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Blake Bromley

International Charity Lawyer

Blake Bromley is one of the world's foremost experts in charity law, and the recognized pioneer of charitable law and gifting in Canada. He is the President and Principal lawyer of Benefic, a boutique firm focused exclusively on the benevolent sector.

He works with donors, charities, foundations and governments on legal, financial and strategic issues, and has incorporated and registered over 650 charities. He has planned, negotiated, and closed over a billion dollars worth of inter vivos gifting, plus several times that in future testamentary gifts.

He focuses on policy and strategy in domestic and international philanthropy, advising governments in China, Russia, Vietnam, England, Australia, South Africa, and Eastern Europe on drafting their laws governing rights and tax privileges of social organizations. Blake shares his thoughts on his blog, facebook and twitter.
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Should Freedom of Religion Trump the Charter's Equality Rights?

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the Quebec government is infringing on the religious freedom of Loyola High School to require it to teach the Christianity portion of this course from a neutral, rather than a Christian, perspective. The Supreme Court of Canada has effectively held that the Charter's fundamental freedom of religion provision trumps the Charter's equality rights.
03/24/2015 01:23 EDT
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If a Bible's Allowed in a Courtroom, Why Isn't a Hijab?

Judge Eliano Marengo has declared her Quebec courtroom "a secular place and a secular space", and has denied Rania El-Alloul a hearing because she wears a hijab. The judge proclaimed that there are no religious symbols in her courtroom. It is impossible for a judge who daily has witnesses place their hand on a Bible and swear to tell the truth to claim there are no religious symbols in her courtroom. So did the fact that Rania El-Alloul's attire was Islamic weigh more heavily on the judge's decision than the fact that she wore a religious symbol?
03/03/2015 05:53 EST

CRA Can Call a Mulligan in "Auditgate" Process

The debate about how "tricky" it is for the Director-General of CRA's Charity Directorate to consider political leanings when selecting charities for audits continues to rage in Canada. The outrage has reached the dreaded "gate" stage with respected opinion leaders asking "Why is this not considered Canada's own Auditgate scandal?"
12/06/2014 12:33 EST
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Why Canada's Charity System Needs To Consider 'Disbenefits'

If the definition of charity can be improved by examining Scotland's law, certainly there is merit in looking to the civil law of Quebec for concepts that could enhance the meaning of charity in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada has moved away from the common law tradition of enabling courts to evolve new charitable purposes by analogy to previously recognized purposes.
11/23/2014 11:22 EST

CRA "Gotcha" Audits Need to Stop

When government or industry officials want a charity closed down, they have little interest in the way they achieve revocation. All they care about is whether, at the end of the audit, they can raise their martini glasses and say GOTCHA.
10/12/2014 03:12 EDT

Canada Shouldn't Feel Superior to China's Charity Regulation

When considering civil society organizations, there are few things to which government officials are more sensitive than political activities. It is doubtful that the activities considered unacceptably political by the Communist Party of China are any more overtly political than the impugned activities of charities in Canada.
10/02/2014 12:31 EDT

Charity Lesson From the Scottish Referendum

The referendum in Scotland demonstrates the risks of England denying tax benefits to charities which promote indigenous Scottish values. Canada should have the self-confidence to respect the values and purposes which emanate from Quebec's people and legislature when granting tax benefits to registered charities.
09/23/2014 12:01 EDT

Don't Give ISIS the Reaction it Wants

We must move beyond being revolted by the beheadings because that is the singular reaction ISIS seeks from those who do not respond by becoming recruits. Young radicals leaving Canada are individuals. We must see them as individuals and not just caricatures.
09/19/2014 01:19 EDT

This Conservative Attack Dog Should Not Bite Trudeau

The conservative attack dog, whose attacks on environmental charities precipitated "political activities" audits by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), has now turned his attention to Muslim mosques and Justin Trudeau. My fear is that Ezra Levant is seeking to duplicate his political success against environmental charities by fomenting complaints against Muslim charities. His attacks on Justin Trudeau are being publicized by Veteran Affairs Minister Julian Fantino and given coverage by the CBC.
08/13/2014 06:11 EDT
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Should Charities Be Allowed to Participate in Politics?

The "advocacy chill" in Canada is due to the politicization of the regulator rather than the law of charity. I am still only a reluctant supporter of increasing the rights of charities to engage in political activities, and my participation in this debate is firmly rooted in my belief in the rule of law and in opposition to the politicization of the current Charities Directorate.
07/18/2014 07:56 EDT
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Giving Money Towards Maternal Health Is Only Part of a Solution

If Canada's $3.5 billion towards maternal health in low income countries is to be effective, we must not only deliver the funds, we must do so in programs that will be accepted by women and children in Africa. The goal must be to ensure that the ultimate measurement of success is that our funding is appropriate and accepted by individual women and children in Africa so that we do indeed enhance maternal, newborn and child health.
06/04/2014 08:10 EDT
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Why We Should Admire Justin Trudeau's Answer Instead of Mocking It

My views of China are too conflicted for me to name it as the country I most admire. However, I remain grateful that Justin Trudeau had the intellectual courage to encourage Canadians to learn from China. If we want healthy political discourse in our country, we must listen and learn when politicians answer questions with responses that are honest rather than poll tested. If our politicians are not willing to study and learn from China, Canada is not benefiting from the political leadership we need.
11/13/2013 05:33 EST