Topics: News, What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Ethics and 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.
Here is the text of the release:
Consulting Canadians on Draft Legislative Proposals Regarding Political Activities of Charities
September 14, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
Charities play a key role in Canadian society and provide valuable services to Canadians. Charities also provide perspectives that enrich public debate and help shape the formulation of public policy.
On August 15, 2018, the Government of Canada announced its intention to amend the Income Tax Act to implement changes consistent with Recommendation no. 3 of the Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities and allow charities to pursue their charitable purposes by engaging in non-partisan political activities and in the development of public policy.
Today, the Department of Finance Canada released for a 30-day public consultation period draft legislative proposals that would deliver on this commitment by removing the quantitative limits on political activities from the Income Tax Act. Under these draft legislative proposals, charities would still be required to be constituted and operated for exclusively charitable purposes, meaning they cannot have a political purpose, and restrictions against partisan political activities would remain.
The draft legislative proposals would, if adopted by Parliament, apply retroactively to related audits and objections that are currently suspended. As announced on August 15, 2018, the Canada Revenue Agency will soon issue supporting administrative guidance for consultation with the charitable sector on how it would implement the legislative proposals released today.
The Government intends to introduce legislation following the consultation period at an early opportunity.
Canadians are invited to provide comments on the draft legislative proposals below by October 13, 2018. Please send your comments to . Written correspondence related to these consultations may also be mailed to:
Tax Policy Branch
Department of Finance Canada
90 Elgin Street
Note that references to "Announcement Date" in the draft legislative proposals, and in the accompanying explanatory notes included with this release, refer to today's date.
Statement by the Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Finance on the Government's Commitment to Clarifying the Rules Governing the Political Activities of Charities
Minister Lebouthillier welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities
Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities
Media may contact:
Department of Finance Canada
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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.