New Bill C-17, If Passed, Would Introduce New Changes Affecting Charities and NFPs
June 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on June 25, 2020

By Jacqueline M. Demczur

The federal government introduced Bill C-17, An Act Respecting Additional COVID-19 Measures (“Bill C-17”) for first reading in the House of Commons on June 10, 2020. However, without the support of opposition parties, it is unclear whether Bill C-17 will eventually pass. At this time, Bill C-17 contains a number of provisions that will be of interest to charities and NFPs.

Part 1 of Bill C-17 proposes to amend the ITA to revise the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”). This would be done by allowing an “eligible entity” (which would include “trusts” under a proposed amendment to section 125.7 of the ITA) to qualify for the CEWS if, on March 15, 2020, the entity had its own business number and made remittances to Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) as required under section 153 of the ITA or had its payroll administered by another person or partnership (referred to as a “payroll service provider”) which used its own business number to make remittances to CRA as required under section 153 of the ITA in respect of the employees of the eligible entity.

Part 2 of Bill C-17 would enact the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19), which would suspend or extend (or temporarily enable Ministers to suspend or extent) certain time limits and periods established by or under various Acts of Parliament, including in relation to proceedings before the courts, for a maximum of six months. Of note, this proposed legislation would enable the Minister under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) to make orders to extend or suspend time limits retroactive to March 13, 2020 for: i) calling and providing notice of meetings of members; ii) placing annual financial statements before members at annual meetings, and iii) providing copies of annual financial statements to members and directors.

Part 3 of Bill C-17 would amend the ITA and the Children’s Special Allowances Act to provide for a one-time payment to persons with disabilities for reasons related to COVID-19.

Part 4 of Bill C-17 proposes changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”), a taxable benefit of $2,000 every four weeks for up to four months for eligible workers who have lost their employment income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the proposed legislation, workers who fail to return to work when it is reasonable to do so or decline a reasonable job offer will not be eligible for the CERB. As well, workers who make false or misleading representations, provide false or misleading information or knowingly receive benefits that they were not eligible to receive will be subject to both monetary penalties and imprisonment.

With legislative and administrative changes occurring on a daily basis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, charities and NFPs should continue to monitor the progress of Bill C-17 or any substitute bill or bills tabled by the federal government in the coming weeks.

Read the June 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update