Charities

The Canada Not for Profit Corporations Act – have you transitioned yet?

October 22nd, 2014 by Celia Chandler

A representative of Industry Canada spoke at a charity law conference last week and reminded us that last Friday  ‑ October 17, 2014 ‑ was the deadline to “continue” federal non‑profits under the new Canada Not‑for‑Profit Corporations Act.  However, she also assured conference‑goers that dissolution is not automatic.  Industry Canada will first clear the backlog of last minute continuance applications that it has received.  Then it will begin the process of contacting those corporations which missed the deadline.  She acknowledged that many of those who have not yet filed have very likely done so deliberately – as a way to dissolve dormant corporations without taking any active steps.  Others will have missed the deadline by mistake and those will get 120 days’ written notice of dissolution.   If you’re not sure if your organization has taken the steps it should have taken, you can check its status on Industry Canada’s website.

And as always, if you need help with the transition, give us a call!

Charities and the limits of political action under the Harper government

July 31st, 2014 by Brian Iler

Environmental Defence. PEN Canada. Amnesty International Canada. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Canada Without Poverty. The David Suzuki Foundation.

What do these organizations have in common — aside from all doing great work?

All are registered charities.

All have been publicly critical of Stephen Harper’s government.

And all are undergoing audits of their political activities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

What’s this about? Here’s what you need to know.

Read more on rabble.ca

Canada Revenue Agency’s Guidance: How to Draft Purposes for Charitable Registration (CG 019)

August 12th, 2013 by Ted Hyland

On July 25, 2013, the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issued policy guidance on how to draft purposes clauses for charitable registration. At the same time, CRA also issued revised Model Purposes clauses.

The Guidance will apply to new applicants for charitable registration, existing registered charities that are seeking to change their charitable purposes and, undoubtedly, will be used by CRA in auditing registered charities and assessing their eligibility for ongoing registration.

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Client Profile: Architectural Conservancy of Ontario

July 17th, 2013 by Iler Campbell

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The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario is a charity with the goal of helping communities preserve buildings and structures of architectural merit and places of natural beauty and interest. Their activities include advocacy and activism, the commissioning of studies and reports as well as public outreach and education programs. Twice yearly they publish ACORN, a magazine devoted to preservation issues of province-wide interest . Their PreservationWorks! program sends experts to assess and report on heritage properties and can assist in gaining public support, warn of structural issues and suggest preservation strategies. And their Historic Architectural Linking Program connects prospective purchasers with vacant, at-risk heritage properties. The Conservancy has 24 branches across Ontario. Branch activities include lectures, tours and advocacy and restoration of heritage properties.

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The evolving world of social finance in Ontario

December 7th, 2012 by Brian Iler and Laura Bowman

Social enterprises can find it difficult to raise capital from community‑minded investors.  Even in the non “social enterprise” sector, most capital for small and startup enterprises is still raised from friends and family rather than banks, wealthy investors or other more traditional sources.

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Anti-Spam Legislation and Non-profits and Charities – Are you ready?

November 5th, 2012 by Ted Hyland

Preparations continue to lay the groundwork for the coming into force of Canada’s anti‑spam law.1  On October 10, 2012, the CRTC published two information guidelines regarding the legislation: Guidelines on the interpretation of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations (CRTC) (CRTC Guideline 2012‑548) and Guidelines on the use of toggling as a means of obtaining express consent under Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CRTC Guideline 2012‑549).

The background to the CRTC Guidelines is that on December 15, 2010, Royal Assent was given to Canada’s anti‑spam law.  A date for the law’s coming into force will be set in the coming months, with the date now expected to be in mid‑2013.  The anti‑spam law will affect any individual, business and organization that:

  • Uses commercial electronic messages;
  • Is involved in the alteration of transmission data; and
  • Produces or installs computer programs.

If you are involved in the operation of a non‑profit or charity why should you care about the anti‑spam law? Increasingly, non‑profit organizations and charities are using electronic means of communicating with people, and the anti‑spam legislation will apply to many, if not all, of those electronic messages. How so?

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  1. An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act, S.C. 2010, c. 23.