SCC denies leave to appeal in Neville v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership

May 30, 2014 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, Canadian Charity Law, Ethics and Canadian Charities

On May 29, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal in Neville v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership.   It was an application for leave to appeal the decision of the BCCA in January 2014.  

Here is original BC Supreme Court decision in Neville v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership, 2013 BCSC 183   Here is the BC Court of Appeal decision

Here is a link to the docket of the Supreme Court of Canada in Neville v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership.

Here is the Summary from the Supreme Court of Canada:


Ken Neville, et al. v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership

(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)


Gifts - Considerations, Unjust enrichment, Trusts.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch) for information purposes only.

Gifts – Charitable donations – Consideration – Unjust enrichment – Trusts – Repayment of monies – Whether the common law definition of “gift” precludes all consideration, benefit or advantage moving from the donee to the donor and/or “non-arms’ length” third parties – Where a transaction intended by the parties to be a gift fails due to an impermissible movement of consideration, benefit or advantage from the donee to the donor (including non arms’ length third parties), what are the legal consequences of that failure? Whether the donee may lawfully retain the transferred funds.

The applicants made donations to the respondent, a registered charity. It was understood at the time the donations were made that the applicants’ daughter would receive a scholarship or bursary from the respondent for her post-secondary education. Their daughter received two scholarships totalling more than was paid in donations. The respondent issued tax receipts to the applicants but made no representation or warranty as to the income tax deductibility of the donations for the purposes of the Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 1 (5th Suppl.). The income tax credit claimed by the applicants was subsequently disallowed by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the applicants sought repayment by the respondent of the donation money. They argued, among other things, that the failure of the donations to attract a tax benefit vitiated the gifts. The Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed the applicants’ claim. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. 

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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.
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