Readout: Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector – March 11, 2021

The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) met by videoconference on March 11, 2021. Mr. Geoff Trueman, Assistant Commissioner, began the meeting by welcoming all the guests and acknowledging that March 11 is the National Day of Observance of the COVID-19 pandemic. He welcomed the ACCS members, and introduced the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Francesco Sorbara, and the Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency, Bob Hamilton. Although the Minister of National Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier, was unable to attend in person, she provided a video introduction message to open the meeting. She recognized how proud she is of the work of the ACCS and reiterated her support of the ACCS and its mandate to support the important work that charities do. The Minister indicated that she has reviewed Report #1 and continues to be impressed by the work and dedication of the ACCS and the charitable sector. 

Parliamentary Secretary Sorbara spoke about Report # 1. He mentioned that the first and second recommendations have a legislative component, which require time and coordination with other federal departments. He spoke about the third recommendation, for a “home in government,” which he noted has been implemented successfully by other sectors. He reiterated the Minister’s commitment to reviewing all recommendations in consultation with government partners and stakeholders.

Commissioner Hamilton echoed these sentiments, and spoke about how the report is helpful in better understanding the unique challenges the sector may be facing, and determine areas in which we can align our regulatory approach to support registered charities. He also congratulated the group on their progress, especially under these challenging circumstances.

The Parliamentary Secretary and Commissioner then took questions from the committee members. Topics included data collection and the importance of evidence-based decision making, reconciliation in the context of Indigenous charities and partnerships, as well working with other Government departments on a strategic approach to addressing some of the recommendations. 

Since their last meeting, the ACCS has carried out extensive consultations with the charitable sector and has plans to engage further. During the meeting, the ACCS reviewed proposed recommendations for Report #2, which is expected in spring 2021. The ACCS plans to develop additional recommendations which will be discussed at their next meeting and included in a future report.

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