The rules around political activities have been changing rapidly over the past few years. There have been new legislative developments as well as new Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) policies and procedures coming out. It is vital for fundraisers to understand these rules and how their actions could affect their organizations. Our objective is to ensure that fundraisers are armed with the knowledge to carry out their campaigns and to ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to deal with issues as they arise.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understanding the differences between "political activities," "advocacy," and "lobbying"
  2. Strategies and tips for ensuring these rules are complied with
  3. Common issues and how to deal with them
  4. How the rules could be modified to give fundraisers more flexibility

Nicole D'Aoust, LL.B


Miller Thomson LLP

Nicole K. D'Aoust is an Associate in the Toronto office of Miller Thomson’s Charities and Not-for-Profit Group. Before joining the firm in August 2014, Nicole practiced in the areas of tax law and tax litigation and dispute resolution with a law firm affiliated with a "big four" public accounting firm. She also gained experience working for a not-for-profit professional association and articled with a national law firm. At Miller Thomson, she is building a practice focused on providing taxation and corporate governance advice to charities and not-for-profit organizations. Nicole obtained her JD from the University of Ottawa, studying in the French Common Law Program. She has completed Part II of the CPA Canada In-Depth Tax Course. Nicole is a Contributing Editor for Canadian Tax Focus, a quarterly newsletter associated with the Canadian Tax Foundation (CT F) Young Practitioners chapters across the country. She has assisted in a litigation involving charity law issues at the Federal Court of Appeal and has spoken at the CTF Annual Conference. She is also actively involved in the Toronto community most notably as a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Young Leadership Council. During law school, Nicole completed an internship with the Law Branch of the Supreme Court of Canada and was a semi-finalist in a 5-day commercial negotiation competition in Paris, France. Nicole was involved in several law school activities including being elected to the position of Senior Articles Editor of the Ottawa Law Review, as a teaching assistant for the faculty of law's alternative dispute resolution course, and as an exchange student in Mexico City. Upon graduating from law school, Nicole received a Special Distinction for her third-year major paper in legal remedies. Prior to attending law school, Nicole obtained a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Western Ontario.

Andrew Valentine, LL.B.


Miller Thomson LLP

Andrew Valentine is a partner in the Charities and Not-for-Profit Group of Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto.  Andrew joined Miller Thomson as an associate in the Social Impact Group after completing his articles with the firm in 2008. Andrew's practice focuses on providing advice to charities and non-profit organizations on a full range of issues, including gift planning, incorporation and registration, ongoing compliance matters, and audits. He has assisted in several litigation matters involving charity law issues, including at the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He also provides advice on legal matters relating to Canadian anti-spam law. Andrew has authored and co-authored several articles in the area of charities law.  While a student at Miller Thomson, Andrew worked extensively on the charities law text, Charities Taxation, Policy and Practice. Mr. Valentine graduated with distinction from the University of Western Ontario, where he placed first among his first-year class.  While a student at Western, Andrew was privileged to spend a semester studying law at Bond University in Queensland, Australia.

Andrew is a member of the Ontario Bar Association Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Section Executive as well as a number of other professional organizations.  Andrew writes and speaks regularly on a range of charity and not-for-profit topics.