It’s hoped that Bill C-240, if passed, will incentivize more people to support charitable agencies. Register file photo

Bill aims to incentivize charitable giving

  • February 17, 2022

MP Marty Morantz is looking to secure additional funding for Canadian charities financially battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conservative Member of Parliament introduced his private member’s bill, the Supporting Canadian Charities Act (C-240), in the House of Commons on Feb. 7. In it he recommends amendments to paragraph 38 of the 1985 Income Tax Act, which concerns a taxpayer’s capital gains and allowable capital loss.

Morantz explained to The Catholic Register how expanding the parameters for capital gains tax exemptions will potentially generate an additional $200 million a year for the charitable sector.

“This type of change in the law will highly incentivize charitable giving at a time when charities most need it,” said Morantz, noting the hit charities have taken over almost two years of the pandemic.

“For years, it has been legal for Canadians to donate publicly traded shares. If you own equities on the stock market — say you own a bank stock — you can donate these stocks to a charity, and you’ll get an exemption from any capital gains tax that might have otherwise gotten triggered upon sale of those shares. What my bill basically does is expand that commitment to the sale proceeds of private shares and real estate shares, as long as those sales are arm’s length for fair market value.”

Considering Morantz’s extensive background as a philanthropist before he was first elected to parliament in 2019, shepherding the Supporting Canadian Charities Act was perhaps inevitable.

Over the years, Morantz served as a board member for Shalom Residences Assisted Living, the Refit Centre Foundation, Community Respite Services, Manitoba Families for Effective Autism Treatment (MFEAT) and the Jewish National Fund. He and his wife Lisa also established the Nathan Morantz Respite Care Fund — in honour of their late son Nathan, who passed away in 2016 at age 16 — to support respite services and autism research.

“This bill is in my DNA,” he said.

Bill C-240 is the second iteration of the Supporting Canadian Charities Act. Morantz first introduced a private member’s proposal in November 2020. However, parliament dissolved before it went to a second reading.

As of Feb. 14, Morantz’s bill is seventh in the order of preference for a second reading in the House of Commons. Upon completion of this step, the act will likely be referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

Morantz said he “has broad caucus support” within his party. He cannot forecast if this legislation has the necessary bipartisan strength.

“I just don’t know yet. I am reaching out to finance officials in the government, and the Bloc (Quebecois) and the NDP members of parliament who have these (financial) portfolios to try and gauge their support.”

Fortunately for Morantz, a cadre of non-profits have endorsed Bill C-240, including Diabetes Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Special Olympics Canada and the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities.

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