Churches and religious groups have always worked to improve the
communities in which they operate, often including the provision of
services for those in need. These services have sometimes
received funding from government and sometimes not, but have always
been delivered at the option of the religious group, which ensures
that the services are delivered by choice by these groups and are
consistent with their mission.
At its meeting of April 1-3, 2014, City of Toronto Council
adopted a recommendation to do the following: (i) create an
inventory of facilities and programs funded by the City and located
within churches across the City; and (ii) study means for
maintaining charitable and community services in their existing
locations when a church is sold (together the
"Study"). Despite a request by an interested party
for clarity as to whether the latter objective was limited to City
funded programs, no such clarification was given at Council.
Staff are to report back to the June 25, 2014 meeting of the
Community Development and Recreation Committee.
While on its surface the Study appears innocuous, its impact
could prove very real to those religious organizations impacted by
the Study. As set out in the report adopted by Council, the
sale of a church can lead to additional costs to the City
(presumably either to replace a program run by a church, or to find
new space for an existing program) and the intent of the Study is
to find a way to reduce the impact of such costs on the City.
If such costs are transferred back to the church, it will have a
negative impact on the value of the church property and, therefore,
have a direct impact on the funding available to the religious
organization in order to achieve that organization's
In essence, depending on the City's decision, the City's
actions could result in a change from a voluntary to a mandatory
transfer of funding or partial funding responsibility for aspects
of social programs and services from the City to religious
organizations. This transfer could occur even though the sale
of a church is a clear indication that the objectives of the
religious organization in a particular area have changed, quite
often as a result of changing demographics in one area and the need
to allocate limited resources to other areas.
If your church currently provides any sort of program assisting
the community, you should take an interest in the Study and
consider contacting the City. Depending on the conclusions
reached through the Study process, the value of your
organization's property could be lowered, which could, in turn,
reduce the resources available to your organization to achieve its
specific objectives and mission.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions or GST.
Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan Act and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions.
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