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Senate Motion Introduced to Review Impact of Charitable Sector on Canada

Senator Terry Mercer, CFRE, has introduced a motion to appoint a Special Committee that would examine the impact of laws and policies governing charities, and to review the impact of the entire sector on Canada.

The Special Committee would be created specifically to “examine the impact of federal and provincial laws and policies governing charities, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups; and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada.”

The motion follows up on and continues the discussions and ideas that began during the Open Caucus on the charitable sector. The goal of that caucus was to consider how to modernize the relationship between the government and the charitable sector, and how the two could work better together. Leah Eustace, ACFRE, the chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada, presented during the Caucus and proposed that the government name a minister responsible specifically for the charitable sector, among other recommendations.

The Special Committee would be composed of eight members, nominated by the Committee on Selection, and would have to submit its final report by Sept. 28, 2018. Sen. Mercer is expected to speak more about the motion in late May.

“This is an opportunity for Canada to take the global lead in how charities can work with government to create even greater impact in society,” said Jason Lee, AFP’s interim president and CEO. “All of us at AFP are grateful for Senator Mercer’s leadership on these important issues.”

The motion is another important step for the charitable sector, especially after the Canada Revenue Agency recommended recently that current laws and regulations be changed to allow charities to engage more fully in public policy discussions. AFP will update members as the motion progresses through Parliament.

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