Yes, a Registered Charity may be involved in political activites. But...

A charity cannot:

a. have political purposes;

b. engage in partisan political activities;

c. its political activities cannot exceed legal restrictions.

Provided a registered charity devotes substantially all its resources to charitable activities, it may engage in:

a. non-partisan political activities that are;

b.  ancillary and incidental to its charitable activities.

An activity is considered to be political if it:

• communicates a call to political action;

• communicates to the public that the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country should be retained, opposed, or changed;

• indicates in its materials that the intention of the activity is to incite, or organize to put pressure in, an elected representative or public official to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country; or

• makes a gift to another qualified donee to support political activities.

Examples of prohibited conduct:

·         making public statements (oral or written) that endorse or denounce a candidate, or political party;

·         making resources available for the use of a candidate or political party;

·         publishing or otherwise disclosing the voting record of selected candidates or political parties on an issue;

·         distributing literature or voter guides that promote or oppose a candidate or political party explicitly or by implication; or explicitly connecting the charity's position on an issue to the position taken on the same issue by a candidate or political party; or

·         critiquing the performance of a candidate or political party (what they have or have not done).

For more on this subject, please see the CRA's policy on Political Activities, here:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/charities-giving/charities/policies-guidance/policy-statement-022-political-activities.html

< Back to Charitly Law Q&A