Cooperation Canada Statement – Response to BIA 1 amendments (Bill C-19)

Cooperation Canada Statement – Response to BIA 1 amendments (Bill C-19)

With the Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-19) receiving royal assent on June 23, 2022, Cooperation Canada and its members are pleased to see that the clauses regarding the charitable sector address some of the concerns raised by Canadian charities and equity-seeking organizations working with non-charities at home and abroad.  

For years, the charitable sector had been calling to remove from the Income Tax Act the “own activities” requirement, a legal fiction that entrenched colonial and paternalistic relationships between charities and non-registered organizations they seek to partner with. Bill S-216, the Effective and Accountable Charities Act, passed the Senate under the leadership of Senator Ratna Omidvar as a response to concerns expressed by practitioners in the charitable and international development sectors, before being tabled in the House of Commons. Cooperation Canada and others in the Canadian charitable sector welcomed the Canadian government’s support for Bill S-216, a commitment of the April 2022 federal budget, but were concerned with the language included in Bill C-19 later tabled.  Specifically, we were concerned that the proposed changes did not reflect the “spirit of Bill S-216,”, and could further prevent Canadian charities from achieving more equitable partnerships with non-charities in Canada and abroad. In the weeks that followed, a broad cross-section of the Canadian charitable sector engaged with government officials and members of Parliament to request amendments to Bill C-19. The current language in the Budget Implementation Act Bill is a testament to compelling and coordinated advocacy by the Canadian charitable sector, and the government’s willingness to listen and attend to the sector’s concerns. 

This positive change in legislation is also an encouraging sign for the steps ahead. Cooperation Canada and its members are eager to collaborate with the government and the Canada Revenue Agency in developing the revised guidance documents that would allow Canadian charities to best achieve their charitable purpose at home and abroad. The advocacy work is not over, but good progress has been made in reforming Canada’s outdated charity legislation.  This should support Canadian charities, including Canadian international development and humanitarian organizations, advance more equitable partnerships in their work around the world. 

Statement on Canada’s response to the global hunger crisis

Statement on Canada’s response to the global hunger crisis

Ottawa, Ontario – As global food insecurity increases throughout the world, Cooperation Canada is pleased to see the Government of Canada respond with $250 million in new funding to address the global hunger crisis.  This much needed commitment comes at a time when the crisis in Ukraine aggravates pressures on vulnerable households, climate-stressed farmlands, and fragile supply chains in many parts of the world.  

With this latest announcement, and previous funding announcements for affected regions including the Sahel, South Sudan, Syria, and for the agri-food sector in Africa, Cooperation Canada welcomes new, additional funds to address the global food crisis. “The scale of the global hunger crisis is significant and should not be underestimated. Millions of lives are at stake,” said Kate Higgins, Cooperation Canada’s CEO. “Additional funding is critical to ensure that Canada can respond quickly without diverting funds from other existing priorities.”    

Cooperation Canada commends the inclusion of people in Canada in this response with the announcement of a match donation campaign through the Humanitarian Coalition. This effort could help raise up to an additional $5 million to address the hunger crisis.  

Cooperation Canada also welcomes the decision to channel funds through Canadian civil society organizations. Canadian civil society organizations are well-placed to respond to this crisis, working across diverse sectors and geographies, and with and through local partners best placed to respond. As the complexity of the food crisis pushes countries and organizations to apply multi-sectoral solutions to systemic problems, Canadian civil society organizations and their partners are ready to rise to the challenge. “We have been working alongside Cooperation Canada members and others to advocate for increased Canadian leadership to address this hunger crisis,” noted Higgins. “We are pleased to see this response. Canadian organizations and their partners are on the front-line, responding to global humanitarian crises with flexibility, innovation and heart. This announcement recognizes their expertise, role and contribution.”  

Meeting our members in Ottawa

Meeting our members in Ottawa

Last week, Cooperation Canada held a meeting with its members for the first time since the pandemic began.

The event provided an opportunity for informal exchanges, reinforcing the close ties that unite people in our sector.

Here are some photos of our exchanges and interactions! Thank you all for your participation.

Budget Implementation Act (BIA) Amendment

Budget Implementation Act (BIA) Amendment

Over 60 Canadian global development & humanitarian organizations are standing together to urge the Government of Canada to amend the Budget Implementation Act (BIA) so we can engage in more equitable partnerships with communities at the forefront of change in Canada and in the world.

Informed by several legal opinions, our view is that the BIA reinforces the colonial and paternalistic approach to the relationship between charities and the partner organizations supporting their charitable purposes. It makes the current regime more challenging for organizations to fulfill their charitable purpose by embedding a rigid and prescriptive approach to funding non-qualified donees inside and outside Canada in legislation. It makes the system more confusing, risky and challenging for registered charities and non-qualified donees to work together, and as such, impedes philanthropic and charitable resources flowing to communities that need them the most.

Read our open letter and connect with our Policy Lead, Carelle Mang-Benza, for more details.

Podcast on 2030 Agenda and the SDGs

Podcast on 2030 Agenda and the SDGs

Cooperation Canada’s Research and Policy Officer, Ana de Oliveira, joined colleagues from organizations around the globe to discuss how country-led evaluations play a role in assessing the progress of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Organized by EvalSDGs, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the German Institute for Development Evaluation, this is the third episode of the podcast mini-series ‘Sustainable Development Goals – Evaluating progress for a brighter future.’