Readout: Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector – June 14, 2021

The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) met by videoconference on June 14, 2021.

Mr. Tony Manconi, Director General of the Charities Directorate at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), opened the call by welcoming the ACCS members. He referenced the May 19, 2021, meeting with the Minister of National Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier, where she indicated she would be looking to the ACCS to prioritize the recommendations in their reports. He noted that the planned prioritization exercise for the June 14 meeting, as well as identifying best practices and lessons learned, would be helpful for the ACCS as it continues its work.

The ACCS co-chairs, Ms. Hilary Pearson and Mr. Bruce MacDonald, extended their gratitude to all members, especially those who will be ending their tenures on August 31. They noted that all ACCS members have contributed valuable insight and recommendations to improve the regulatory environment for the charitable sector, and that Report #1 and Report #2 provide a clear picture to the government. They noted that Report #3 is undergoing final review, and is expected to be published in July 2021.

The meeting’s facilitator, Ms. Kim Fuller, led a prioritization exercise, where each working group provided updates on their outstanding recommendations. They spoke about the 11 recommendations referred to the ACCS through the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector (the Senate Committee), and how they would address some of these important issues. Each of the five working groups discussed their priorities and plans for ongoing work. The ACCS approved the creation of a sixth working group to discuss the disbursement quota.

Mr. Francesco Sorbara, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Mr. Bob Hamilton, Commissioner of the CRA, joined the meeting to speak with the ACCS members and ask them questions. They thanked outgoing members for their efforts, and spoke about the CRA’s commitment to service transformation. Specifically, they discussed opportunities to improve the CRA’s service role for charities, the balance of fairness with compliance, and topics identified by the Senate Committee that were referred to the ACCS for consideration.

In closing, Mr. MacDonald led a celebration and reflection for the outgoing members, and opened the floor to a roundtable discussion for those who are departing. The other ACCS members extended their gratitude and thanked them for their work, commitment, and support.

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