Explainer: How the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector works

The ACCS has considerable influence over the charitable sector’s regulation, but its internal workings have been a mystery to many.

Why It Matters

In a move to fulfil Canada’s promise to modernize the rules governing the charitable sector, the federal government created the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) a few years ago. But its internal practices are still not transparent or widely understood in the social sector.

The charitable sector in Canada has had its causes advanced by the recommendations of a certain advisory committee to the government, over the last few years. Yet, this committee’s inner workings remain something of a mystery to the people working on the ground within the sector.

In Nov. 2018, the government of Canada announced its creation of a new, permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) in order to provide counsel to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Minister of National Revenue, “on important and emerging issues facing the sector.”

The ACCS was born out of a demand for modernization of the CRA’s rules governing the charitable sector in Canada, as voiced by the 2017 report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities. The committee then began its work in late 2019.

The mandate laid out for the committee

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