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Members of the Equitable Recovery Collective Release Joint Letter of Support for Bill S-279

Members of the Equitable Recovery Collective Release Joint Letter of Support for Bill S-279


Re: Support for Bill S-279


Honourable Senators and Members of Parliament: 

The Equitable Recovery Collective is writing this letter to indicate its support for Bill S-279, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (data on registered charities) introduced by Senator Ratna Omidvar on October 4, 2023. 

The bill seeks to address a critical knowledge gap in the nonprofit sector by providing data about the demographic composition of the boards of registered charities and federally incorporated nonprofit organizations. If passed, it would mandate all registered charities to provide demographic data on their board composition in their annual T3010 information returns, providing the sector with a way to track aggregate trends in board diversity over time.
If adopted, the bill would satisfy recommendation eight from the Catalyst for Change report prepared by the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector.

The nonprofit sector employs 2.5 million people–one in ten Canadians works for a charity or nonprofit. Seventy percent of the nonprofit workforce identifies as female, 28% are racialized individuals, and 27% are immigrants to Canada. Nonprofits are present in every community across Canada, improving quality of life and acting as a nexus for social and economic activity. Nonprofits are an indispensable part of the government's ability to deliver on public policy priorities, especially concerning otherwise underserved communities. 

Recent survey data shows a lack of diversity on boards of directors, which is concerning given their critical leadership and governance role in the nonprofit sector. Moreover, research our group published last year found that only 32% of nonprofit organizations have audited their board composition. Improved data collection in the sector will allow governments, funders, researchers, and nonprofits to make effective and timely decisions when designing policies, planning interventions, anticipating changes, and forecasting the needs of Canadians across the country. 

We support the intent and reporting requirements introduced by this bill as they align with similar reporting requirements for federally incorporated public corporations and federal initiatives such as the 50-30 challenge, which aims to increase diversity in corporate Canada. We look forward to opportunities to propose amendments to strengthen the bill as it goes through the legislative process, such as increased capacity supports to enable organizations to collect diversity data. We urge both the Senate and Parliament to pass Bill S-279 this spring. 

Endorsed by:

  • Ase Community Foundation for Black Canadians with Disabilities
  • Canadian Women's Foundation - Fondation canadienne des femmes
  • Circle on Philanthropy
  • Egale Canada
  • Imagine Canada
  • Ontario Nonprofit Network
  • Network for the Advancement of Black Communities - Réseau pour l'avancement des communautés noires
  • Philanthropic Foundations Canada - Fondations Philanthropiques Canada

About the Equitable Recovery Collective


The Equitable Recovery Collective is a group of leaders from across the nonprofit sector that formed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the nonprofit sector and the communities it serves. The Collective aims to advance an equitable recovery and a robust nonprofit sector.