• Ontario should expand legal aid, not cut it

    At the moment, a single person with no dependents must have an income of about $13,000 a year or less to qualify for legal aid. That’s an absurdly low level, considering that Statistics Canada calculates the low-income cut-off for a single individual in a large city as closer to $25,000… Now, sadly, with the cuts to service because of the agency’s deficit, access to legal aid has gotten even worse for the poorest of the poor.

  • Donation Incentives: The Canadian Advantage

    As of 2016, tax credits have increased with tax rates for the highest income Canadians… income of more than $200,000… with proper estate planning, a Canadian taxpayer may eliminate taxes at death by giving to charity and in most cases not disadvantage family heirs… Canadians have a rich array of donation tax incentives that together surpass other developed countries in the world, even the United States.

  • Sluggish Economic Outlook Forces Charities and Policymakers to Plan for a Looming Social Deficit

    Charities and non-profits, too, need to pay attention to broader economic issues and policy. Lagging economic performance will in part generate the projected structural social deficit. Charities and non-profits have a vital interest in policies and programs that address fundamental economic issues of productivity and growth… The overlap between the smart growth agenda (growth that is equitable, inclusive, and environmentally responsible) and the mission-driven charitable and non-profit sector is significant.

  • The Canadian Income Tax Act and the Concepts of Charitable Purposes and Activities

    … there is merit in considering an entity’s planned or actual activities in determining its eligibility for registration, in particular with respect to two concerns: (1) mission drift; and, (2) inadvertent overstepping of bounds when an entity is constituted for purposes that are generally worded, rather than specific.. it is certainly legitimate to examine whether planned or actual activities are reasonably connected to stated purposes.

  • Immigration critical to Canada’s future prosperity

    … a major new report released last week by the Conference Board of Canada… concluded that immigration levels need to rise steadily until they reach 408,000 annually by 2030 in order to help the growth of the labour force and generate higher economic growth. It even suggested Canada will need a population of 100 million by the end of the century to ensure economic health… a larger Canadian population cannot totally offset the effects of an aging population, but it can soften the impact.

  • Human Rights and Charity — Regulatory Challenges

    … a charity risks being labelled “political” – and thus non-charitable – if it pursues its mission either solely or even predominantly by advocating that governments behave (or not) in some particular way. The question for present purposes is how, if at all, things change when charities frame their advocacy as a defence of human rights… does human rights advocacy receive special treatment under the doctrine of political purposes?

  • Charter Challenge for Freedom of Expression Launched

    The question is, having accepted relief of poverty as a charitable purpose, is the government permitted, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to restrict our members from speaking out about the changes to laws and policies that are necessary for our purpose to be achieved,” Ms Farha stated. “We think that’s an infringement of freedom of expression and association for people living in poverty and that’s why we filed this case.”

  • Like unions and political parties, charities deserve freedom of speech

    An Ottawa-based charity recently filed suit to stop the CRA from stripping its tax-exempt status, on the ground it has been too politically active. Lawyers for Canada Without Poverty argue their client’s constitutional right to free expression is being violated unreasonably. They’re not wrong… Ottawa should drop the audits and modernize its outdated laws. Free speech should apply to all.

  • Canadians with disabilities need real work, real pay, real leadership

    A new national policy framework should help enable people with disabilities to attain postsecondary education, to participate in training and vocational rehabilitation and to obtain and hold gainful employment in inclusive workplaces, on an equal basis with other people. Greater attention is needed on workplace practices and the role of disability management, bolstered by federal investments through intergovernmental agreements, grants and tax measures.

  • Ombudsman Calls For Systemic Overhaul To Help Adults With Developmental Disabilities In Crisis

    In Nowhere to Turn, the Ombudsman reports on his office’s investigation of more than 1,400 complaints from families of adults with developmental disabilities who are in crisis situations, including being abandoned, abused, unnecessarily hospitalized and jailed… These “extreme and egregious cases” highlight a dire need for greater supports, services and more rigorous monitoring – and amount to “a modern-day version of institutionalization,” Mr. Dubé says in the report.