Report of the Consultation Panel

With the release of the Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities, we can see the direction Canada is going. Below is a brief summary on the good, bad, and neutral revisions the Consultation Panel is advising.

The Good
  • The Panel recommends that the CRA should revise its policy to remove the requirement that a charity’s materials must reflect all sides of the argument
The Bad
  • The Panel recommends that amendments retain the prohibition on charities’ engaging in “partisan political activities”, with the inclusion of “elected officials”
    • This restricts our free speech even more than before by prohibiting charities to support a political party, candidate for public office, or a current elected official! Only charities have this restriction placed on their free speech. We are treated like we are second class citizens.
The Neutral
  • In regard to the current political activities reporting requirement, the Panel recommends that the quantitative approach be replaced with a qualitative approach. In pther words, charities would not be required to track and report a percentage of resources expended on their political activities; however, they would be required to describe these and articulate how they further their charitable purposes.
    • This is not necessary because the main issue is the restriction of free speech churches face (the prohibition on partisan speech). Charities are first and foremost a charity, so the 10% allocation of money to political activities is an understandable restriction and does not need to be revised.

Read full report here.