Readout: Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector – November 3 & 4, 2022
November 3, 2022
The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) met in Ottawa in person for a two day meeting, held on November 3 and 4, 2022.
Geoff Trueman, Assistant Commissioner of the Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), opened the meeting by acknowledging the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People. He also introduced the new Co-chair, Sheherazade Hirji, Former Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network, Afghanistan.
Geoff Trueman also thanked former co-chairs Bruce MacDonald and Hilary Pearson for their work since their initial appointment on March 7, 2019, and their continued service to the Committee as they start their new roles as Transitional and Past co-chairs, respectively.
Hilary Pearson, Bruce MacDonald, and Sheherazade Hirji all shared a few words about how far the Committee has come since it was established in 2019. The current co-chair Sheherazade Hirji shared that it is an honour and privilege to be nominated and she is excited to take on this huge responsibility. She thanked the past chairs and the ACCS Secretariat.
The meeting facilitator, Kim Fuller, commenced the introductions of all the members and shared that members Sarah Midanik and Bob Wyatt would not be in attendance for the meeting.
Robert Delaney, Director, from the Charities Directorate at the CRA delivered a presentation on updates from the CRA. He provided a status update on the 48 recommendations in Reports #1, #2, and #3 and spoke about actionable items that fall within the CRA’s mandate. The presentation also included information about the CRA structure and where the ACCS aligns with the mandate of the CRA’s Charities Directorate. The Committee members were invited to raise concerns, and provide input on the prioritization of the recommendations.
The members then moved into their working groups, which focused on:
- Definition of charity and charitable purposes working group (DCCPWG)
- Transparency and data related to other qualified donees and non-profit organizations working group (TDWG)
- Relationship between the CRA and the charitable sector working group (CRACSWG)
Kim Fuller asked the working group leads to summarize their breakout room discussions in plenary.
Bruce Macdonald closed the meeting.
November 4, 2022
On November 4, the Minister of National Revenue, Diane Leboutillier, attended the meeting in-person to address the ACCS and provide remarks recognizing their great work. She acknowledged the work of the Committee, including 3 reports with 48 recommendations to date. She emphasized that it is important to set out the Committee’s priorities, and mentioned that she values the Mandate of the Agency and encourages the Committee to keep it in mind when addressing the recommendations. The Committee then engaged in a question and answer session with the Minister.
Kim Fuller then opened up the floor for thoughts and reflections that the Committee had overnight on what was discussed on the previous day. Following this, there was a discussion on governance where the Committee discussed the following topics:
- What does advisory mean?
- Whose role is it to set priorities?
- What are your expectations around transparency to share what we say in and outside of the meetings?
- What guidelines do we need to create for the ACCS?
Bruce Macdonald opened up a discussion on a new, ad hoc working group to provide feedback on the Charities Directorate draft guidance on charities making grants to non-qualified donees. He invited those interested in joining the working group to review the draft guidance and circulate their feedback to the broader group for consensus.
Kim Fuller wrapped up the meeting by thanking the interpreters, the ACCS Secretariat, and committee members. Following this, each of the co chairs, Bruce Macdonald, Geoff Trueman, Sheherazade Hirji, and Hilary Pearson provided brief closing remarks.
The meeting was concluded with plans for another in-person meeting at the end of March 2023.
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