I would like to receive email updates from Oxfam Canada. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.
Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Ontario Superior Court’s decision on charities and political activities a win for the charitable sector and democracy, says Oxfam Canada

Ontario Superior Court’s decision on charities and political activities a win for the charitable sector and democracy, says Oxfam Canada

July 20, 2018

Ontario Superior Court’s decision on charities and political activities a win for the charitable sector and democracy, says Oxfam Canada

by lenasarchuk | July 20, 2018

This is an important step for Canadian charities, enabling them to regain their constitutional right to freedom of expression and engage actively in public policy advocacy.

Oxfam Canada is applauding the Ontario Superior Court’s decision to wipe out the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) political-activity audits of Canadian charities. This is an important step for Canadian charities, enabling them to regain their constitutional right to freedom of expression and engage actively in public policy advocacy.

In the ruling of this case, which was launched in 2016 by Canada Without Poverty, Justice Edward Morgan said the Government of Canada was unable to justify the 10 per cent limit put on charitable organizations’ activities to recommend changes to laws and policies.

“We are so proud of the collective efforts of Leilani Fahra and her organization Canada Without Poverty, Bruce Porter of the Social Rights Advocacy Centre and David Porter and Geoff Hall of McCarthy lawyers.  This is a major win for the charitable sector and for our democratic rights,” said Oxfam Canada Executive Director Julie Delahanty.

The CRA defines ‘political activities’ as public expressions by a registered charity that a government should adopt or change particular laws, regulations or policies.  It includes efforts to engage the public, through petitions, campaigns or emails, to urge a government to take specific policy position.

Oxfam Canada believes that tackling poverty requires changes to laws and policies. The majority of people living in poverty are women and they need to be free from violence, protected at work, participate in political processes and have greater access to financial resources.  To move these issues forward, fundamental changes to discriminatory laws and policies that prevent people from enjoying their rights are needed.

“With this ruling, charities in Canada can now freely engage in policy debates, non-partisan politics and advocacy – as well as stand up for the public interest without limitation and risk of retribution,” Delahanty said. “We are thrilled that organizations working to end poverty and fight for social justice can engage without hesitation in this important work”.

- 30 -

Contact information

Paula Baker
Media Relations
Oxfam Canada
Phone: (613) 240-3047
*protected email*

Share This