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ICN Submission to the Canada Revenue Agency’s Consultation on the Political Activities of Charities


The Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils (ICN) has submitted to the CRA’s consultation on the political activities of charities.

Upon election, Prime Minister Trudeau issued mandate letters to his Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Finance that outlined a clear priority to “[clarify] the rules governing “political activity,” with an understanding that charities make an important contribution to public debate and public policy.” In response, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has initiated a series of consultations on the political activities of charities, which aim to clarify the rules and guidelines governing the activities of charities through a series of questions.

The Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils (ICN) welcomes the initiative led by Prime Minister Trudeau and the CRA to modernize the rules regarding charities as well as this government’s understanding of the key role played by these actors and how that role has evolved since 1891 when the first legal framework relating to Canadian registered charities was adopted.
This submission, prepared by Krista Dinsmore, Marie-Audrey Girard and Deborah Glaser, is based on data from the ICN-CCIC survey conducted in October and represents areas of apparent consensus. It sets out 4 overarching recommendations that highlight the important policy work done by charities and the unique challenges that the current regulations impose on Small and Medium-Sized Organizations (SMOs) as well as charities that work internationally. The report responds with specific recommendations to the consultation questions outlined by the CRA.

Thank you to those who provided input through our survey and participated in this process. We invite you to review the ICN’s submission and share it widely.

Inter-Council Network