Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Article on Constitutionalizing the Registered Charity Regime: Reflections on Canada Without Poverty v Canada (AG)
Kathryn Chan recently published an Article entitled, Constitutionalizing the Registered Charity Regime: Reflections on Canada Without Poverty v Canada (AG), Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2019). Provided below is the abstract of the Article.
In Canada Without Poverty v Canada (AG), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down provisions of the federal Income Tax Act that limited the political activities of charitable organizations, on the ground that the provisions violated the freedom of expression of the registered charity before the court. This paper addresses the decision's complex legacy, reflecting on the promise and the perils of charity law’s increasing encounters with public law. I address some of the difficult questions raised by the decision: (1) What types of associations are rights-holders under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? (2) What are the constitutional limitations on the government’s ability to set the outer bounds of the registered charity regime? (3) What is the rationale for limiting the political advocacy of charities? While Canada Without Poverty has generated significant improvements to the registered charity regime, I argue, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice missed an important opportunity to draw constitutional law and charity law into closer conversation.