Enhancing the role of charities in public policy debates in Canada (updated)

Update: On March 26th, the Ottawa Citizen published an op-ed co-authored by CCPA's Executive Director Bruce Campbell, Tim Gray (Environmental Defence), Éric Hébert-Daly (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) and Julia Sánchez (Canadian Council for International Co-operation) about charities' place in the public conversationClick here to read it

Over the past few years there has been significant debate in Canada about the role of charities in public policy development—with some government and industry officials suggesting that our organizations should not be involved in important public discussions. 

Recently, CCPA's Executive Director Bruce Campbell and the executives of 17 major NGOs with charitable status sent a letter to all Canadian political parties, urging them to make a commitment to modernize and clarify the vague and antiquated charities legislation. We are asking them to legitimize and affirm the public policy mandate of think tanks, environmental, human rights, international development and other NGOs, as essential to a healthy democracy.

We would like to ensure that never again will a government be able to do as the current federal government has done, namely, to “reinterpret” the legislation in order to target and impose a chill on critics of its polices. Click here to read our letter.

Read some of the news coverage of this issue:

Lastly, Éric Hébert-Daly from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (who are not currently being audited by the Canadian Revenue Agency) has written an excellent blog post that summarizes this important issue and that speaks to the importance of charities engaging in public policy development. Read his blog post here.