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Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector (CSSB)

Leaders from across the non-profit sector have been addressing the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector (CSSB) in recent days around the complexities faces by the public benefit sector in Canada. The CSSB was established in January 2018 with the goal of studying the impact of laws, regulations and government policies on charities and non-profits.  The Committee sits regularly on Monday’s on weeks when the Senate is sitting and is scheduled to report by December 31, 2018.

Before the summer break the CSSB heard from many witnesses including individuals from various government ministries, Service Canada, Statistics Canada and Imagine Canada’s Chief Economist Mr. Brian Emmett (the transcript of Mr. Emmett’s testimony can be found at https://sencanada.ca/en/Content/Sen/Committee/421/CSSB/03ev-54036-e).  Mr Emmett’s testimony focused on the importance of the charitable sector in Canada, and the forecasted social deficit that is coming if demand for charitable sector services continues to grow and economic growth does not keep up.

The past few weeks have seen testimony from sector leaders, calling for changes to the policy and regulatory framework and how governments administer grants.  Several witnesses have spoken on the tax treatment of different types of planned gifts (securities and real estate), and in particular the challenges presented by Donor Advised Funds.  There has been testimony on the need for funding to support social innovation, the need for special procurement policies, and the need to support collaborative initiatives and sector wide coordination.

So how do you navigate everything – transcripts and videos are available online at https://sencanada.ca/en/Committees/cssb/MeetingSchedule/42-1?mode=PAST.  It does take awhile for transcripts to be posted, but videos are up quickly. Additionally many of those providing testimony provided briefs with their recommendations that are posted at https://sencanada.ca/en/committees/cssb/Briefs/42-1

Of particular interest to those pursuing social enterprise or social innovation initiatives may be the hour of testimony from Stephen Huddart at the McConnell Foundation, Susan Manwaring at Millar Thompson LLP and Tonya Surman at the Centre for Social Innovation.  This testimony runs from 10:03:50 until 11:01:35 at the following link http://senparlvu.parl.gc.ca/XRender/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2?fk=497249&globalStreamId=3