Advisory committee on the charitable sector

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What we do

The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) is a consultative forum for the Government of Canada to engage in meaningful dialogue with the charitable sector, to advance emerging issues relating to charities, and to ensure the regulatory environment supports the important work that charities do.

The ACCS is co-chaired by the charitable sector and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It provides recommendations to the Minister of National Revenue and the Commissioner of the CRA on important and emerging issues facing registered charities and other qualified donees on an ongoing basis.

Sector members

The ACCS is made up of up to 15 members with experience grounded in the issues facing the charitable sector, including registered charities, national umbrella organizations, professional associations, charity researchers/academics, and legal experts. All members, including two sector co-chairs, are appointed by the Minister of National Revenue or the Commissioner of the CRA.

Sector members

Sheherazade Hirji, ACCS Sector Co-Chair, Former Resident Representative, Aga Khan Development Network, Afghanistan

Sheherazade Hirji

Sheherazade Hirji qualified as a lawyer in England and British Columbia. She has worked in the philanthropic sector for over 30 years, most recently as President and CEO of the Canadian Women's Foundation, and previously with Tides Canada (now MakeWay) Foundation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. She has served as a philanthropy consultant to private and public foundations, corporations, government, and families engaged in philanthropy. She completed executive leadership programs with the Conference Board of Canada and the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

In her voluntary capacity, she has served on the National Committee of Aga Khan Foundation Canada, and on the Boards of the Wellesley Institute and the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Between 2012 and 2019, she served as President of the Ismaili Council of Ontario, the first woman in this position. Between 2019 and 2021, she served a Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network for Afghanistan. Sheherazade is a recipient of the North York Women's Shelter's Hope Award, the Canada-Pakistan Business Council’s Humanitarian of the Year Award and the Canadian Council of Muslim Women's Women Who Inspire Award.

Kevin McCort, ACCS Sector Co-Chair, President & CEO, Vancouver Foundation

Kevin McCort

Kevin McCort was appointed President and CEO of the Vancouver Foundation in September 2013, bringing with him a wealth of energy, and over 30 years of experience as a respected leader in the international development community. Since Kevin joined the Vancouver Foundation, the organization has passed two major milestones; cumulative granting surpassed $1 billion in 2014 and net assets exceeded $1 billion at the end of 2015.

Serving the charitable and non-profit sector in Canada, and abroad, since 1983, he previously served for six years as President and CEO of CARE Canada in Ottawa and co founded the Humanitarian Coalition in 2005. Kevin is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, former Director of Imagine Canada, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors at Community Foundations of Canada.

He graduated in 1989 with a B.Sc. (Specialist/Honours) from the University of Toronto. In 2005, he earned a Master of Business Administration from Queen's University. In February 2013, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his leadership in promoting Canada’s values of tolerance and social justice across the world.

Althea Arsenault, Manager Resource Development, Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, Government of New Brunswick

Althea Arsenault

Althea brings more than three decades of senior government, project management and governance experience to her initiatives.

Althea is the Manager of the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, where she has served for the past twelve years. Having worked extensively with non-profits and with provincial government, Althea has experience in board operations, policy, and procedure development. She has been heavily involved with federal and provincial government partnership and program development. She also brings a wealth of experience in donor development and relations. As the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation staff lead for the 2014-2019 Advisory Committee on the research and development of a one-stop-shop, she was instrumental in laying the foundation for today’s NB211. She is also lead staff for the Sport, Recreation and Leisure for NBers, a new project to work towards vulnerable citizens accessing the sport, recreation and leisure services for their families.

In her spare time Althea’s passion is sport. Presently the Technical Director for Triathlon NB, a Continental Triathlon official with World Triathlon and former board member with Triathlon Canada and President with Triathlon NB. She is also the Vice-President for both Canadian Women and Sport and Sport New Brunswick, Althea holds a BBA and an MPE from the University of New Brunswick.

Elisabeth Baugh, Former CEO, Ovarian Cancer Canada

Elisabeth Baugh

Elisabeth Baugh has spent 37 years working in the health charity sector. She recently retired following 24 years as CEO of Ovarian Cancer Canada, during which time she successfully initiated the merger of the only two national ovarian cancer organizations in Canada, amplifying the patient voice and profile of the cause. Most notably, during her tenure, Ovarian Cancer Canada advocated for and received a federal investment of $10 million dedicated to ovarian cancer research.

With global colleagues, Elisabeth initiated World Ovarian Cancer Day in 2013 and subsequently led the establishment of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition in 2016, to improve survival and quality of life for all people with ovarian cancer, regardless of where they may live. She chaired the Coalition for 5 years and remains on the Board as Past Chair.

Elisabeth began her career as founder and Executive Director of AboutFace and also worked at the Hospital for Sick Children in Neonatal Follow-up. A graduate of the Harvard Business School Strategic Perspectives in NonProfit Management, she holds a MHSc in Health Administration from the University of Toronto, and is a past chair of the Health Charities Coalition of Canada.

Since 2020, she has been a lecturer and involved in course re-development for the Non Profit Leadership for Impact certificate at the University of Toronto.

Elisabeth is recipient of numerous awards including four-time winner of WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, the Order of Ontario, Distinguished Advocacy Award from the International Gynecological Cancer Society, and the Canada Cancer Research Alliance Award for Distinguished Service to Research.

Christian Bolduc, President & CEO, BNP Performance, LL.B, ASC, C.Dir., CFRE

Christian Bolduc

Christian Bolduc is the co-founder of BNP Philanthropic Performance, one of Canada's leading philanthropic consulting firms. A lawyer by training and member of the Barreau du Québec, Christian has been working in fundraising for nearly 30 years. He has since been developing excellent practices and sound governance within organizations. He and his team and clients take collective action to truly contribute to the well-being of our communities. He takes great pride in the success of the campaigns conducted to carry out his clients' projects.

Christian sits on the Board of Directors of Innovations Scola and is part of the Imagine Canada Standards Certification Committee. He volunteered to lead his group of athlete entrepreneurs from the École d'Entrepreneurship de Beauce to build 12 furnished apartments in Lac-Mégantic, thereby relocating some of the victims of the train explosion to the downtown area. Since January 2022, he has been a certified director following training in governance at the Collège des administrateurs de sociétés of Université Laval.

Owen Charters, President & CEO, BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs)

Owen Charters

Owen Charters is President & CEO of BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs), the country’s largest child- and youth-focused charity. He has been a senior executive at several charities in healthcare and technology over his career, often focusing on marketing and fundraising, and is a committed supporter of a strong nonprofit sector in Canada. He serves on the advisory board of Common Good, a retirement plan for the nonprofit sector employees, the Advisory Committee for the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities at Western University, and the boards of the National Alliance for Children and Youth, the PayPal Giving Fund, and the Institute on Governance. Former Chair of Imagine Canada and the Human Resources Council on the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Owen is also faculty for the Social Sector Leadership MBA at York University’s Schulich School of Business. He pushes for a stronger nonprofit sector voice in Canadian policy, as well as better working conditions for sector employees, often speaking and writing on issues facing the sector.

Dr. Anver Emon, Canada Research Chair in Islamic Law and History & Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Toronto

Anver Emon

Dr. Anver M. Emon is a professor of law and history, Canada Research Chair in Islamic Law and History, and Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto. He was trained as a premodern Islamic legal historian. A prolific author, he has published numerous books and articles on Islamic legal history and its more contemporary manifestations. In recent years, he has turned his attention to the social construction and deployment of the “Islamic” and the “Muslim” in state practices of surveillance, anti-terrorism policy, and national security. Co-author of Under Layered Suspicion, he integrated both areas of research into an analysis of the CRA’s auditing practices of Muslim-led charities in Canada. He is now working on a monograph critically examining the presumptions and frameworks of Canadian and global financial intelligence practices. In his role as director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, he works with various stakeholders across Canada and globally to incubate new research that integrates the lived experiences of racialized and marginalized communities in research design and execution.

Minnie Njeri Karanja (she/her), Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, Network for the Advancement of Black Communities

Minnie Njeri Karanja

Minnie Njeri Karanja is woman of African descent, and of Christian faith. She was born and raised in Kenya. She has worked in the nonprofit and international development sectors in Kenya, Rwanda, and Canada. She is focused on building a career that contributes to the socio-economic empowerment of individuals who have been systematically excluded from opportunities to live up to their true, and highest potential.

Ms Karanja holds a BSc in Business Management, a Master’s degree in International Relations, and a Certificate in Public Policy and Management from Staffordshire (UK), Swansea (UK), and Dalhousie Universities respectively.

Currently, she is the Director of Government Relations and Public Policy at the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC) – a Black-led national nonprofit that provides innovative support to Black-led,-focused, and -serving (B3) organizations and groups to strengthen their capacity to be effective participants and leaders in driving positive outcomes for Black communities locally, regionally, and nationally. In her role, she has led and contributed to various initiatives that impact Canada’s nonprofit and charity operational, funding and regulatory environment.

Ms Karanja brings lived and learned experiences in nonprofit leadership, and systems change with a focus on removing systemic barriers that exclude Canadians of African descent from self-determining their socio-economic prosperity pathways. She is committed to contributing to an equitable nonprofit and charity sector that supports the growth and excellence of B3, Indigenous, Muslim and minority-led organizations in Canada.

She volunteers in her local community and with the Kenyan Canadian Association – a nonprofit that supports newcomers of African descent to settle and thrive in Canada while making a meaningful contribution through their wealth of skills and knowledge.

Jean-Marc Mangin, President & CEO, Philanthropic Foundations Canada

Jean-Marc Mangin

Jean-Marc has been President & CEO of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) since 2019. He is energized by foundations working together and with civil society partners and governments to strengthen the common good.

Prior to PFC, Jean-Marc led a renewal process of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the largest national organization of Canadian researchers and scholars as its Executive Director.

Over a 25 year career, he has served with the UN, NGOs and the Canadian Government in responding to global humanitarian disasters and development challenges. As CUSO Executive Director, he led a merger with VSO-Canada, and he was the first Executive Director of Global Call for Climate Action, a cross-sector civil society initiative supporting transformational change to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Born in Manitoba, raised in Quebec, educated in BC and Ontario, he holds an MA in Political Sciences and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto. Mr. Mangin lived for a decade in Asia and Africa. He currently calls Wakefield and Montreal home.

Sarah Midanik, President & CEO, The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF)

Sarah Midanik

Sarah Midanik is an Indigenous professional who is passionate about increasing capacity and social impact across Indigenous communities. Born and raised near the historic Métis community of St. Albert, Sarah is a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is currently the President & CEO of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, a national charity that builds cultural understanding and creates a path towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Sarah is the former Executive Director of the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT), a charity dedicated to providing resources and support to urban Indigenous women and their families.

Sarah is committed to advancing Indigenous programs and projects and has sat on many advisory councils and boards including the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Indigenous Professionals Association of Canada (IPAC), the Aboriginal Advisory Committee for the City of Toronto, the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle, the Toronto Police Service and was the co-chair and co-founder of the Indigenous Place Making Council. A dedicated volunteer, Sarah currently sits on the national board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, is on the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Philanthropist and is a Founding Member of the newly created Honouring Nations Canada Circle of Advisors which is a collaboration between Fulbright Canada and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Sarah is currently completing her MBA in the Indigenous Business and Leadership program at Simon Fraser University and was named one of The Peak’s Emerging Leaders of 2022.

Martha Rans, Founder & Legal Director, Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEOS)

Martha Rans

Martha Rans is a lawyer specializing in the legal needs of non-profit societies, charities, co-operatives, as well as many artists. She has been practicing law in British Columbia since 1997 (Ontario 1995) and spent 10 years as a labour employment and human rights lawyer/mediator with the BC and Ontario governments. She is a recognized expert on both Canada's Copyright Act as well as the BC Societies Act. She advises on copyright, charity law, incorporation, privacy, employment, labour, health & safety and human rights and is an advocate for public legal education and information. Martha is the Founder and Legal Director of Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEOS), home of the Artists Legal Outreach and Law for Non-Profits. Thousands of artists and non-profits have accessed the services offered by PLEOS. In 2021 Martha was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in recognition of her contributions to access to justice.

Tanya Rumble, Executive Director, Development, Toronto Metropolitan University

Tanya Hannah Rumble

Tanya Hannah Rumble (she/her/elle) is a fundraising leader who has raised millions for some of Canada's largest charities including Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, McMaster University, and now the Faculty of Arts and Yellowhead Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her first career was as a Health Promoter which provided her with a deep understanding of the social determinants of health and the value of cross-sectoral collaboration. These learnings continue to ground her in her work in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. As a racialized philanthropy professional Tanya is honoured to share her influence, professional insights, and lived experience with students, emerging professionals and peers in the sector. Tanya regularly writes articles on the topics of inclusion, equity, and fundraising for industry publications and speaks to professional audiences at learning events regularly.

She graduated with an Hons. B.A. Political Science from McMaster University, earned a Graduate Certificate at NYU in Marketing Communications, and is currently enrolled in the Master Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) at Carleton University. She has also completed numerous professional certificates including Not-For-Profit Governance Essentials (Rotman School of Management, Institute of Corporate Directors) and Truth and Reconciliation Through Right Relations (Banff Centre). Tanya is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and Master Financial Advisor - Philanthropy (MFA-P™).

Additionally, she is an active leadership volunteer in the philanthropy and non-profit sector: Board Director with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Canada; Co-Chair of the Board of FindHelp Information Services - operators of 211 Toronto; Member of the Advisory Committee for the Humber Fundraising Management program; and Member of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education Education Program Advisory Group. In addition to sharing her knowledge, she is committed to lifelong learning. She is a graduate of the 2017 Association of Fundraising Professionals Inclusion and Philanthropy Fellowship, and 2010 DiverseCity Fellowship.

Tanya gratefully acknowledges the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, whose traditional territory she is a settler and responsible steward of.

CRA and Department of Finance members

The Assistant Commissioner of the Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch of the CRA serves as one of the ACCS’ co-chairs. As well, the CRA’s Charities Directorate and Finance Canada each have a representative that sits on the ACCS.

Representatives from other government departments may be invited as observers or resource people on a temporary or ongoing basis.

CRA and Department of Finance members

Soren Halverson, Assistant Commissioner and Co-Chair, Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch, CRA

Soren Halverson

Over the course of his career, Soren has worked on a wide range of economic and financial sector policy issues. Most recently, he served as Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister at Environment and Climate Change Canada, where he led the development of Canada's Clean Electricity Regulations. Prior to that, he served in senior roles at Finance Canada, including Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of the Financial Sector Policy Branch as well as Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of the Economic and Development and Corporate Finance Branch.

In support of the federal government's COVID response, he led on the development of business credit programs, including the $50 billion CEBA program. Other areas of focus have included sustainable finance, environment and natural resources, innovation, infrastructure, transportation, defence, and management of the government's corporate assets. Soren holds a Master's of Arts (Economics) from Simon Fraser University and is a CFA Charterholder.

Sharmila Khare, Director General, Charities Directorate, Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch

Pierre Leblanc, Director General, Personal Income Tax Division, Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance 

ACCS working groups


The ACCS is made up of 15 members: 12 from the charitable sector (S) and 3 from the Government (G).
Working group Priority Members
Relationship between the CRA and the charitable sector working group (CRACSWG) Improving the relationship between the CRA and the charitable sector by providing recommendations to help improve the administration of the regulatory system.
  • Owen Charters (Lead) (S)
  • Martha Rans (S)
  • Christian Bolduc (S)
  • Soren Halverson (G)
  • Althea Arsenault (S)
  • Minnie Karanja (S)
  • Elisabeth Baugh (S)
Definition of charity and charitable purpose working group (DCCPWG) Examining the current regulatory approach to charitable purposes and activities to determine what, if anything, is missing; and, examining the advantages and disadvantages of a statutory definition of “charity” in the Income Tax Act.
  • Sheherazade Hirji (S)
  • Anver Emon (S)
  • Sharmila Khare (G)
Transparency and data related to other qualified donees and non-profit organizations working group (TDWG) Expanding the data landscape to improve data quality and transparency for charities, other qualified donees, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Tanya Rumble (Lead) (S)
  • Jean-Marc Mangin (S)
  • Pierre Leblanc (G)
  • Kevin McCort (S)
National Inherent Risk Assessment working group (NIRAWG) Reviewing the policy by centering both the charitable sector and by using the Government's Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) model of equity to consider the impact of the National Inherent Risk Assessment (NIRA) on the charitable sector.
  • Anver Emon (Lead) (S)
  • Kevin McCort (S)
  • Jean-Marc Mangin (S)


Meeting readouts

The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) includes a record of important notes from their meetings.

Current year

Previous years

Contact us

Whether you work, volunteer, or donate to a charity, we encourage you to contact the ACCS secretariat directly if you have input to share with the membership. Note that we cannot respond to questions.

Any other charity-related matters should be directed to Charities Directorate’s client service representatives.

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