Recently I spoke in favour of Bill C-240, which was introduced by my friend and colleague MP Marty Morantz.
The essence of this bill is very simple, but its impacts are enormous: it will result in more money ending up in the hands of charities.
By eliminating the capital gains tax on charitable donations of private company shares and real estate, it will result in millions of more dollars going directly to charities, rather than in taxes to the government.
Charities, both big and small, are woven into our communities.
From medical research, to the arts, to recreation, to food banks, to museums and heritage, to housing, to education, these charities are integral to every aspect of society.
According to the latest available data, donations declined by 10% due to the pandemic, and close to half of all charities are struggling.
These statistics are troubling.
As Members of Parliament, the onus is on us to propose solutions.
I believe Bill C-240 is a responsible and appropriate response to the challenge that charities are currently facing.
It is projected to result in $200 million dollars being directly given to charities from across the country.
As a Conservative, I am always keen on advancing ideas that are market-driven and are sustainable over the long term.
This legislation doesn’t expand the size of government, nor does it burden charities or individuals with red tape.
It doesn’t reward one charity over another.
It doesn’t pick winners or losers.
It simply unlocks and leverages the private sector’s philanthropic spirit.
This legislation will help our charities prepare for the future.
As we’ve seen in the last two years, a little help can go a long way.
That is a win-win and that’s exactly why I am supporting this legislation.
As Parliamentarians, we must advocate for policies that harness ingenuity.
We can give people the tools and incentives to help bind communities together.
We can make our communities and charities stronger and more resilient.
We can empower individuals by letting them take the reins of their generosity and philanthropic efforts.
It is about celebrating the value of local communities and charities.
And it is a recognition that those at the grassroots level have the capacity to respond almost immediately to the needs and causes they feel passionate about.
It is in that spirit that Bill C-240 delivers in spades.
And it respects the decisions made by donors to support the charity of their choice.
Not only am I confident of the aims of this bill, but we also have ample evidence to suggest it will accomplish its intended goal.
It builds on the success of the removal of the capital gains tax on gifts on limited securities, which was introduced in 2006.
Since that common-sense change, charities have received donations of listed securities of over $1 billion every year.
That is a tremendous amount of money that is helping do the good work that charities do.
Now it's time to make the Income Tax Act equitable and apply those previous changes to the sale of private shares.
There are also safeguards built into this legislation, such as the requirement of having to sell the shares to someone at arm’s length.
And the sale of those shares must be at fair market value.
These are sensible clauses built into the bill to ensure that an actual disposition of the shares occurs.
Moreover, it ensures those shares are not sold at an inflated price to exaggerate the charitable donation tax credit.