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Budget 2019 – New Initiatives for Not-for-Profits and Charities

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019

March 19, 2019

Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau tabled the federal government’s Budget 2019 in Parliament today. The Budget is focused on “Investing in the Middle Class” and has a particular focus on increasing housing availability and skills and jobs. The Budget does not have any significant new developments for the not-for-profit and charities sector, but does have several announcements that may impact specific non-profits, both directly and indirectly. Here is a look at what the Budget has planned for 2019/2020.

Qualified Donee Status of “Registered Journalism Organizations”

The budget proposes adding registered journalism organization as a new category of tax-exempt qualified donee. Organizations will be required to apply to the CRA to be registered and meet certain additional conditions. These organizations will need to be corporations or trusts with purposes exclusively related to journalism. The new status will enable them to issue official donation receipts and accept gifts from registered charities.  

Housing Supply Challenge

$ 300 million was announced to launch a new initiative dubbed in the budget as the “Housing Supply Challenge.” Designed for municipalities and other stakeholders, the program will allow these groups to propose, through an application process operated by the Infrastructure Canada and the Canada Housing and Mortgage Company (CMHC), projects with new ways to break down barriers that limit the creation of new housing. Successful applicants will be selected and funded through a merit-based competition.

Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability

The Federal Minister of Finance, in collaboration with the BC Minister of Finance and BC Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, will launch an Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability. The panel will consult with stakeholders and build on investments and initiatives to increase supply of housing in British Columbia. Budget 2019 announces $ 4 million funding from CMHC for the Panel. Additionally, $ 5 million over two years will be invested to develop state-of-the-art housing supply modelling and related data collection to support this work.

National Housing Strategy

Budget 2019 proposes introduction of new legislation requiring maintenance of the 2017 National Housing Strategy.

New Horizons for Seniors Program

Budget 2019 provides additional funding of $100 million over five years for the New Horizons for Seniors Program aimed at supporting projects that improve the quality of life for seniors and promote their full participation in Canadian society. The program offers up to $ 25,000 to support projects in local communities and up to $ 5 million to support projects that are national in scope and can benefit seniors across the country.

Social Finance Fund

As announced in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Federal government will make available up to $755 million on a cash basis over 10 years to establish a Social Finance Fund. The fund will assist charitable, non-profit and other social purpose organizations access funding for projects that will have a positive social impact, such as reducing poverty, expanding employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, or building more affordable housing.

Budget 2019 also announced a related investment of $ 50 million over two years to improve the ability of social purpose organizations to successfully participate in the social finance market.

Canada Arts Presentation Fund

Budget 2019 proposes to provide $ 16 million over two years to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund. The Fund supports not-for-profit professional performing arts organizations, including festivals and performing arts series, in all regions of the country, as well as focused support for the Confederation Centre of the Arts in PEI.

For More Information

For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s Budget 2019 webpage here: The full statement can be downloaded and read here:





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