On February 25, 2016, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa
released the 2016 Ontario Budget. Generally speaking, the purpose
of the annual Budget is to outline the government's economic
and social priorities for the coming year. This year, the Ontario
Budget contained very few measures that will directly affect
charities and not-for-profit corporations.
In the chapter of the Budget dealing with economic growth, the
government indicated that it is developing a "renewed Social
Enterprise Strategy" for the province. As explained in the
Budget, "[t]he strategy will lead to the development of
sustainable and scalable social enterprises, and will continue to
position Ontario as a leading jurisdiction for social
enterprises." The government also indicated that it "is
dedicated to developing new and innovative social finance tools,
including committing to pilot one or more Social Impact Bonds
(SIBs) in the province." No further details in respect of
either of these measures were provided.
Despite not providing any details of these measures, the Budget
appears to recognize the fact that the social enterprise sector
contributes to economic and social development in the province in
particular "by creating jobs, increasing entrepreneurship, and
addressing society's most pressing and environmental
issues." It was also noted in the Budget that the social
enterprise sector "helps empower the province's most
vulnerable people." Since 2013, when the government's
Social Enterprise Strategy was first announced, the province has
made some investments in the sector, including by way of the Social
Enterprise Demonstration Fund, the Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund,
the Community Loans Fund, and the Ontario Social Impact Vouchers
The chapter on economic growth also contained a section dealing
with the revitalization of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming
Corporation and charitable bingo games. More specifically, it was
Technological advances continue to
drive changes in OLG customer preferences and product offerings,
which in turn will drive government policy considerations in the
near future related to provincial delivery of charitable bingo
games and new commercial gaming products.
It remains to be seen what is meant by "policy
considerations related to provincial delivery of charitable bingo
games" and whether this will have any significant impact on
charities. It was also indicated in this section of the Budget that
proceeds from gaming activities in Ontario will continue to be used
to support the operation of hospitals, charities, not-for-profit
organizations, municipalities, and Ontario First Nations. It seems,
based on the data provided in the Budget, that upcoming levels of
support from gaming will be roughly the same as in the past
Finally, some of the measures in the Chapter of the Budget
entitled "Towards a Fair Society" should be of interest
to the sector. It was indicated in this section that the government
will be updating the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy,
investing more financial resources into a special needs strategy
for children and youth, supporting the settlement of refugees in
Ontario, and various other fairness measures. The province also
indicated that it plans to act on recommendations of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Further details of these
measures can be found in the Budget document.
Before the Budget was released, some had wondered whether
Ontario would review the provincial charitable donation tax credit
for high income earners in light of the adjustments made to the
federal credit; however, this did not occur.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will deliver the 2016
Federal Budget on March 22. The federal government has previously
indicated that it plans to develop a new legislative framework to
strengthen certain aspects of the voluntary sector. It remains to
be seen on March 22 what measures in furtherance of this goal, if
any, will be introduced in 2016. Miller Thomson LLP's Charities
and Not-for-Profit Group will release an analysis of the Federal
Budget measures affecting charities and non-profits on March
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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