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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Issue 5 - Evidence - Meeting of April 16, 2008


OTTAWA, Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology met this day at 4:15 p.m. to examine Bill S-204, An Act respecting a National Philanthropy Day.

Senator Art Eggleton (Chair) in the chair.

[Translation]

The Chair: Welcome to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Today, we will be examining Bill S-204, An Act respecting a National Philanthropy Day.

[English]

Let me provide some comments with respects to the proceedings. We will be hearing from two panels today. Additionally, we will be hearing from the sponsor of the bill in the Senate, Senator Grafstein. Senator Grafstein, however, is at another committee right now with another bill of which he is the sponsor. Due to the timing difficulty, he will come a little later in the proceedings to give his us comments. I will try to work him in as need be, depending upon when he arrives.

In the meantime, we have two panels. When we have heard from all the witnesses, it is my proposal we proceed with clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. It is a small bill with only two clauses to consider.

We will now hear from three witnesses. Each person has been asked to make a five-minute opening statement following which we will engage in dialogue and a question period.

Let me introduce Andrea McManus, President of The Development Group. She is also Chair of the Board of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, which represents upwards of 400 member organizations in Calgary, and is Vice-Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, an international professional association.

Donald K. Johnson comes from my city and I know him well. He is a Senior Advisor, BMO Capital Markets. He is well known for his philanthropic activities including the United Way of Greater Toronto. He is Chair of the $15 million Vision Campaign for the Toronto Western Hospital and was the AFP Toronto Chapter 2007 Philanthropy Day Award recipient.

Grete Hale is President of the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation and a founder of the Ottawa Community Foundation. She holds a number of corporate and community board positions including CanHave Children's Centre, the University of Ottawa, the Salvation Army, Leadership Ottawa and Friends of the National Library of Canada.

Andrea McManus, Vice Chair, Association of Fundraising Professionals: Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you in support of the legislation that would create the world's first government-recognized National Philanthropy Day. I am a professional fundraising consultant and I work with many organizations of all sizes across the country. I work with them to build better philanthropic giving programs to support their work.

I am here today as a volunteer for both organizations to which the chair referred. I am also here as a contributor to our society. I consider myself a philanthropist and although I do not have the capacity to give very large gifts, I do give to causes that I feel are very important or that I want to make a change with, which is why most people in this country give to causes.

I take philanthropy very seriously and I have worked very hard with my own three daughters who are now almost adults to instil in them a sense of giving back to their community.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, AFP, and the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, CCVO, the two organizations I am representing, cover about 2,500 charitable organizations in Canada, organizations of all sizes and doing all kinds off very vital community work. They might range from a very small hospice in Nova Scotia to a youth-at-risk organization in Victoria, to the University of Toronto or any other university and health care institution in the country.

While I do not have an exact number, you can imagine just how many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Canadians benefit each and every year from the services that these organizations provide to the community. The organizations that we alone represent are only a small portion of the 85,000 or so charities in the country. The one thing they all have in common is that as a registered charity in the non-profit sector in Canada, each one of them is dependent on philanthropic revenues to some degree to build and grow their budgets to fulfill their organizations' mission.

However, recent trend research conducted shows that, while Canadians are giving on average higher levels of gifts, fewer Canadians are giving. That is very worrisome. With an increasing donor base and a fairly robust level of charities with an increased demand on the work of charitable organizations, the work these organizations do is at risk.

We cannot continue to rely on a smaller number of individuals. We need to teach, educate, encourage and inspire people to give back to their communities. We cannot allow charity in Canada to stagnate. We can reverse these trends and National Philanthropy Day is one of the ways we have been trying to do that for the last 10 years or so in Canada. Although it is an AFP sponsored event, we collaborate with many organizations and charities to stage these events.

We have 16 chapters in Canada, with chapters in every province. Every chapter celebrates National Philanthropy Day. In Calgary, for example, we do a luncheon that every year attracts over 1,200 people. We also give awards, as do many of our other chapters. In fact, our three philanthropists and community volunteers with us today are all recipients of National Philanthropy Day awards in their communities that recognize the work they have done to make things better for people.

National Philanthropy Day is on November 15. We try to celebrate it as close to that day as possible. If it should fall on Sunday, we will celebrate it on Friday or Monday. It increases public awareness of philanthropy. It also celebrates the fact that philanthropy is something that can be done by anyone.

There are people making $100 or $25 contributions to a woman who received the award in Calgary a number of years ago who, for 18 years three days a week, went around her community collecting bottles, cashed those in and donated that money to one of the women's emergency shelters in the city. She was a philanthropist and was recognized for that. Her story has inspired many other people.

Through National Philanthropy Day we are able to demonstrate this work, this giving and giving back to the community. People give to non-profit organizations because they want to give back, because they have been touched in a certain way by a cause. They want to make the community a better place, to improve the world or to get children off the street. They give of their time and money for any number of reasons. It is rooted in altruism and it comes from the heart. Everyone is a philanthropist.

I believe this is our federal government's chance to continue the relationship that was forged in 2002 between the government and the non-profit sector. It is time for the government to recognize, in a non-partisan way, something that everyday Canadians already recognize, believe in, and follow. They believe if we work together, we can make our communities stronger and make Canada a better place to live for everyone in this country. It is for these reasons that I would strongly encourage your passage of this bill. Hopefully, we can make this the first country in the world to formally recognize National Philanthropy Day.

The Chair: Thank you. I introduced Don Johnson, but I think it must be noted that he spent many years trying to convince federal governments of more than one stripe of the need to eliminate capital gains tax on gifts of listed securities. Mr. Johnson has succeeded quite well in doing that.

Donald K. Johnson, Senior Advisor, BMO Capital Markets: Thank you for this opportunity to appear before your committee.

I have come to Ottawa today to give my enthusiastic support for the bill to create a National Philanthropy Day. It is a wonderful idea and its time has definitely come.

Being here today, I am reminded of some thoughts expressed by Senator Grafstein when I appeared as a witness before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce a few years ago. Senator Grafstein made a compelling case for the need of Canada to raise the profile and awareness of philanthropic giving.

As one who has been deeply involved in charitable fundraising and other endeavours in the not-for-profit sector, I know firsthand how important it is for Canadians to realize the vital role played by our not-for-profit sector and private sector philanthropy. This sector is so much a part of the fabric of our country that our very future depends on its success. That success, I have found, depends on a positive partnership between government and private sector philanthropy.

The future of our country is strengthened by our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest professors, students, doctors, scientists, researchers and artists. Although governments provide a significant portion of funding for education, health care, research and for the arts and culture, private sector funding enables these organizations to grow from being good to being great.

I must point out that private sector giving per capita has always been significantly greater in the United States than in Canada. That is why I embarked on my mission to convince the federal government to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of listed securities. I knew it was a vital measure to reduce or eliminate the gap between the U.S. and Canada.

Although we have made significant progress in narrowing the gap, we still have a long way to go. I believe creation of a National Philanthropy Day will lead to significant strengthening of our not-for-profit organizations.

In summary, a National Philanthropy Day will, first, raise public awareness of the importance of charitable giving. Second, it will give credibility to philanthropy and the government's support of it. Third, it will demonstrate how the private sector and the government can work together as partners. Finally, it will recognize the important role played by the 2.1 million Canadians who work for the not-for-profit organizations and the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who donate their time and resources to them.

Creating a National Philanthropy Day is not a symbolic gesture; it is an action that Canada very much needs. I urge you to support this important bill. I welcome any questions.

Grete Hale, President, Beechwood Cemetery Foundation: I am a baker's daughter and I have always known what a little bit of yeast can do to make a good loaf of bread. That is the way I see what even a little bit of philanthropy can do to enrich not just one's own live life, but the lives of countless others not just monetarily, but with one's time and effort. For me, it all starts in the home.

I was blessed with parents who understood that by example, one could instil in their children the richness of a life of philanthropy. They may not have called it that, but for them it was simply the outreach of caring for those in need. My mother had one of the most beautiful gardens in Ottawa. It was a full acre and any charitable organization could have the loan of the garden and our house for a charity fundraiser for the asking. The house is the oldest in Ottawa built in 1828.

My two sisters and I would come home from school. We would have to get in our old clothes and mother told us we must weed the garden for the guests coming tomorrow. We would all groan and mother would say we had to do it. It could be the Jewish Women's League, the Salvation Army, the Catholic Women's League, the Dieticians of Ottawa or the IODE. One summer my late husband counted how many people came through during the six-week period from the middle of May until the end of June which is garden party time in Ottawa. Over 10,000 people came through that summer. A lot of money was raised that summer just through sharing the garden.

One day my father, Cecil Morrison, received a telephone call from our famous woman mayor, Charlotte Whitton. I remember her because I was home and I could hear her speaking over the phone, she spoke so loudly. She said, ``Cecil, I have a report on my desk that there are 4,000 homes in this city that are condemned by the city health officials as unfit for human habitation. I cannot enforce the bylaw, I cannot put people out in this climate, do something.'' My father said: ``But I am a baker, not a builder.'' Then she said, ``No, after the Second World War you used the buying power of your company to build homes for your returning veteran employees. You know something about it. Do something.'' She put the phone down.

My father was intrigued by that challenge. This was back in the 1950s. As a result, he formed a company called Ottawa Lowren Housing Company, which is now part of City Living in Ottawa. He built the very first low-rent housing in Ottawa and the very first senior citizen housing in Ottawa. For 20 years, he did that. He never took one penny, but it was his contribution to our community. He just did it because there was a need. To me, that is philanthropy at its best.

I was privileged to be one of a handful of Ottawa citizens who, 20 years ago, set up the Community Foundation of Ottawa. We had a dream of what this capital fund could do for our city for decades to come. We started with $500,000. Today, as we sit here, we have $100 million in the bank. Last year, we gave back to Ottawa's charitable organizations over $5 million in grants, many of $10,000 and under. It works. I am often moved to tears when I see the report from the grants committee, because I am still on the board after 20 years, when I see what a difference those grants make in the lives of men, women and children in our community.

I think of the community foundations of Canada. There are 155 of them in this country, all over, small and large. They have $2.7 billion in assets. Just last year, they gave $137 million back in grants to charitable organizations in their communities. I say philanthropy works.

I have endless stories I could tell you of how my own life has been enriched by my parents' philosophy of philanthropy, and I will give you two brief examples.

Eleven years ago, three of us heard that a Ugandan boy named Edward was going to Algonquin College, and one day he had word that his sister and brother-in-law had both died of AIDS in Uganda. In Uganda, at that time, there were no school boards, so three times a year the students' parents had to pay school fees. When you do not have parents, you do not go to school. We told Edward that we would pay the school fees for the five children, his nephews and nieces aged between 7 years and 12 years. That was 11 years ago. Now, we are a board of seven. We meet once a month in the basement of a church on Merivale Road. Now we have 50 AIDS orphans. We get their report cards every month, and we encourage them. It is tough going, but we are doing it. Some of them have graduated from high school. One of the boys, Peter, asked if we could help him go to a trade school. On a cold February day, out on Merivale Road, we wondered how we could help a boy like Peter go to a trade school. There are not many trade schools in Uganda. We have been fundraising like mad, and here is the picture of the school that was officially opened three miles from the airport in Uganda. I went to speak in a church in Winchester, and they gave me $1,000 that went for the floor for the school. You do these things when there is a need, and it works. You have to open people's hearts, and when you do, they give.

The second story I want to tell you is I am President of Beechwood Cemetery of Ottawa, one of Canada's most beautiful cemeteries. One hundred and thirty-five years ago, some farsighted men put aside 160 acres for the burial needs of Canadians for centuries to come. Three years ago, our five-person volunteer board took the decision to build a building unique in the whole world where funeral needs of every world faith could be met. A week ago, the Governor General officially opened Canada's National Memorial Centre, a $6 million building. We call it the Sacred Space.

I say dreams do come true, but they take vision, commitment, effort, money, and a lot of time. To me, that is what philanthropy is all about, and how meaningful and wonderful and workable it is. Hallelujah for philanthropy. It can become a buzzword for giving on a personal and national scale. A government-recognized National Philanthropy Day would help Canadians realize that every one of us can become a philanthropist. Amen.

The Chair: Thank you for both the good work that you do and the passion with which you talk about it. Thank you to all three of you. We will ask some questions and engage in some dialogue with you. I will start off with a couple of questions.

First, simply, why November 15? Does that date have a particular significance?

Ms. McManus: I tried to think of every question you could ask. No, it was not chosen for any particular significance. As an association with almost 200 chapters, when we first started to do National Philanthropy Day almost 25 years ago, we felt it would have more impact to choose a day that everyone could coalesce around.

The Chair: You have all stated that having this day declared by the government, even though it already exists and has existed for a number of years, will give it a different status or stature and create a greater awareness across the entire population about the day. I can appreciate that, and I think that makes sense. What else do you think the federal government could do to help increase awareness and thereby increase contributions, both by volunteers and donors?

Ms. Hale: Think of the long term. I like to plan in 10, 15, 20 years. Think what it would do for the schoolchildren of this country. Think what the teachers could do if they had a National Philanthropy Day. A school in Greater Gatineau heard about our need to raise money for the bricks for that school that was built in Uganda. These children from Grade1 to Grade 6 sold 1,000 lollipops, the teachers baked 62 pies, and they handed me a cheque for $2,000. Those children's lives will be different because of helping. Uganda is thousands of miles away, but think of the kids and what it would do if across this country every teacher had a philanthropy class.

Mr. Johnson: The bill as proposed, as I understand it, would not really cost the government any money. It helps raise the profile and all the benefits we have outlined. The government also has the option of promoting awareness of National Philanthropy Day through helping with awards and giving people recognition for their giving, whether financially or through the time they have devoted for not-for-profit organizations. The government could certainly spend some money if it chose to do so to raise the profile and the importance of that day. It has the option, but not the obligation, which is the best position to be in.

The Chair: That is a good way to put it.

[Translation]

Senator Pépin: I want to acknowledge Ms. Hale who has been involved in all kinds of good causes for years. I see that with your passion and vision you are able to encourage people to work, to join forces around a cause, but here, you also said, ``Every one of us could become a philanthropist.''

Having the government recognize this day and make it a statutory holiday can help everyone realize that they too can become a philanthropist, they can volunteer, et cetera. But it would also be a day to recognize volunteer work.

Because there are many people who work for years, two, three days per year, on causes, and that is not recognized. Recognizing the work of volunteers could also attract more people and encourage them to work on different causes.

Do you not think that it could also be a day for volunteers?

[English]

Ms. McManus: Yes, there is National Volunteer Week, which takes place in April. It focuses specifically on volunteers and volunteerism.

Philanthropy is a broader concept. It is about giving not only of your time but also of your talents. Many people contribute to the health of charitable organizations through pro bono legal services, teaching, or other kinds of specific in-kind contributions of product and services. However, it also captures the piece of giving and sharing your own financial resources with those people who are less fortunate in our community. Volunteerism is very important and Canadians are very good volunteers, but philanthropy is a broader endeavour.

Senator Pépin: You have to have a certain income to be a philanthropist.

Ms. McManus: I disagree with that. I do well; I am not operating below the poverty line. A number of events have touched my family and as a result, we give back to a number of groups. In a more compelling light, quite a number of years ago, I had occasion to sit in on a workshop where they asked the 50 people in the room how many of us worked with boards that had 100 per cent of the board giving. Of the 40 organizations in the room, the only one was the National Anti-Poverty Association. According to their bylaws, they were required to have 15 per cent or 20 per cent of their board members who were below the poverty line or just recently below the poverty line. Every single one of those individuals gave every year to that organization because they believed in its mission. They were philanthropists.

[Translation]

Senator Pépin: So it is a personal contribution, but also a financial one. Recognizing that is excellent. But you say that there are also different chapters throughout Canada. Do you have chapters in other provinces? Among others, you mentioned a chapter in Calgary.

[English]

Ms. McManus: AFP is a professional association and each of our chapters has a local board. It is our members, as volunteers, who put on Philanthropy Day every year. For example, in Calgary, as we do in most other cities, we work with the United Way, the Calgary Foundation and with a number of other charitable foundations. We work with a number of corporations. We all come together in recognition of how important and inspiring it is to the community.

Our chapters tend to be in major cities. One of the reasons why we want to have a broader face on National Philanthropy Day is that there are many rural areas that do not celebrate National Philanthropy Day. However, we feel we would have the increased ``punch'' to reach them. That is particularly important when you look at the make-up of the charitable sector in Canada.

We know, from study after study, that the largest 2 per cent of Canadian charities —hospitals and universities — receive over 50 per cent of all the philanthropic contributions that are made in Canada. The smallest charities, those with $100,000 budgets and less, account for three-quarters of all the charities in Canada and they receive about 15 per cent of all the gifts. Evening that out across the country — in large and small municipalities, in rural areas — is where we can really make a difference.

The Chair: Before I go to the next speaker, I would like to welcome Senator Grafstein, the sponsor of Bill S-204. I understand the senator will be here for the duration. After the second panel he will speak in support of the bill.

Also, welcome to Senator Mercer of Nova Scotia, who is here replacing Senator Callbeck today.

Senator Mercer: Thank you, panel, for being here. I have the privilege of knowing two of the panellists, and I know Ms. Hale by her very positive reputation. After hearing her presentation, everyone would want to be associated with that reputation, I am sure.

I have a question for Mr. Johnson. You said, ``This sector is so much a part of the fabric of Canada that our very future depends on that success.'' I liked that, but I would like you to tell me more. Can you expand on that and tell me what you mean by that statement?

Mr. Johnson: There are at least four major areas of the not-for-profit sector that are vital to our country. One is certainly post-secondary education. Another is health care and all the hospitals. Another is arts and culture, which is certainly a fabric of our country. The fourth area is social services; helping the needy in our society. That one is not recognized as much as the other health care and education.

For example, the United Way of Greater Toronto supports 200 agencies that help people in need right across the Greater Toronto Area. One in three Torontonians benefit in one way or another from those 200 agencies. The entire health care, education, arts, culture and social services — the entire sector — is a vital part of our country. That is why I feel so strongly that this bill will really help raise the awareness and the importance of our not-for-profit organizations.

Senator Mercer: Ms. McManus, you have told us about the numbers of people who come to National Philanthropy Day in Calgary.

Do you have numbers who show up at other National Philanthropy Day's across the country? Calgary is a pretty big city. Are the numbers comparable across the country?

Ms. McManus: In some cities, yes, they certainly are comparable. For example, Toronto and Vancouver both do events about the same size as Calgary. I am sure I probably have that information here somewhere, but I will guess. My estimate in the 16 chapters would be 10,000 to 15,000 people.

Senator Cordy: Thank you to all of you, not only for your presentations but for the great work that you are doing.

I think the bill is a great idea; recognizing philanthropists is important. Being from a small province, Nova Scotia, if I were to ask people how many philanthropists there are in Nova Scotia, they would likely tell me a handful. The stereotype of a philanthropist is a millionaire.

You have given excellent indicators and stories that income is not the deciding factor. However, if I were to walk down the street in Dartmouth or Halifax and ask, that is what people would say. I think the three of you have made it clear that that is not the case, and I know that is not the case. How do we educate the public?

You do not want National Philanthropy Day to be considered an elitist day for millionaires. You want National Philanthropy Day to be for all Canadians. Nova Scotians are wonderful contributors to charities. When we had Hurricane Juan and rebuilt Point Pleasant Park and the gardens, people were out giving money and schools were having fundraisers. I do not think they would think of themselves as philanthropists. What can we do to ensure it is not elitist?

Ms. Hale: Have a National Philanthropy Day. That is the answer.

Senator Cordy: By the way, I loved your comment that you are a baker's daughter and you know that a little bit of yeast can make a loaf of bread. I am wondering how I can comment on being a Cape Breton steel worker's daughter.

Ms. McManus: When we first started to celebrate National Philanthropy Day in Calgary eight or nine years ago, I was on the local board, and we actually had many discussions about needing to call this something different, because ``philanthropy'' is not a concept that we relate to the same way as our fellow chapters south of the border. We talked and talked about talked, and we could not find another word that encompassed the meaning of ``philanthropy.'' Everything else was too restricting. ``Volunteerism'' or ``giving'' is not the whole picture. ``Love of humankind'' is actually what philanthropy means from its Latin translation. We went with National Philanthropy Day.

For the first three years, we had entertaining marketing campaigns. One year we had a scratch thing about what is philanthropy, it is a man with his dog, and a television show from the 1960s, things like that. We reframed the way that people think about it. We are still up against that big challenge. However, in the last 25 years I have seen a lot more reference to and understanding of philanthropy across the country in our media and in the work that our organization is doing than I would have seen 20 years ago. I think it is coming. We are starting to reframe the way people think.

If you tell people that they are philanthropists, it is very exciting to them to know that they can do something wonderful as opposed to just writing a cheque and fundraising. It is about philanthropy, which is rooted in values. They are values as an individual, as an Ontarian, a Nova Scotian, an Albertan and as a Canadian.

Getting back to Senator Eggleton's first question, if there was one thing that I would really like to see more than anything, it is a philanthropic marketing program along the lines of ParticipACTION. That did a huge benefit to this country in changing the way people thought about not only what they needed to do but how they did it. That will help us reframe.

Mr. Johnson: To add to what the other two panellists have said, National Philanthropy Day provides an opportunity to educate the public on what it is all about. It is not just an elitist event. It gives an opportunity to celebrate and make people aware of what it is all about.

The other thing we have not touched on, and I think is relevant, is that it is also an opportunity to give recognition to the government for its role in assisting in philanthropy. The donors give money or stock or whatever, but the government is also helping them donate because of the charitable donation tax credit. It is an opportunity to recognize that the government is playing a key role in helping these organizations. There is a benefit to the government.

Ms. McManus: Our Halifax chapter does celebrate National Philanthropy Day, so it is already starting there.

Senator Munson: Perhaps you could have a national spelling-bee for young people, and get the children to spell the word first and then they have to explain it. Once they have explained it, they can understand it and go out and be young philanthropists.

I just became associated with the Rotary House here in Ottawa, which is a respite home for disabled children. You talked about the role of government. They had a $6 million campaign. It was easy to get the first $2 million, and it was easy to get some of the bigger players to give money, but now we are down to $400,000 to reach our $6 million campaign. I just joined this organization a month ago, and I think it is a very important cause.

Ms. Hale, you mentioned that you started with $500,000 and you now have $100 million in the bank and that last year, you gave out $5 million in grants. Is it difficult to decide what organization deserves or needs the money?

As philanthropists within the community, you must have many requests to divvy up the money. How does your money earn money to give money?

Ms. Hale: We have an excellent grants committee separate from the board, with professionals from the Ontario government and from the city. They meet twice a year. We have a deadline for applications and the applications are reviewed. It works. It took time to get it going, but it works. We do not do them all. Some are turned down. This morning, I read that about 20 we turned down in this latest review of grants for this coming year. You have to be a registered charity to get the money. It cannot be an individual.

Senator Munson: Provinces give money. The federal government will recognize this, once we pass this into law. Is there any other way to get people thinking about philanthropy other than the tax credit? Is there any other way to get the government to take a harder look at giving money directly to worthwhile charitable organizations, or is that too much to ask.

Ms. McManus: Most of the government funding that charities get comes from the province rather than the federal government. Some of that comes from the federal government to provinces, but most of it comes provincially.

Much of the funding is tied to fee-for-service, which is a critical issue across the country, because they are not fully funded, leaving charities with a need to raise money to provide what are often provincially mandated programs or perhaps federally mandated programs. I am not quite so sure on that. They are supplementing government funding with philanthropic funding, and then clearly that is where the larger organizations come out better than the small organizations.

I am not sure if that would be something that would be other than the tax receipt, but we could look at funding practices and provide full funding for programs mandated to be government programs, but provided by the sector.

Senator Fairbairn: I am from Lethbridge and know the Calgary area well. There are troubling things happening in recent years and I would like your thoughts on it. With the surge of people of all ages coming for jobs into our province, there is the view that they would arrive to all sorts of opportunities giving them a new chance. Then they have found out that this is not manual labour, rather much of the work relates to high tech. Those who have literacy problems find themselves without the possibility of finding the kind of jobs they wanted to have, and maybe having difficulty finding any job, period.

I wonder whether, in your work, you cross that fence. These are people of all ages, not just young people, but older people. Can you comment on the growth of that phenomenon in one of the wealthiest cities in the country?

Ms. McManus: I will not say the situation in Calgary is unique because I think other cities will or have faced this problem. However, it is unique to Calgary right now.

The pressure on our charitable infrastructure is massive. There is everything from more homeless people, to more homeless families and not enough affordable housing. The influx of people has also put pressure on our school system, our post-secondary education, hospitals et cetera.

As a result of the ongoing boom, the other impact is that we have a real workforce crisis in the non-profit sector. People are leaving to go to the for-profit sector. Non-profit organizations are always struggling with this perception that they need to provide their services at much lower costs than for-profit organizations and offer salaries that other people will not work for. However, you want the best care and service and you want to be a very well-run organization. A number of contradictions are becoming even more apparent right now.

The Chair: Let me introduce our second panel. We have Wayne Chiu, President and CEO of Trico Homes. Trico Homes is one of the most community-minded companies in Alberta. Mr. Chiu was the recipient of the 2007 Generosity of Spirit Award at Calgary's National Philanthropy Day celebrations.

Next we have Don McCreesh, who is Chair of Imagine Canada. Imagine Canada is the major national umbrella group representing the Canadian non-profit sector with over 1,200 members. Mr. McCreesh is also a senior and long- time volunteer with the local, national, and international YMCA.

Luce Moreau is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fondation Centre de santé et de services sociaux Jeanne-Mance and former president of the Quebec Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Welcome to all three of you.

Wayne Chiu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Trico Homes: My name is Wayne Chiu and I own a company in Calgary called Trico Homes. Our company has a little over 100 employees. Thank you for allowing me to be here today to tell my story of why I support National Philanthropy Day and the passing of Bill S-204.

To quote Sir Winston Churchill, ``We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.'' I heard this quote in elementary school in the late 1960s. My family was poor and I studied in a crowded classroom in a ghetto of Hong Kong. I was fortunate there was a school for me to attend due to funding from a Christian church. This church was affiliated with the United Church of Canada. I looked forward to going to school every day, especially for the cookies and milk in the morning and the hot lunches in the afternoon.

One day a big Caucasian man came to the school and he gave a speech about being a good Christian. He talked about how to help others in need and quoted the words from Sir Winston Churchill. That touched me immensely and has been a guiding value of mine from the time I was very young through to my adulthood and further into my career and business life.

I was touched that people from a foreign country would offer their help and this has been imprinted in my mind ever since. This was my first experience with the meaning of philanthropy.

My father was also an inspiration to me. He always worked hard, but we were very poor when I was growing up in Hong Kong and China. The whole neighbourhood around us was poor. He worked hard to support the family while, at the same time, he also supported his friends and family back in China. In tough times, I saw him sending money to them to ensure people had enough to eat.

When I graduated from university in Manitoba, I remember sitting down with my fellow graduates to discuss our futures. A number of my friends talked about wanting to be great engineers and working for Manitoba Hydro.

When they asked me about what I wanted to be in the future, I told them that I would strive to become a businessman and give back to the society; make a difference like the philanthropists did for me in the late 1960s.

As a small company, we give back to the community. At the same time, we volunteer in the community. It is part of our culture. We have been encouraging our employees to volunteer and provide opportunities during their office hours. In addition, many of our employees volunteer their own time. It is our belief that a corporation can be philanthropic, too, with its own obligations to society.

However, corporate giving currently represents only a small piece of our nation's overall charitable giving. According to Imagine Canada, only 3 per cent of Canadian businesses claim charitable donations on tax returns for a total of $1 billion in donations. This represents less than 1 per cent of the company's pre-tax profits. Corporate donations, also, typically go to the larger charities.

I believe that corporate giving is on the rise. More and more corporations are encouraging their employees in philanthropy by setting examples. For instance, many corporations provide matching funds when their employees donate to charities. It is important to encourage corporate giving because this form of philanthropy has a unique way of raising profiles of charities. When our nation's corporations choose to donate, people take notice.

By recognizing National Philanthropy Day, the Canadian government will serve as a role model for society and instil the importance of volunteering, getting involved and giving back to the community. In addition, National Philanthropy Day would encourage corporations to give more generously and to a wider spectrum of charities.

Don McCreesh, Chair, Imagine Canada: Thank you, Mr. Chair, and good afternoon. I am here as Chair of Imagine Canada's board of directors to speak on behalf of Bill S-204.

Like the chairs and directors of all of Canada's over 80,000 registered charities, we are volunteers. We are philanthropists. We give of our time, talent and treasure because we think it is the right thing to do to build a healthy community and to build a place we want to live, work and play in.

Through this bill, we think you will give organizations like the 1,000 members we have across the sector the opportunity to celebrate their giving. Senator Pépin has left, but I can see organizations using National Philanthropy Day, whether a small rural organization or large urban organizations, as a platform. Government does not have to do anything. Once we have created this platform to celebrate those who are already giving, it will also encourage those who are not to get involved. It gives us a huge platform.

Imagine Canada grew out of two organizations that merged just over five years ago: The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy and the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations. We came together because we are the support organization for the 160,000 not-for-profit and charities across Canada to focus on public giving and volunteers.

Our job is to look out for and look into all the issues that affect it. A national philanthropy day would be of huge benefit to our members. Our members would be all the large health charities — cancer, kidney, health, et cetera — and the CNIB, the YMCA and social service organizations; the whole breadth — urban, rural — all organizations. This will give them a chance to enhance the philanthropy, whether time or money, that goes into their organization.

There are two reasons why we at Imagine Canada urge you to pass this bill: These 160,000 organizations are a huge part of what we are as Canadians. When you think about all the different social services provides — health care, universities, social services, arts and culture — these are over 22 million donors. Why do not we have 30 or 35 million donors? These are the 11.8 million volunteers. Why cannot we have some more volunteers? Why cannot we get more people involved? One-hundred and sixty-thousand organizations bring the real benefit to our communities.

It is about 8.6 per cent of Canada's gross national product. This is a huge part of the Canadian economy and what we are as Canadians. Donating and volunteering is a key part and the key indicator of the quality of life in Canada. Anything we can do to stop the potential slide is a good thing. I will talk in a minute about why we have fears that there could be a slide and how to stop the slide and ideally, make it grow.

We support this bill because we believe that organizations can use this to help deepen the level of philanthropy and encourage those currently giving their time, talent or treasure to dig deeper and provide more support. We can celebrate and reward them.

However, it can broaden. This is probably something that has not been talked about to this point. We can broaden that concept with Canadians who do not understand what it is yet; who do not understand what ``philanthropy'' means. We can broaden it to get that understanding out and to educate. We have many new Canadians joining our society, which is great. However, we want to make sure they understand. This gives us an opportunity to explain what a key part of Canadian society is: We contribute, give, share and we work together to provide the great country we have. We heard some examples earlier of about the opportunities this could provide in getting young Canadians involved in philanthropy, also.

The second reason we are here to support this bill is that there are some warning signs on the horizon. On one side of the ledger, we have some changing demographics and shifts in public spending. They have placed increased demands on charities to meet the needs of Canadians in their communities. We have a rapidly aging population, which will soon put more pressure and demand on the charitable sector to provide services.

On the other side of the ledger, there are some signs that charitable giving and the donation of time may be at risk. There are slower rates of economic growth. Will companies, other than Mr. Chiu's, continue to give? We will be able to get other organizations and corporations giving? Will the potential loss of head offices in Canada start to put a crimp on it in terms of donations? Will aging baby-boomers be as generous as their parents were? We are not sure.

Due to all of that, we urge you to consider passing this bill. It would then give organizations across this country an opportunity to talk about philanthropy, to celebrate where it is happening to encourage more and reward where it is happening.

It is important for those 160,000 organizations that we think provide a real health to the community and provide a real strong society that we have here in Canada.

[Translation]

Luce Moreau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fondation Centre de santé et de services sociaux Jeanne-Mance: Mr. Chair, thank you for the invitation to appear before you today. I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fondation Centre de santé et de services sociaux Jeanne-Mance. In 2004, the Quebec Minister of Health divided the province into 95 sections. Each one has a hospital, residences for persons with decreasing independence and CLSCs.

I am in charge of the Centre de santé et de services sociaux Jeanne-Mance, which is located in downtown Montreal and which serves more than 140,000 people, in the poorest area of Canada. Our foundation's role is to collect funds to serve this population. It is important to point that out, because on its own, the government would be unable to meet all of the population's needs.

For us, a National Philanthropy Day will make a difference. In Quebec, philanthropy as a culture among francophones is much younger than it is among anglophones. Quebeckers have been accustomed to having the state and the Church provide all necessary services and today, in 2008, we find ourselves with considerable work to do to encourage people to give and we must do considerable outreach.

Well-known families in Quebec have been very involved on the anglophone side. The McConnell, Renaud and Black families set the example for many new Quebec philanthropists like the Coutu and Desmarais families, who were already there.

Now, we have the Chagnon and the Levesque families who are setting the example for other francophone families in Quebec.

We all know that Quebecers like to celebrate. We are known as people who like to have a good time. For us, it is very important to join this important movement and we have only been celebrating in Quebec for about the past five years. Earlier, Andrea talked about chapters. In Quebec, we have one chapter with 180 members. It represents at least 160 organizations. When you think that as a member of the AFP in Quebec, I am able to provide money for 140,000 people in downtown Montreal, where you find the poorest people, the homeless, children living on the street, you can see the major difference that our organization alone can make. When you multiply that by 160 organizations that are doing the same thing and in some cases, more, in Quebec, it is extraordinary.

The National Philanthropy Day is an important event. We recall that the first year we did it, there were fewer than 100 people in the room; today, between 400 and 500 people turn out. So this is a huge success story for the francophone community. This community includes people like the Molson family, the Desmarais families, as well as people from small villages, who have done volunteer work for 15 years for an organization, and who are on a board of directors. These people receive an award that is the same size and shape as that received by a major philanthropist. And these people are major philanthropists at heart as well, perhaps not with the same financial means, but they receive the same recognition. It is extraordinarily motivating for other people, because others see them in the local newspaper after the fact, they see that people are recognized at a grand celebration, the celebration of National Philanthropy Day.

I must point out as well that at these philanthropy days, we always recognize young people with the ``Youth and Philanthropy'' prizes. We know that all young people sell something for their schools, either to fundraise for an outing or to work on some kind of project. I have seen projects born in communities where people who had never asked for donations from anyone joined projects. My brother, who is in the RCMP, climbed Kilimanjaro to fund new equipment for the Gatineau hospital. He had never asked for a donation in his life; he was too shy. I said to him: ``I will support you with your first donation; here is your first $500. You only need to raise another $5,000.'' He succeeded because he was able to ask for the first time, and for many of these people, we create this opportunity to serve. As managers in philanthropy, we have an extraordinary profession. We are the link between the donor and the person who requires a service, and thanks to that link we are kind of like a matchmaking service, in the end, because our job is to bring two people together.

It is extraordinary when you think about certain people. I have a retired nurse who lives in an apartment that is no larger than this table. It is full from the floor to the ceiling, but this woman gives $10,000 each year. She could live in a better place, but she is so happy to participate in training new nurses. She eagerly awaits my visits. She knows that I will visit her in the spring or in the fall, and she calls to make sure that I do not forget her. She is so eager. We have introduced her to people who have benefited from these donations.

Another donor from a major foundation in Montreal, the Fondation Jean-Louis Lévesque, made considerable donations for many years for people who were losing the ability to live on their own. They wanted to help the community. We organized a meeting with young people at the most underprivileged high school, where young Montrealers live in ghettos. We have a social worker who is there and who noticed that through sports, such as basketball, he could do social intervention work. Now, at this school, where two or three young people graduated from the program each year, 8 out of 10 young people graduate from high school and go on to college and university.

Going back to that woman, the day she received the most recognition she had ever received in her life as a great philanthropist, the young people gave her a basketball that they had all signed. It was an extraordinary moment for her. They made an arch of honour when she went into the gym. She was so moved. She said it was one of the most touching moments of her life. But to see that through philanthropy, we can produce moments like that, for people, is a very significant experience. Above all, philanthropy is not just for the rich; it is for everyone. We see young people helping other young people overcome problems in an underprivileged environment, through school exchanges, tutoring. All of that is philanthropy. And on national days, we recognize those moments. It is very important for us to ask you to recognize the day and to support us. Bear in mind too that philanthropy is always an affair of the mind and the heart. The main objective is to improve people's lot in life.

Earlier, Ms. Hale said that her mayor picked up the phone and called her father. Someone asked her to do it. And quite often, it is us, with our volunteers, who do that work because people are waiting for us to ask them. We can ask many different things of different people. But what is important is contributing to improving life in society. And people, anyone who lives in society has a deep desire to do that. All someone has to do is ask. It is interesting to look at directors who sit on boards; all of those people have been asked by someone to be there, and they said yes. So opportunities exist.

It is true that the media seems to focus much more on famous philanthropists. We often forget about the lesser- known ones, but the Philanthropy Day is truly an opportunity to recognize them.

We have a community foundation in Montreal; it is young, compared to all of the major community foundations in Canada, it is less than 10 years old. But even then, the members of our community foundation wanted to get involved with young people, and since our centre is located in downtown Montreal, we are in contact with young people living on the street. We have a dental clinic for young people. We treat more than 1,000 young people free of charge, with the Faculty of Dental Medicine at the University of Montreal, and it is the Fondation du Grand Montréal that wanted to support us by paying for the two chairs that we needed. It is really about creating space so that people can get involved.

We know that when Canadians make the choice to give, our nation becomes better. Our world becomes better, and there is something for everyone. We become a more united society, actions become an affirmation of who we are and what kind of society we want to belong to.

The government has an excellent opportunity to participate in this great celebration. When someone makes a charitable contribution, they feel good not only because they are helping to improve society, but also because they wanted to do it.

Philanthropy is people helping people because it is the right thing to do, not because of some requirement.

I would like to conclude by saying that philanthropy is an essential element of growth and social cohesion. It fosters vital human interaction between people. It is not always only a question of money but it is always a matter of feelings and mutual appreciation and willingness between people to relate. Philanthropy must not only continue to grow but must flourish in our society to provide its essential and unique benefits.

We submit that such an important human activity that inspires generosity and altruism must be celebrated to ensure its growth and success. The adoption by our federal government of the proposed National Philanthropy Day is precisely the celebration that is required — a day of the year where each Canadian is reminded of their need to make their personal contribution to the common welfare, beyond taxes and beyond any specific obligation.

[English]

The Chair: Those were very inspiring stories. Thank you very much for those contributions from all of you.

I have a simple question for any of the three of you who want to respond to it. Mr. McCreesh might be more aware of the national situation. Are provincial governments doing anything to assist? Are there any provincial declarations of philanthropy day or any specific supports for the different organizations that are recognizing philanthropy in our communities by provincial governments?

Mr. McCreesh: That is the next step. It has to start somewhere, so we will start it nationally.

The Chair: This is the first legislation by a federal government anywhere.

Mr. McCreesh: Yes.

Senator Cook: What is in a word? Is it philanthropy, or is it volunteerism? Where do I draw the line? Mr. Chiu, I am a member of the United Church of Canada, and I have spent my lifetime in the social outreach programs. On Sundays, because my envelope is divided, money goes to the mission and service fund. On Sunday, I guess I am a philanthropist. If on Monday I go to the food bank or to one of our shelters or our homeless project, does that make me a philanthropist or a volunteer? Canadians need to understand the meaning of these words and deeds. Senator Cordy touched on it. Where are we on the spectrum?

I cannot do much volunteering anymore now, but I donate to several charities. I see myself as a philanthropist. However, if I put on a pair of jeans and go work in a shelter, I am a volunteer. Somehow or another, the message must go forward about the difference.

Mr. McCreesh: The narrow definition of ``philanthropy'' would be what you do on Sunday in your envelope. The broader definition, the one we want to encourage, is that philanthropy is giving — the giving of your time, your talent or your treasures. That is either putting on your jeans or putting your money in the pot. We want to educate Canadians. There are phases where you cannot volunteer because you are either too busy or have kids at home or reach a certain age. It is a question of what you can give and when, but you can always give something. That is the message we want to get out to Canadians.

Senator Cook: I think we need to be careful there, because the volunteer, at the moment, as I understand it, does not see himself as a philanthropist.

Mr. Chiu: In the summertime, our company allows certain days for the employees to go out and do volunteer work. I believe the work they are doing is costing us money. If an employee goes out to paint a house for a senior citizen, it would have costs him or her $6,000 or $7,000 to paint their house, but it only costs the company the employee's time. It is a paid day for them. They go out there and help people. We believe that philanthropy and wanting to work go hand in hand. For the people who give of their time, they want to work. For a company like us, we give money. It is hand in hand.

Senator Cook: I understand that, and that is how I understand philanthropy. However, if we are to move forward with this wonderful idea and vision whose time has come, we need to be careful that we do not do something to National Volunteer Week. I am back to the basic question. There needs to be sensitivity here if we are to be inclusive.

Mr. McCreesh: I think that you will find the people in the sector who would use this day in terms of the organization, fully understand that issue. The single mom who donates a couple hours of her valuable time needs to be rewarded just like the investment banker who wrote a cheque for $1 million and just walked away. That individual gave as much as she could, and that is what needs to be recognized in this exercise.

Senator Cook: I understand that. I have never seen any of the people in my faith community as philanthropists. I just see them as people with a social conscience and as a volunteer. We have to do something to bring the mindset together if we are to go forward and build a base.

Senator Mercer: Like the previous panel, I am privileged to know a couple of you. Ms. Moreau, thank you for being here. You talked about the chapter of AFP in Montreal. I am wondering whether the declaration of National Philanthropy Day will help expend National Philanthropy Day activities and recognition beyond Montreal to places like Quebec City, Gatineau, Shawinigan or Trois-Rivières. Do you think this will be of some help?

[Translation]

Ms. Morneau: Yes, because we know that anything that is recognized by the government has more influence. As regards rewards during the philanthropy day, we have already opened the day up not only to our members but to the entire community. With recognition by the federal government, there would be more people interested in participating in the day, because the outreach would be greater and many more organizations would be affected.

[English]

Senator Munson: In keeping with the United Church theme, I am a United Church minister's son. I too had to follow certain rules. It was interesting to hear the earlier testimony about how you start giving at a young age. You may not pay attention from 18 years to 25 years or something, but you do as you move on in life and can give back. I am so impressed, Mr. Chiu, by your statements and the quote from Winston Churchill.

This bill will pass it is a good thing. As my son would say, it is all good. Beyond being all good, do you have any expectation of the federal government doing more in a tangible, monetary way besides tax breaks?

Mr. McCreesh: On this particular issue, this would give us the leverage. Speaking on behalf of Imagine Canada, we struggle sometimes in the sector with single initiatives like a tax initiative. We as a sector would love to see a national strategy to strengthen and encourage the voluntary sector. What is an overall strategy? What are the various initiatives that the government could do?

The government funds the sector in a number of ways right now. The sector provides fee-for-service in huge numbers of areas. The sector struggles with how the federal government actually hands out that money and does that contract. For about nine months, I was appointed a fairness adviser to Service Canada to help intercede on behalf of Service Canada and the not-for-profit sector that were providing fee-for- service. Many good, well-intentioned people wanted to provide contracts to provide service. However, the fact is that all the overhead is not covered when those contracts come out to these small organizations providing service on behalf of the government. With the grants and contributions, sometimes those organizations have to fund that because there is some delay. There can be up to a six- month delay before the organization gets paid. These are charitable organizations trying to provide service. We need some strategy within the government to look at how to make grants and contributions a more efficient service.

I can tell you real life example. I sat on the Toronto YMCA's board. We had about $45 million worth of employment programs that we provided federally, provincially and municipally. We had to raise about $5 million ourselves as a board to help deliver those programs because those governments did not cover all the costs of providing those programs.

We had a debate and, luckily, we a member who Sheila Fraser used to work for on our board. We were of a size that we could bring down the Auditor General and explain that the federal government has an auditor. We explained that we had to provide office space for an auditor to sit in Toronto YMCA's offices seven days a week to audit those sorts of things.

The relationship of accountability needs to be looked at. There were issues in terms of funds in the past. However, we need to figure out more efficient ways to ensure that happens so we can provide those services to Canadians effectively and efficiently so the federal government money is spent well. Some strategies around that would take the money being spent now and use it more effectively.

The Chair: The committee thanks the panel for its contributions to this deliberation and above all, thank you for all the good work that you do for your communities.

We will resume with a few words from the sponsor of the bill, Senator Grafstein, who has done a lot of philanthropic work. I particularly remember when I was Chair of the GTA caucus, Senator Grafstein and Dennis Mills, an MP at that time, helped to organize the biggest concert that I think has ever been held in this country. It was all done in less than 30 days. It was beyond belief. It was at Downsview Park. This was all to help deal with the SARS outbreak. It got enormous attention from the international media and helped people feel more comfortable about our city in light of the SARS outbreak.

I remember well the Canada Loves New York project that he got 26,000 Canadians involved with after 9/11 to help assist in that city's recovery. In December 2004, he organized Canada for Asia; a three-hour broadcast telethon in aid of relief for tsunami victims.

Senator Grafstein has also been dealing with this issue in his former capacity as Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. The committee studied regulatory reform of the charitable sector, including study of the voluntary sector initiative.

This particular bill was first introduced under another number, of course, in November, 2005. Here it is again and we have reached the stage of second reading and referral to this committee.

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein, sponsor of the bill: Thank you all, senators, for your patience. This, indeed, is a tribute not to me but to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and to the Senate itself. I believe that if a problem comes before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and it is something that we can address quickly by legislation, we should do that. The initiative came not from me but from all the witnesses who appeared before our committee and, in particular, Donald Johnson, who just left a few minutes ago. He convinced me and the committee at the time that this was an important issue.

It flowed out of that report. This did not come from me. This really came from the thousands of volunteer groups that, in effect, gave evidence before the committee. We examined the charitable sector. This is one of the concrete things they said we could do on a cost-effective basis to help their work. I looked at the material and I came to the conclusion that this was a very cost-effective and worthy cause.

First, I want to thank all the senators who have, over the years, sat on the Banking Committee and contributed to this effort. I think it is a misnomer to say it is a private member's bill. Senator Mercer, Senator Munson, Senator Eggleton — everyone around this table; all of us — everyone here has spent a good portion of their life as a volunteer in the philanthropic sector.

I want to deal with that at the outset. If you look at the definition of ``philanthropy'' in the Oxford English Dictionary, it means the ``love of mankind.'' It goes on to say it is a process of helping people in the form of gifts, money or work.

Essentially, I do not think that there is confusion in the word itself; I think there is confusion in the application of the word. I think one person put it to me once very well that every volunteer is a philanthropist and every philanthropist is a volunteer. I do not think you can separate the two.

I do not like the elitist view of philanthropy. My grandmother was a philanthropist and she did not have two cents to put together. My grandmother came to this country poor. The first task she did was to assemble ladies to go around and help with other poor, orphaned daughters who could not put together a trousseau. The first thing I did as a kid was watch my grandmother do that with her friends.

My wife's grandparents donated the first piece of land for the Mount Sinai Hospital, because Jewish doctors could not get into the regular hospitals. That was a huge act of philanthropy. To this day, my wife is returning to her roots. She is volunteer chair of the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary and a full-time worker. She spends all of her time in charitable work and has for years. She does not like politics, but she likes volunteerism.

I told her I will retire from the Senate pretty soon and she said, ``You can retire from the Senate but you cannot retire. You keep working until they plant you.'' I asked why and she said, ``So you can make more money so I can give it away.'' That is my family philosophy, which I thought I would sum up quickly.

Some of the witnesses touched on this, but I will sum it up. The federal government, back in 2000, gave $94 million to fund something called the Voluntary Sector Initiative, which the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce reviewed. We concluded that the $94 million had triggered a tremendous amount of more activity in the volunteer sector. When you came back to look at it, studies were done and it shows that 90 per cent of Canadians believe that non-profits are increasingly important. Fifty-nine per cent of Canadians believe that those organizations do not have enough money and are not getting enough money to do the work they have to do.

As the government started contracting and withdrawing from the social sectors, the needs in the private sector became more intense. Mr. McCreesh puts another warning signal across our bow that, if the economy goes down, many people depending on cash flow will suffer. Therefore, we have to do everything in our power to expand their base. This lies at the heart of this bill: To get more people involved.

Looking at this, there are 81,000 registered non-profit organizations. That number is increasing daily. When you take a look at the statistics, they are quite incredible.

The 2003, Cornerstones of Community: Highlights of the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations shows that $112 million of revenues was derived in 2003. I think the number is almost twice as much as that now.

At that time, the voluntary sector employed 2 million people directly. In addition, they drew on 2 billion volunteer hours every year, which is the equivalent of 1 million full-time jobs. There is not a Canadian in this room or across the country, that has not directly or indirectly, been touched by the work of the voluntary sector, either as a volunteer, or by the money they give, or by the money or services they need.

Donald Johnson mentioned what this is all about and what the target is. It is not only education, health, aging, arts, culture, social service, but it is also sports. I think sports are a part of our national culture as much as anything else.

This is a very important element in our economy. Mr. McCreesh pointed out that the voluntary sector was 8.6 of the GDP. In 1999, it was 6.8 per cent of the GDP. That means that the non-profit sector is 11 times more influential than the motor industry in Canada. It makes a huge contribution to the economy.

In summary, honourable senators, this philanthropy bill has received universal support from practically every volunteer organization in Canada: Imagine Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, the Voluntary Sector Forum, the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, the Canadian Bar Association and even the groups here today.

I will sum it up this way. I believe in this ethic; it is not very complicated. My parents and my grandparents taught it to me; my wife lives it every day. The test is simple. I believe it is the working philosophy for everyone in this room. It can be summed up in this sentence: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

I think if we can pass this bill quickly, this will indicate that this magnificent parliamentary gesture will be given to all Canadians and the voluntary sector instituted, coagulated and propelled by the honourable Senate. I urge your speedy approval of this bill.

The Chair: Thank you. We have to be out of this meeting room in a few minutes because another committee is coming in. Unless you have quick questions to ask of Senator Grafstein, I am prepared, if you are prepared, to go to clause-by-clause.

Is that is agreed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: The common language of these examinations, clause-by-clause, I will start by saying shall the title, preamble and clause 1 stand postponed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 2 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall clause 1 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall the preamble carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Shall the title carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Is it agreed that this bill be adopted without amendment?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Are there any observations you want to attach or are you content to have the bill reported at the next sitting of the Senate?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Is it agreed that I report this bill without observations and without amendments at the next sitting of the Senate?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Carried. Congratulations, Senator Grafstein.

The committee adjourned.