Presentation on theme: "Advocacy in Canada: Not Just For Lawyers Understand how the system works. Discover who is listening. Move beyond the ask. Examine what success means. Karen."— Presentation transcript:
Advocacy in Canada: Not Just For Lawyers Understand how the system works. Discover who is listening. Move beyond the ask. Examine what success means. Karen Lynch Canadian Parents For French October 17,2014
Advocacy or Lobbying? 1.I wrote a letter to my Member of Parliament. 2.Our volunteers designed a protest campaign. 3.The Board hired Murdoch & Co. to write a proposal to give to the Prime Minister. 4.Our $100,000 budget had a $20K line for a government relations expert.
Lobbyist Act (Canada) The Lobbying Act four key principles: Free and open access to government is an important matter of public interest. Lobbying public office holders is a legitimate activity. It is desirable that public office holders and the general public be able to know who is engaged in lobbying activities. The system of registration of paid lobbyists should not impede free and open access to government. The Act applies to individuals who are paid to lobby. People who lobby on a voluntary basis are not required to register. Cheat sheet Ten things You should Know about Lobbying in Canada: https://ocl-cal.gc.ca/eic/site/012.nsf/eng/00403.html
Who is a lobbyist? A “consultant lobbyist” is a person who, for payment, undertakes to lobby on behalf of a client, and includes an individual engaged by a consultant lobbyist to lobby in respect of an undertaking. “In House lobbyist” means an employee, officer or director of an organization who receives a payment for the performance of his or her functions, or a sole proprietor, or a partner in a partnership,
…Who is a Lobbyist? Federal Lobbyist Registry Not all lobbying activity requires registration. Corporations and not-for-profit organizations may conduct some lobbying activities and not be required to file a registration if the cumulative lobbying activities of all employees do not constitute 20% or more of one person's duties over a period of a month. Volunteers are not required to register as they are not paid to communicate with public office holders.
Advocacy Meet and communicate with politicians and officials, even if intent is to change law or policy Representations: – related to issues connected to charity’s purposes; – that are well-reasoned; – that do not contain information that the charity knows, or ought to know is false, inaccurate, or misleading; – that have no call to action. All such activity is considered “charitable”. %20Mar% pdf
Federal Scene Federal Budget 2012 profiled significant concerns about political activities, advocacy and what charities are permitted to do. Why? CRA’s “advocacy rules” Policy Statement CPS-022: Courts have determined political purposes to be those that seek to: further the interests of a particular political party; or support a political party or candidate for public office; or retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of any level of government in Canada or a foreign country.
Federal Scene Can you communicate with an elected representative or public official?
Infamous 10% Rule When a charity takes part in political activities, the Act requires that substantially all of its resources must be devoted to charitable activities. The term resources is not defined in the Act, but it is considered to include the total of a charity's financial assets, as well as everything the charity can use to further its purposes, such as its staff, volunteers, directors, and its premises and equipment. consider substantially all to mean 90% or more
How to avoid trouble… “One year and $5 million later, Harper’s charity crackdown nets just one bad egg” An $8-million pot of money included in 2012 federal budget to crack down on charities suspected of engaging in “excessive” political activities has so far resulted in only one having its charitable status revoked, out of nearly 900 that were audited. Under the Canadian tax code, registered charities are permitted to devote a maximum of 10 per cent of their total resources to non- partisan political activities, defined as any type of call to political action. The agency has already spent $5 million to educate charities and increase transparency and compliance around those limitations, and expects to spend the remaining $3 million in the coming year. March 13, 2013 Metro News
So You Want to Be Heard?
House of Commons
Engagement with Canadians
What works and what doesn’t
What works and what doesn’t…
Political Activities CPS – 022 “for the purposes of this policy, a charity’s activities can be divided into 3 types: Prohibited activities Political activities Charitable activities
What works and what doesn’t… 1) Prohibited Activity partisan political activity no financial (or in-kind) contributions to parties or candidates Illegal activity 2) Permitted – But Limited – Political Activities OK if “non-partisan” and “subordinate to charity’s purposes” a call to action (“vote a certain way” or “write your MP”) taking out a newspaper ad / starting an campaign aimed at legislators organizing a march on Parliament Hill
What works and what doesn’t… 3) Charitable Activity meet and communicate with politicians and officials, even if intent is to change law or policy Representations related to issue connected to charity’s purposes; that are well-reasoned, do not contain information that the charity knows is false, inaccurate, or misleading; that have no call to action All such activity is charitable
What works and what doesn’t… Lobby days CONTENTID= CONTENTID=14133
High Value Networking
What works and what doesn’t… Disability tax credit Arthritis Society Special Olympics Michener Centre Common Drug Review Volunteer Police Information Check program Canadian Survey of Giving Volunteering and Participating
Case for Canadian Parents for French
Public Policy Development or Public Policy Advocacy? Citizen Engagement. Identify: Who is supportive? Who is effected? Who else is focusing on the issue? Who is opposed? Research. Formulating: Data collection Literature review History of issue Ask
CPF Master Advocacy Plan Summary: Know the system for decision making Know your issue Learn the rules Create your case Determine allies Develop the network Determine the ask Communicate to decision makers Prepare to be persistent (nicely!) Participate as a partner
Advocacy in Canada – Not Just for Lawyers. Get Started. Karen Lynch