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Ottawa to Review How it Finances Charities

(Nov. 1, 2011) Parliament recently announced that it intends to look closely at how the federal government finances charities and may institute changes to traditional grants, according to an article in The Globe and Mail entitled “Ottawa looks at rewriting rules on charitable giving.”

As part of its new series on philanthropy, The Globe and Mail reported that to ensure greater accountability in the sector, “MPs on the House of Commons finance committee will soon embark on a broad round of hearings on reforming the rules related to charities.” AFP Canadian Government Relations Chair Ken Mayhew was interviewed as part of this series.

This issue complements AFP’s efforts to address charitable and fundraising issues as part of an ongoing dialogue with the governments and partners in the charitable sector. As was the case with the Canada Revenue Agency’s fundraising guidance, AFP hopes to work closely with Ottawa’s government and others in the sector to provide comments and feedback based upon AFP’s unique insight and expertise as new policies and approaches are developed.

Marcel Lauzière, president and CEO of Imagine Canada, commented on the pros and cons of partnerships at the AFP Leadership Academy in Montreal. It will be crucial that AFP continues to partner with the Ottawa government and others in the sector such as Imagine Canada to ensure that efforts to increase accountability around government grants provides actual transparency, not just added bureaucracy. AFP supports greater transparency and accountability but in a balanced manner that does not hinder charities from fulfilling their philanthropic missions. 

In the meantime, AFP continues to leverage its work with the Sussex Strategy Group that provides AFP with advocacy and public affairs consulting around issues such as the Ottawa government’s review of charitable financing. AFP also will participate in Imagine Canada’s National Summit for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector in November where this topic and many others will be addressed.

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