Advancing Religion as a Head of Charity: What Are the Boundaries?

Terrance S. Carter


This article explains the historical perspective concerning advancement of religion as a head of charity by examining influential case law that has defined the scope of advancement of religion and discusses how the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has impacted the definition of religion and may impact advancing religion as a head of charity in the future. It suggests that based upon the predominance of judicial decisions to date, the overarching value of religion to society, and Charter considerations, advancement of religion as a head of charity should be broadly interpreted by the courts and the Canada Revenue Agency when determining whether religious organizations should be granted and/or allowed to retain their charitable status under the Income Tax Act.

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