Cardus Calls on Finance Committee to Give Canadians Credit for Giving

OTTAWA, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Michael Van Pelt, president of the Hamilton-based policy institute Cardus, today urged the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to support a significant increase in the charitable tax credit as a way of helping Canadians help each other.

Van Pelt said Cardus research proves that raising the charitable tax credit to 42 per cent from the current 29 is the simplest and most effective way to shore up Canada's voluntary sector.

"Cardus has done extensive research on the nature of generosity, on the health of the civic core, and on the importance of institutions mediating between government and the market," he told committee members. "Increasing the charitable tax credit is the best idea of all the other ideas on the table because it is simple, and shows support for Canadians who give their money, time, and hearts out of love for their neighbours."

Van Pelt stressed the institute is not asking government to open wide its wallet in a time of cutbacks.

On the contrary, he said, it only wants the government to meet the forecast it made as far back as 2008 on what future charitable tax expenditure would be.

"In 2005, government expenditure for the charitable tax credit was 2.26 billion. In 2011, government expenditure for the charitable tax credit was less than 2.26 billion. The charitable tax credit expenditure for 2011 actually went down compared to 2005 because more Canadians were giving less," he said.

He warned that unless something substantial is done to motivate Canadians to give more generously, the country's 80,000 charities face a bleak future. So will Canada, said Van Pelt, if Canadians lose the sense of what it means to give.

"The deep social and cultural questions that really motivate our care and our love for our neighbours must become the next great debate in our country.  If this does not happen, no tax incentive will help," Van Pelt said.


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Media Contact: Michael Van Pelt, 905.528.8866 /

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