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How you can help all charities in Canada without opening your wallet

You may recall that I recently ranted about the ridiculous laws that limit a charity's ability to help shape public policy on their own areas of expertise in this blog post. It annoys me that the country's foremost experts on health care, the environment and justice issues are forced to limit their public advocacy for new laws and regulations to 10% of their work. And how that is defined remains something that can be changed at the whim of the Canada Revenue Agency, leaving it wide open to be interpreted as a silencing of voices the government doesn't like to hear. 

Well, the good news is that a public consultation process has just opened up and CRA is interested in hearing the views of Canadians about how our charities operate in the public sphere. 

I've long agreed that charities should not be allowed to support political parties nor candidates - and that they should remain firmly non-partisan as they are currently required to be. But limiting their ability to publicly encourage the public to help change the laws to make them stronger in the interests of the public good is the equivalent of limiting free speech. There should be no limits on these kinds of activities by charities, whether we agree with them or not. Canadians vote for public policies and laws through their donations and their activism whether you're the Fraser Institute or the Broadbent Institute. All these voices are valuable and deserving of charitable status and the benefits that individuals get for their contributions to them. 

Let CRA know that the rules that force charities to limit their public engagement on policy issues to 10% is an artificial and unnecessary limit on freedom of expression. 

And for the record, the time spent writing and posting this message is being tracked diligently as part of CPAWS' 10% limit. Don't get me started on the amount of paperwork, tracking and legal interpretations that this CRA limitation creates for charities across Canada who do their due diligence to meet the requirements. But I digress. 

Send in your comments today: and if you're looking for information on the consultation process, check out CRA's main page on this matter:

You can have an positive impact on charitable law in this country - and you can do so today by opening your email instead of your wallet. The value to us all will be significant.