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Corporate Administration and Legal Matters

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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Senate of Canada to study charitable sector

On January 30th, 2018, the Senate of Canada passed a motion to appoint a Special Committee of the Senate to review issues related to the charitable sector in Canada. The Senate confirmed that the Committee’s general mandate will be to examine “the impact of federal and provincial laws governing charities, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups, and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada.”

 

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Directors’ liability for source deductions

An issue came up when a CRA auditor queried CRA rulings. She had a file where she intended to assess the directors of a not-for-profit corporation for its failure to remit trust funds. The directors had retained legal counsel, who was of the view that directors’ liability does not apply to directors of a not-for-profit corporation.

 

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Government sin of omission may lead to your sin of commission

In enacting changes to the regime which deals with donations to foreign universities Budget 2018 has created an immediate issue for anybody that donates to these schools. What is unknown is whether this was intentional.

 

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Employee forfeits $115,000.00 in bonuses by resigning; active employment clause valid

A bonus policy may state that employees who are eligible for bonuses must also be actively employed to receive their bonus payments. That is, employers may institute an “active employment clause”. Courts will uphold valid active employment clauses, as demonstrated by Bois v. MD Physician Services Inc., 2017 ONCA 857 (CanLII). MD Physician Services Inc. […]

 

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Function and form

A recent decision of the Tax Court illustrates a concept whose importance is only matched by the universality to which it is ignored. The case of Lichtman involved a number of Orthodox Rabbis teaching at an Orthodox Jewish school in Vancouver. The Rabbis claimed what is known as the “Clergy Residence Deduction” and ultimately lost their case.

 

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CRA guidance: Charitable status for internal divisions

internal divisions

Many larger charities are structured in such a way that there is a head organization with subordinate divisions operating below it. For example, a charity that operates across the country may do so by way of local ‘chapters’ overseen by a main organization, or a religious governing body may have several related parishes.

 

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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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Changes to the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, 2010

On November 14th, Bill 154 received Royal Assent. As noted previously, this omnibus bill made changes to the Corporations Act (Ontario), to social investment provisions in the Charities Accounting Act (Ontario), and other statutes. Some of the more significant changes to the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (“ONCA”) are reported here, none of which are in force today but will be when ONCA comes into force. As you may recall, ONCA was passed in 2010, but it will only come into force on a day to be named. The government plans to bring the ONCA in force in early 2020.

 

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Rules around raffles: Don’t get sent up the river for sending rubber duckies down the river

Raffles (or, properly speaking, raffle lotteries) can be a fun, efficient, and relatively non-labour-intensive means of making moderate amounts of money for a not-for-profit or charity. Did you know, however, that the regulatory framework governing raffles (charitable gaming) ultimately flows from the Criminal Code?

 

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Social impact bonds – investing in communities

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are an innovative way for organizations to practice Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Canada joins other jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, in investing in SIBs.

 

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Small change large consequences: Ontario’s regulatory change to the payment of directors

Directors simply cannot benefit from the property of a charity whether registered or not, either directly or indirectly. This article explains why and details recent amendments to Ontario’s rules to allow charities to pay directors for goods and services rendered.

 

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Revenue Generation for Charities

The Canada Revenue Agency’s policy statement, “What is a related business?”, describes the rules charities need to follow when considering a revenue-generating activity.

 

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Much ado about nothing? Why directors should think about committee governance

Most not-for-profit organisations establish one or more committees to perform various roles. These committees can play an important role in the proper management and governance of the NPO.

 

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