Cooperation Canada commends the Senate of Canada for approving the private member’s Bill S-216: Effective and Accountable Charities Act, proposed by the Honourable Ratna Omidvar. We applaud the leadership of Senator Omidvar, as well as non-partisan support from Canada’s Senators, who have shown dedication to equitable and effective social justice. We look forward to advocating alongside our members and allies as the bill heads to the House of Commons.  

This is a crucial step towards amending the Income Tax Act (ITA) regulations that drive the outdated regulatory framework of Canada Revenue Agency outlined in guidance notes CG-002 and CG-004. Dubbed ‘direction and control’, this framework disincentivizes Canada’s charities from supporting partners without a formal charitable status, which are often equity-seeking groups.  

These updates, in line with the reports of the Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector and the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector, will enable charities to better recognize the expertise and the agency of equity-seeking groups who drive social justice in Canada and across the world. In light of the commitments made towards racial and gender justice, as well as the reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples outlined in the last Speech from the Throne, this legislative update emerges as critical for the achievement of our collective agendas.  

We look forward to working with charitable and non-charitable actors as well as political allies across all party lines as we make headway on this long-standing sector-wide priority.