Policy Changes on the Horizon
In their response, the government has made an important distinction between a legal position and a policy position. From a legal perspective, the government is appealing the decision to “seek clarification on important issues of constitutional and charity law”.
From a policy perspective, the government has promised to make legislative amendments in fall 2018 that will remove restrictions on charities from participating in nonpartisan political activities. This legislative change is a response to one of four recommendations from the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities.
The Federal government has committed to collaborate with the “charitable sector”. CCVO expects and encourages that the Federal government release draft legislation to the community before it is approved. It is important that all nonprofits (not solely charities) have an opportunity to review the proposed changes and to give input into potential unintended consequences.
While this commitment to policy change is encouraging, CCVO is particularly interested in a response from the Federal government on the other three recommendations from the Consultation Panel.
CCVO will continue to provide updates on this issue and will share our analysis of the impact as it unfolds.