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Regulatory Reform

A report containing recommendations on how to improve the way the charitable sector is regulated in Canada was publicly released May 5, 2003. Strengthening Canada’s Charitable Sector: Regulatory Reform was developed jointly by the Joint Regulatory Table, a working group of senior federal government and voluntary sector representatives. The report offers practical, workable solutions aimed at enhancing and strengthening the regulatory framework governing charities.

Some of the report's recommendations call for legislative change, and others would require administrative change in internal procedures and systems. The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA), which has responsibility for regulating charities at the federal level, and Department of Finance officials are currently reviewing the recommendations.

In the meantime, the CCRA has moved forward with service improvements in a number of areas. These improvements include:

  • simplification of the annual reporting form for charities (based on feedback from charities, the form was redesigned to make it shorter and easier to fill out);
  • streamlining of the registration process for obtaining charitable status;
  • posting of draft policies and charities’ annual information returns on the CCRA Web site; and,
  • development of new policy guidelines, such as the recently released guidelines on business activities charities may engage in.

Further information on these improvements can be found under “What’s New” on the Charities portion of the CCRA web site:



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Last Updated: 2007-01-04