News Release

The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector

Senators explore Canada’s partnership with the charitable sector

September 24, 2018

Ottawa – Senators sought ways to improve the federal government’s understanding of and interactions with charities and non-profit organizations as the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector continued its landmark study with full-day meetings on Monday, September 17 and Tuesday, September 18.

Committee members listened to 31 witnesses from a range of organizations. Experts shared with the committee several proposals to improve tax measures that could benefit charities and non-profit organizations; other witnesses expressed concern over the lack of available data on Canada’s charitable sector.

While the federal grants and contributions policy is being reformed, senators heard there is still a greater need for transparency. The application process should also be simplified, especially for small organizations.

Witnesses said regulations surrounding non-partisan political activities need to be clarified. Spending caps on these activities should be reconsidered to allow the sector to effectively advocate to governments on behalf of the communities they represent.

The committee was created in January 2018 with a mandate to examine the charitable and non-profit sector. The committee will continue to hear from witnesses and will be launching an online questionnaire that is designed to help members better understand the challenges faced by charities and non-profits. Members are expected to release a report with recommendations on how Canada can better support the sector at the conclusion of their study.


“The wide variety of witnesses gave the committee a better understanding of the challenges facing the charitable sector across Canada. Government has an important role to play in ensuring charities and non-profits can be as effective as possible.”

- Senator Terry M. Mercer, Chair of the committee

 “We heard from a number of witnesses this week that charities and non-profits need a home within the federal government. Our committee has a real opportunity to define how Canada can create a modern, enabling environment for the charitable sector.”

- Senator Ratna Omidvar, Deputy Chair of the committee

Associated Links

  • Watch the webcast of the meetings.
  • Learn more about the committee.
  • Follow the committee on social media using the hashtag #CSSB.
  • Sign up for the Senate’s eNewsletter.

For more information, please contact:
Sonia Noreau
Public Relations Officer
Senate of Canada
613-614-1180 |