Readout: Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector – October 29, 2020
The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) met by videoconference on October 29, 2020. This meeting was attended by the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, and Bob Hamilton, Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). At this meeting, the ACCS members focused on the progress of the working groups, and next steps for developing recommendations.
Mr. Geoff Trueman, Assistant Commissioner, opened the meeting and welcomed Minister Lebouthillier, Commissioner Hamilton and the committee members. He recognized the work the committee has done to identify their main five priorities, consult with several organizations and individuals within the charitable sector, and share their views about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the charitable sector.
Minister Lebouthillier acknowledged the ongoing work and commitment of the committee, and thanked the committee members for their work and efforts. She emphasized that charities play an important role in our society, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the charitable sector. She spoke about her commitment to reading the recommendations and working towards a regulatory environment that supports the work of charities and aligns with the CRA’s People First approach.
Commissioner Hamilton also recognized the progress the committee has made thus far, and echoed his commitment to working with the committee and other parts of government to address priorities.
Minister Lebouthillier and Commissioner Hamilton indicated that they look forward to recommendations from the committee to support the sector and better serve Canadians.
ACCS leads from the five working groups provided an overview of the work completed so far, including priorities that had been identified, completed consultations, findings, and draft recommendations.
ACCS members discussed areas in which the working groups overlap, and explored several other topics, including the ACCS’ mandate as it relates to recommendations; possible recommendations that could be put forward and the appropriate mechanism for doing so; and, how to update stakeholders on the work the ACCS has accomplished to date.
COVID-19 was a recurring topic of discussion, as it has significant impacts across the sector. While the ACCS was created before the pandemic, the pandemic has illuminated some of the restrictions and limitations of the current regulatory framework for charities.
The next ACCS meeting will take place virtually on December 1, 2020, to review preliminary recommendations and confirm next steps.
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