An Opportunity for Leadership— Helping Charities Follow Up on the Budget
An Open Letter to all Parliamentarians,
In her Budget speech on April 19, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke of three challenges facing Canada at this unique moment in our history: “First, we need to conquer COVID…Second, we must punch our way out of the COVID recession…The final challenge is to build a more resilient Canada; better, more fair, more prosperous and more innovative.”
From child care and job training, to home care for seniors and housing affordability for jobless Canadians, from healthcare to education, Canada’s charities have always been engaged in these priorities.
For example, the Budget has committed Ottawa to funding day care for $10 a day, emulating the successful Quebec model. Many Canadian charities are already there, delivering affordable day care on a non-profit basis. We hear every day in tributes by MPs, during Statements by Members in the House, about the many good works by charities in their own ridings and communities.
And when the pandemic is behind us, the mission of Canadian charities will still be ongoing and more essential than ever.
That’s why we urge all parties in Parliament to support a Budget amendment to remove the capital gains tax on charitable donations from the sale of private company shares and real estate. Long advocated by the charitable sector, this would cost the government only a foregone $50 million a year, while stimulating at least $200 million a year in donations to healthcare, educational, arts and cultural, religious and community organizations, creating hope and help where it is much needed and, not least, creating many new jobs along the way.
In its important pre-Budget report, Investing in Tomorrow, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has already recommended eliminating the capital gains tax on such charitable donations.
Budget 2021 presents an important opportunity to get this done. An opportunity for bipartisan leadership. For communities. For country. For Canadians.
Donald K. Johnson, O.C., LL.D.
Director, UHN Foundation
Chair, Vision Campaign, Toronto Western Hospital
Member, Advisory Board, Ivey Business School, Western University Chairman Emeritus & Director, Business / Arts
Member, 2021 Major Individual Giving Cabinet, United Way Greater Toronto
“When the pandemic is behind us, the mission of Canadian charities will still be ongoing and more essential than ever.”