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Canadian Group Calls for Continued Government Support for Charities

(Dec. 1, 2008) Imagine Canada, an umbrella organization for Canadian charities, has appealed to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking for renewed support and short-term  tax measures to stimulate charities country-wide in the face of an economic downturn.

In a letter sent to the prime minister and published in Canadian newspapers, Imagine Canada outlined the important role charities play in Canada, a role that is all the more critical in a faltering economy.  The organization notes that demands are greater on charities in times of economic distress, making government support all the more critical.

The letter, signed by CEOs and chairs of several prominent nonprofit organizations in Canada as well as AFP’s president and CEO, Paulette Maehara, and chair, Timothy Burcham, was released Nov. 21.

“We urge the Government of Canada to maintain existing levels of funding to Canada’s charities and nonprofits through its grants and contributions programs,” the letter read. “The many Canadians who serve their communities in these organizations in every reach of the country, a number of whom have joined us in signing this letter to you below, strongly believe that now is not the time to reduce support to communities through federal funding cuts. We are not asking for new support but a commitment to hold the line.”

Imagine Canada went on to ask for special short-term measures to stimulate individual and corporate giving to help charities weather the storm of difficult economic times.

This letter complements AFP’s pre-budget consultation brief that asked Parliament to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of land and real estate.

Imagine Canada and AFP continue to partner on important issues affecting Canada’s charities such as this one, as well as other issues such as the Canada Revenue Agency’s proposed fundraising guidelines and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s telemarketing rules.

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