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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Advocacy and Public Policy

Alberta moves to strengthen its lobbying law: Proposed legislation would be among the strictest in country

If amendments to the Lobbyists Act, introduced on April 11 by the Government of Alberta, are passed by the Legislature, the Lobbyists Amendment Act, 2018, would make Alberta one of the strictest regulators of lobbying in the country.

 

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Back to school: A new world for foreign universities

The system of rules imposed on registered charities are complex and are imposed both on the collection of revenue and its spending. In theory, all of these rules now apply to foreign universities.

 

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Charities can now help businesses in the aftermath of disasters

aftermath of disasters

In August 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) updated its Guidance CG-014 on community economic development (“CED”) activities and charitable registration. There were a number of updates to the Guidance, but the most significant was the inclusion of the statement that charities are now able to support, on a more long-term basis, the efforts of businesses that are helping to rebuild communities affected by disaster.

 

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Not-for-profits need a plan to determine whether to take a stand or policy position

Not-for-profits should continuously assess current and emerging issues to determine whether to take a stand or policy position. Emerging issues may be strategically important to the organization and are often time-sensitive; the opportunity to take a stand on an issue may be fleeting because attention may soon be re-directed to something new. Not-for-profits will need […]

 

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“All or substantially all” – A look at CRA’s political activities test

Given that the Minister of National Revenue is considering the results of the recent Consultation Panel on the Political Activity of Charities which provided suggestions on the political activities test it may be worthwhile to look at a specific aspect of the test which relates it back to the related business rules (and social enterprise). […]

 

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Church and religious organizations: Maybe Adam and Eve could have appealed their sentence

We are often contacted by charities seeking to insulate themselves from potential legal action by disgruntled former members of their organization. This typically results from situations where the individual has been kicked out of the organization for specific misconduct. Although, for the most part, these disputes result in acrimonious name calling from time to time, these matters are litigated. A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal is one circumstance where an irate former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses took the matter to Court.

 

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Political activities: Consultations may have side effects

As our readers know, the new government has taken steps to revamp the restrictions on political activities by charities, by dismantling the political activities audit program and by promising a new approach following consultation with the public and members of the charities industry. It is important, however, to note that the changes may not only effect the charity realm as Nova Scotia Community Interest Corporations have similar restrictions.

 

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Cannabis legislation and regulation

The Liberal Party of Canada made the legalization of marijuana a priority during the 2015 federal election campaign and now the Liberal government has taken a step toward enacting that promise. On June 30, 2016, the Government of Canada launched a Task Force to advise it on the design of a legislative and regulatory framework for legal access to cannabis. The prescribed framework was the Government’s commitment in the 2015 Speech From the Throne to legalize, regulate, and restrict access to cannabis.

 

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Political activities law: Charity brings new Charter challenge

When the Liberals came into power last year, the new Minister of National Revenue announced that she was putting a halt to the “political activities” audit of charities that the previous administration had been conducting for the past few years. In practice, this meant that the charities in line to be audited under the program were given a reprieve, but those that were already in the course of being audited were not. One of the latter charities, Canada Without Poverty, is now bringing a constitutional challenge against the political activities law.

 

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Fraud: Why do people commit it?

An interesting interview with Eugene Soltes, the Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, appeared in the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge publication. According to the school, “his research focuses on how individuals and organizations confront and overcome challenging situations”. “Why White-Collar Criminals Commit Their Crimes” is an ‘author interview’, Soltes having written Why they do it: Inside the mind of the white-collar criminal. I have not read the book, but suggest that those with continuing responsibility for detecting and/or investigating fraud might want to do so.

 

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Charities political activities: CRA consulting on rules

The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing the rules governing the charitable sector to ensure that they are operating in a regulatory environment that respects and encourages their contribution to society. One of the areas they are looking into is clarifying the rules governing charities political activities.

 

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Lobbying: Considerations for not-for-profits

There have been many recent changes in lobbying law. Some jurisdictions, like New Brunswick, have passed lobbying legislation, while other jurisdictions, like Ontario, have made significant changes to existing legislation. Here are four things not–for–profits must consider.

 

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Israeli arrests provide lessons for Canadian charities

For most Canadians and Canadian Charities the Anti-Terrorism rules are a red herring to be reviewed only in the rarest of situations, if at all. However, recent events in Israel provide some motivation for Canadian Charities doing work abroad to take a closer look at these rules. According to international news reports the Israeli authorities have arrested the Gazan head of an international Christian charity on the allegation that he was funneling international aid donations to Hamas.

 

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The art of restraint

A restrictive covenant is a class of legal “promise” imposing a restriction on one party for the benefit of another. When drafted correctly, restrictive covenants are an invaluable tool to protect your business.

 

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Evolving employment contract law, political activities and charities

Non-profit organizations may not consider it priority number one, but reviewing your legal compliance will protect your organization’s finances, your reputation, your directors and donors—even your organization—from shifting legal sands.

 

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