Does Charitable Status Undermine Progressive Political Actions?

Does the fear of losing government’s charitable status maintain the status quo and undermine progressive political actions?

Presenter: Dr. Joan Russow

September, 2020

On December 13, 2018, Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, which includes new rules to permit charities to carry on unlimited public policy dialogue and development activities (PPDDAs) in furtherance of a stated charitable purpose, received Royal Assent. PPDDAs generally involve seeking to influence the laws, policies or decisions of a government. A charity is still prohibited from directly or indirectly supporting or opposing a political party or candidate for public office.

On January 21, 2019, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issued the draft guidance document CG-027, Public policy dialogue and development activities by charities for public consultation. This document explains how the CRA expects to administer changes to the Income Tax Act that permit a charity to carry on unlimited PPDDAs in furtherance of a stated charitable purpose. This includes guidelines on what is direct and indirect support or opposition to a political party or candidate for public office.

In this presentation examples will be given related to the relationship between fear of losing charitable status and of disregarding the fear of losing charitable status  drawn from personal experience.