Update: Charities can sponsor Test Case litigation

  • August 21, 2018
  • Laura Lepine

Bakerlaw recently posted about the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in Canada Without Poverty v AG Canada, 2018 ONSC 4147, in which the Court struck down a prohibition in the Income Tax Act preventing registered charities from devoting more than 10% of their resources to “political activities”. You can read our blog post here (link).

On August 15th, 2018, the federal government released a statement indicating that it would be appealing the decision. The statement can be found here (link).

Because of the government’s appeal, the Canada Without Poverty decision is unlikely to be the final word on freedom of expression and charities’ sponsorship of non-partisan political activities.

However, the statement also promised that the appeal “will not change the policy direction the Government intends to take with respect to the removal of quantitative limits on political activities”.

Instead, the federal government committed to implementing Recommendation 3 of the Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities.

To meet this recommendation, the government has committed to “explicitly allow charities to fully engage without limitation in non-partisan public policy dialogue”, provided this political activity furthers the organization’s charitable purposes. You can read the Report and its recommendations here (link).

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