Charity Lawyers Sign Second Open Letter in Support of Bill S-216 in Reforming the ITA
Mar 2022 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on March 31 2022

By Terrance S. Carter and Theresa L.M. Man

42 charity lawyers have signed a second open letter advocating for legislative and regulatory reform to the Income Tax Act by removing the “own activities” requirement and corresponding “direction and control” regime that applies to registered charities through the adoption of Bill S-216. As reported in the February 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update, the first open letter, dated February 19, 2021, contained the signatures of 37 charity lawyers and highlighted concerns regarding the “key barrier” of the own activities test which “imposes artificial constraints on charities’ ability to work with third parties” and creates a top down, paternalistic approach to charitable work. The first letter mentioned that Bill S-222, Effective and Accountable Charities Act, which had been tabled days earlier, proposed changes that were “precisely the type of reform that is urged here.” Following the federal election in September 2021, Bill S-222 was reintroduced in November 2021 as Bill S-216, Effective and Accountable Charities Act.

This second letter, dated March 28, 2022, proposes that “the legitimate need for accountability and transparency over the use of charitable dollars” could be more effectively and efficiently met with an expenditure responsibility framework, similar to regimes in the US and UK. To that end, the signatories indicated their “full support” for the adoption of Bill S-216, Effective and Accountable Charities Act. This second letter contains the signatures of the original 37 signatories, as well as a number of additional signatures from other charity lawyers.

The full text of the open letter dated March 28, 2022 and the earlier open letter dated February 21, 2021 can be found here.


Read the March 2022 Charity & NFP Law Update