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, MA, LL.B.


Miller Thomson LLP

Nicole is a bilingual lawyer practicing exclusively in charity and not-for-profit law.  Nicole advises clients on a wide range of topics that affect how their organizations operate both in Canada and internationally, including organizational and corporate structure, governance, charitable gifts and receipting, endowments, donor advised funds, compliance with tax and corporate law, and social finance issues. Nicole has completed CPA Canada's three-year In-Depth Tax Course for tax lawyers and accountants. She has also completed the Canadian Board Diversity Council's Corporate Governance Education Program for charities and not-for-profit organizations. Nicole lives and works in Toronto and enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering her time and through philanthropy.

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.