Update on the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector
November 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on November 26, 2020

By Jacqueline M. Demczur


The Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (“ACCS”) held a videoconference on October 29, 2020 to discuss the progress of their working groups, and next steps for developing recommendations. The ACCS was joined by Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Dianne Lebouthillier, who indicated that she is committed to “working towards a regulatory environment that supports the work of charities.” CRA Commissioner Bob Hamilton also joined the ACCS videoconference meeting to speak about the committee’s work to develop recommendations in five working groups:

  • Modernizing the regulatory framework in Government as it relates to the charitable sector;
  • Supporting the work of charities serving vulnerable populations;
  • Exploring charity-related regulatory and legislative issues faced by Indigenous Peoples and organizations;
  • Examining the regulatory approach to charitable purposes and activities, including its impact on charities working with non-qualified donees, and charities engaging in revenue-earning activities; and
  • Improving data collection and analysis related to the charitable sector.

Lead committee members from each of the five working groups presented their progress thus far, including “priorities that had been identified, completed consultations, findings, and draft recommendations.” Members discussed how the working groups’ priorities overlap and the overall mandate of the ACCS, which was announced in 2018 to “engage in meaningful dialogue with the charitable sector, to advance emerging issues relating to charities, and to ensure the regulatory environment supports the important work that charities do.”

Although the ACCS was formed before the outbreak of COVID-19, the ongoing pandemic was a recurring topic of discussion at the meeting. Members discussed the “significant impact” of the pandemic across the charitable sector, specifically how it has “illuminated some of the restrictions and limitations of the current regulatory framework for charities.” Minister Lebouthillier and Commissioner Hamilton both expressed their eager anticipation for the ACCS recommendations, their intentions to support the charity sector and “better serve Canadians.”

A review of preliminary recommendations and confirmation of a follow-up plan is scheduled for a virtual ACCS meeting to be held on December 1, 2020.


Read the November 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update