The Federal Economic Update: Highlights for Nonprofits

On November 21, The Federal Finance Minister released the Fall Economic Statement 2018, laying out recent economic developments and what we can expect for the future. While the statement provided updates on several undergoing initiatives, there were a few new items introduced that are relevant to the work of nonprofits.

Through the Fall Economic Statement 2018 the Government proposes to: 

  • Establish a permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector led by the Canada Revenue Agency. The Advisory Committee will consist of stakeholders from the charitable sector and provide advice to the Government regarding important issues facing charities. The Committee will provide this advice on an ongoing basis, and influence administrative policies and legislative rules affecting the charitable sector. The Government is providing $4.6 million in new funding over the 2018–19 to 2023–24 period for the Committee.

  • Create a Social Finance Fund that gives charitable, nonprofit and social purpose organizations access to new financing, and connects them with non-government investors looking to invest in projects that will drive positive social change. The Government proposes to make available up to $755 million over the next 10 years to establish a Social Finance Fund. Additionally, the Government proposes to invest $50 million over two years in an Investment and Readiness stream, for social purpose organizations to improve their ability to successfully participate in the social finance market. Details on the governance and parameters of the Fund will be developed further in the coming months and released in early 2019.

  • Introduce a new category of qualified donees for nonprofit journalism organizations that produce a wide variety of news and information of interest to Canadians. As qualified donees, eligible nonprofits would be able to issue official donation receipts, which allows donors to benefit from tax incentives for charitable giving (including the Charitable Donations Tax Credit for individuals and deductions for corporations). As qualified donees, these organizations would also be eligible to receive funding from registered charities.

Other updates:

  • Income Tax Act changes: The Government announced that it would remove limits for charities to engage in public policy advocacy activities. The legislation to implement these measures was introduced on October 29, 2018, as part of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, and are yet to be passed.

  • The National Housing Strategy: The Federal Government continues to accept and review applications for the National Housing Strategy and the first successful projects will be announced early next year. The Prime Minister also recently announced that, as part of the National Housing Strategy, the Government will invest $31 million to build affordable and accessible rental apartments in Calgary’s city centre.

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