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Fondation Rivières obtains its charitable status

Fjord Saguenay - Margot Noyelle Unsplash_statut de bienfaisance_organisme de bienfaisance

Nearly a year after submitting its application to Revenue Canada, Fondation Rivières officially obtained its charitable status! This is excellent news, welcomed with enthusiasm by the entire Foundation team. 

What is charitable status?

Essentially, registered charitable status (OBE) in Canada does two things. First, it allows you to issue tax-deductible donation receipts to donors, which represents an additional incentive to perform an act of generosity. But above all, this status gives access to new sources of funding, including those of philanthropic organizations supporting activities in favor of environmental protection, scientific research, etc.

With more resources, the team will be able to serve even better the mission of the Foundation!

Why did Fondation Rivières obtain its charitable status 20 years after its creation?

Has it changed its directions to achieve this? 

Between 1985 and 2018, charities in Canada could only participate in public debate or any other political activity at the rate of 10 % of their overall activities. This rule favored an apolitical conception of charity, limiting the mission of charities to the allocation of direct services to the population. The Harper government chose to apply this rule strictly, which led to the termination of charitable status for several rights defense organizations. On July 16, 2018, a judgment of the Ontario Superior Court invalidated this part of the Act, creating a legal vacuum. 

The following year, during its election campaign, Canada's Liberal government committed to going even further and " clarify the rules governing the participation of charities in political activities ". What followed was a redefinition of charitable action: political activities were no longer seen as threatening to the party in power. They are now seen for what they are: a way of improving society through speaking out and taking positions on collective issues, including the environment. 

This amendment to the Income Tax Act (LIR) therefore opened the way for several organizations to take political actions allowing them to obtain their charitable status, without them having to change the nature of their actions. So no: the Fondation Rivières had no need to modify its mission, its action and its orientations in order to meet the requirements of Revenue Canada with a view to obtaining its charitable status. 


Photo : Saguenay Fjord – Margot Noyelle – Unsplash


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