Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Many members of Canada’s Christian churches provide generous support for charities across the country and the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) appreciates the increased recognition of such donations through the tax system. At the same time, questions have been raised regarding the policy framework used to regulate the charitable sector. In particular church members are concerned about the increasingly narrow interpretation of charitable activity that can exclude organizations who speak up for justice and care for creation.

The Canadian Council of Churches is the largest ecumenical body in Canada, now representing 25 churches of Anglican, Eastern and Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Free Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, and Historic Protestant traditions; this is 85% of Christians in Canada who profess adherence to a church.

As you know so well mercy and justice go hand in hand in the Scriptures. Direct assistance for persons living in poverty, for example, is incomplete without also advocating for changes that remove barriers to their full participation in society. Care for creation, a Biblical calling for all humans, requires that persons of faith speak up for systemic changes in public policies that damage the creation as well as supporting non-profit conservation or recycling programs. Both are integral parts of exercising responsibility as a Christian citizen. Donations for both deserve equal recognition as contributions to the public good that warrant eligibility for a charitable tax receipt.

File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Faith and Sustainable Economy
Tags: charitable activities, charitable sector, just policies, sustainable economy
Author: General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches (Karen Hamilton)