Consulting Canadians on Draft Legislative Proposals Regarding Political Activities of Charities

News release

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 
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1A 0G5

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. 

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Media may contact:

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

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