from the CRA.

read more

December 14, 2018

Bill C-86 Receives Royal Assent

On Thursday December 13, 2018, Bill C-86 received Royal Assent. Within this Bill, there are several changes to the Income Tax Act related to charities, especially with regards to political activities.  The change allows Canadian registered charities to conduct public policy dialogue and development activities (PPADA) connected to the legal purpose of the charity as long as they are not directly or indirectly partisan.   We are awaiting guidance from CRA on how they will interpret the new provisions on political activities.  Also the CWP decision will probably one day end up in the Supreme Court of Canada and perhaps they will have a thing or two to say about political activities and how purposes and activities relate to registered charity status.  

read more

November 24, 2018

Informal Risk Reviews are Excellent Value for Money for Registered Charities

November 18, 2018

St. Michael’s College School group sex assault scandal and broader thoughts on the charity sector

There have been a number of articles in the media on a Catholic school in Toronto called St. Michael’s College School over the last week and a number of recent incidents involving sexual assault and what the National Post describes as "Broomstick sexual assault".  St. Michael's College School is a registered charity.  Here is information on our Charitydata.ca website on St. Michael's College School. 

read more

November 05, 2018

New Canadian Registered Charity Legal Checklist by Mark Blumberg

Here is the new Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.  For those who are interested in reviewing legal compliance for their registered charity they may find the checklist helpful.  

October 31, 2018

CBC article “Pro sports charities hoarding cash, overspending on fundraising, watchdog says”

The CBC today covered the issue of Canadian pro sports teams and their fundraising charities in "Pro sports charities hoarding cash, overspending on fundraising, watchdog says".   This is a follow on to the coverage by the Toronto Star from 2010. 

read more

September 17, 2018

Finance to Consult on Draft Legislative Proposals re Political Activities of Canadian Charities

Finance has put out a press release that it will be consulting on the new political activity proposals that were released on Friday.

read more

September 15, 2018

Finance releases legislative proposals on charities and political activities

On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:01PM the Department of Finance released the "Legislative Proposals Notice of Ways and Means Motions" and also the "Explanatory Notes" on their website.   We will be commenting on these changes to the Income Tax Act over the next few weeks.  

September 15, 2018

Ontario rules change for compensation of certain directors of charitable corporations

August 18, 2018

Althia Raj’s article “Super PACs In Canada?” on CWP decision on charities and political activities

Althia Raj's article "Super PACs In Canada? Liberals Wrestle With Politically-Active Charities After Court Ruling" covers the fallout from the Canada Without Poverty case and provides some important updates. 

read more

August 15, 2018

Finance and CRA promise to clarify rules on political activities and CRA appeals CWP decision

The CRA announced today that they are appealing the CWB decision.  This is not surprising as we noted in our blog on July 30, 2018 "Canada Without Poverty vs. AG – a pyrrhic victory for CWP and a disaster for the charity sector".  The CRA and Finance press release noted that "the Government of Canada identified significant errors of law and has served notice that it will be appealing the decision to address the uncertainty created by it, and to seek clarification on important issues of constitutional and charity law."  As well, the government has said that they will be introducing legislation in the spring and then responding to the report of the Consultation Panel. 

read more

August 04, 2018

Blumbergs’ Pre-Budget Brief to the Finance Committee

Here is a copy of our Submission to the Federal Finance Committee dated August 1, 2018 for the 2019 Federal Budget.  The submission covers transparency of non-profits and registered charities, as well as a number other recommendations to improve the regulation of registered charities.  

July 30, 2018

Canada Without Poverty vs. AG – a pyrrhic victory for CWP and a disaster for the charity sector

Here is my article on the recent CWP v. AG case entitled Canada Without Poverty vs. Attorney General of Canada – a pyrrhic victory for CWP and a disaster for the charity sector.  In short, I think it is a bad decision that is long term going to have very negative repercussions for the charity sector and our society as a whole.  

July 17, 2018

Canada Without Poverty v. Attorney General of Canada - recent decision in the Ontario Superior Court

The Canada Without Poverty v. Attorney General of Canada decision was released on July 16th.  Here is the decision. I have written extensively about the importance of having Canadian charities engage in some political activities and how the rules can work for the charity sector and here is our directory on charities and political activities.   

May 25, 2018

Blumbergs’ Receipting Kit for Canadian registered charities - by Mark Blumberg

Here is our Blumbergs’ Receipting Kit for Canadian registered charities 2018.   If you wish to receive updates on the Receipting Kit you should join our Blumbergs email newsletter to receive regular updates on charity compliance issues affecting Canadian registered charities.  There is no cost and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

read more

May 16, 2018

Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector starts meetings

The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector has started having meetings and inviting witnesses.  We covered the details of the mandate at Senate appoints Special Committee on the Charitable Sector to look at laws and policies and impact   Here are the dates of the recent meetings (with either a link to the transcript or video webcast).

read more

May 12, 2018

CRA’s Fundraising Guidance is the most important compliance document for Canadian fundraisers

I am still surprised at the number of Canadian fundraisers that I meet who have not read the CRA's Fundraising Guidance or have read it but don't remember any of the details!   Here is the Fundraising Guidance on the CRA site and here is a PDF version of the CRA Fundraising Guidance as of May 2018.   If your Canadian registered charity is fundraising then you should be aware of this guidance.   CRA is auditing charities that are not complying with the requirements and in some cases revoking them.  I have put up a number of letters from CRA on our website that CRA wrote to charities as part of the revocation process.  These letters show the actual implementation of the fundraising guidance.

read more

May 12, 2018

CRA response letter re Complaint About a Particular Canadian Registered Charity

April 28, 2018

99% decrease in taxpayers participating in Canadian abusive charity gifting tax shelters

CRA has confirmed that the value of receipts issued by a few charities that were part of 'abusive charity gifting tax shelters' was over $7 Billion dollars and resulted in the reassessment by CRA of over 208,000 taxpayer returns.  The height of the schemes was 48,000 participants in 2006 and that number has been reduced to less than 400 in 2014.   We have written many times about these complicated schemes which promise for a certain cash donation you can obtain a much higher official donation receipt which will result in tax savings that are greater than your "investment". 

read more

April 26, 2018

CharityVillage Top Charity Compliance Issues for Canadian Registered Charity with Mark Blumberg

Here is my recent webinar Top Charity Compliance Issues for Canadian Registered Charity with Mark Blumberg.  It was wonderful to have over 3000 people registered for the webinar and thank you CharityVillage for hosting.  You can see the presentation, the slide deck and a charity checklist.    

April 24, 2018

CRA letter on Ineligible Individual and Impact on Charity Application

Here is our article CRA letter on Ineligible Individual and Impact on Charity Application which provides a copy of a standard letter when CRA determines that an ineligible individual may be involved with a charity application.   

April 19, 2018

Markou v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 66 (CanLII)

The case of Markou v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 66 (CanLII) in the Tax Court of Canada dealt with a leveraged donation program called “Donation Program for Medical Science and Technology”- what CRA used to refer to as an "abusive charity gifting donation scheme".  The TCC determined that there was no donative intent and no gift.

read more

April 11, 2018

Top Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg - For Charity Village - March 2018

Here is an article I recently wrote entitled Top Canadian Charity Law Issues for Charity Village.  It highlights some of the top compliance issues that a Canadian charity should be concerned with.   

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

Contact

Charity Lawyer 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
Download vCard

Connect

Locate

Blumberg Segal LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
#1202 - 390 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2Y2 Canada

Charity Law List

Join Blumbergs' non-profit and charities newsletter
View recent issue: December 2018