Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector’s Report Adopted by Senate
November 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on November 26, 2020

By Terrance S. Carter


The first report of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector (“Committee”), entitled Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector (“Report”), was adopted by the Senate of Canada on November 3, 2020. The Committee was formed in 2018 to “examine the impact of federal and provincial laws and policies governing charities, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups; and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada,” and initially released the Report on June 20, 2019.

As outlined in Charity & NFP Law Bulletin No. 451, the Report sets out the Committee’s findings from a year-long study with respect to the charitable and non-profit sector, and makes 42 recommendations to the Government of Canada, focusing on various key themes to strengthen the sector, as well as proposes measures to modernize the legal and regulatory framework of the charities and non-profits.

While the Committee’s recommendations in the Report are not binding on the federal government, the Senate’s adoption of the Report, together with a request for a complete and detailed response from the Minister of National Revenue, provide the Report with further life and will ensure that the recommendations are given consideration by the government. Those in the charitable and non-profit sector will therefore want to carefully monitor the Report for the government’s response to the Report and recommendations, the need for which the Senate has indicated “has become even greater with the pandemic, [with] the rise in unemployment across the country and the fact that many people with lower incomes have been affected,” and given the fact that “charities have a very important role to play in helping them get beyond that.” It will be interesting to see what the government’s response will be.


Read the November 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update