Charities to be given a voice again?

Here’s the latest on “public policy dialogue and development activities” (PPDDAs) for charities

In 2012, Canadian charities felt the wrath of the Harper government as it started to scrutinize their political activities. As many remember, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was ordered to audit the political activities of several charities. These audits sent a chill through the sector, making it more challenging for charities to advocate for change in government policy in the fear that there would be retribution.

A few days ago, the CRA released a new draft policy that would allow charities to have a public dialogue about changes in laws, policy or decisions of the government that would align with their stated charitable purpose.

“This is great news for Canadian charities, who may get their voice back just in time for the next federal election.”

–Allyson Chisnall, MediaStyle CFO/COO on PPDDAs.

What this could mean for charities

Charities would still not allowed to provide direct or indirect support a candidate or a political party, or use their resources to oppose a political party or candidate. However, they would be able to advocate for causes that support their charitable purpose and would provide a benefit to the public. Canadian charities would be able to provide information, do research, express opinions, advocate for their charity, mobilize others, and provide forums for discussion. They would be able to do all of this without the loss of their charitable status.

Good people doing great work. Seems rather Canadian, doesn’t it?

Our charities used to act as advocates to ensure that we knew what governments and others with power were doing. Now, hopefully, they can regain this important role in the public arena.

The CRA is accepting public feedback on the draft “public policy dialogue and development activities” until April 23, 2019.


Ian Capstick is MediaStyle’s Founder.


Also on the Blog