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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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political activities

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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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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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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On modernizing the definition of “charity”

Canadian charity law, being largely based on that of the United Kingdom, traces its roots directly back to the preamble of the English Charitable Uses Act of 1601, known as the “Statute of Elizabeth I”. Although the Statute itself was repealed in the 19th century, the preamble was legally preserved and still forms the basis of the line of case law running right to the modern day that defines what is legally charitable.

 

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Evolving employment contract law, political activities and charities

Learn why you need to review your contracts and advocacy practices with Not-for-Profit PolicyPro

As an Executive Director, there are many different areas that need your attention on a daily basis: strategic direction, fundraising, stakeholder engagement, employee and volunteer management, media relations and grant applications, just to name a few.

With all of these factors to manage, keeping up with changes in legal compliance and CRA requirements may not be perceived as a top priority. However, failing to pay attention to compliance can leave your organization vulnerable to the risk of financial penalties and have a negative impact on your reputation.

I want to highlight a couple of recent issues you may want to consider.

 

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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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Reading the tea leaves: Understanding the conditions which charities will face in the upcoming year

Despite the fact that predicting the future is usually a job for soothsayers and readers of tea leaves, we nevertheless take the opportunity of the new year to try and understand the conditions which charities will face in the upcoming year.

 

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