Blake Bromley
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.

Entries by Blake Bromley

Should Freedom of Religion Trump the Charter's Equality Rights?

(11) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 1:23 PM

Quebec requires all high schools to teach a course on Ethics and Religious Culture in order to attain two key learning objectives: the recognition of others and the pursuit of the common good. The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the Quebec government is infringing...

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If a Bible's Allowed in a Courtroom, Why Isn't a Hijab?

(277) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 4:53 PM

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.

A courtroom is a secular place in our society...

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CRA Can Call a Mulligan in "Auditgate" Process

(1) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 11:33 PM

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...

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Why Canada's Charity System Needs To Consider 'Disbenefits'

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2014 | 10:22 PM

Previously, I wrote a post about how the leading charity law case, Income Tax Special Commissioners v. Pemsel, requires Scottish charities to conform with English common law. I compared this with Canada's exclusion of Quebec civil law, and its concept of 'bienfaisance,' in determining the meaning...

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When Will Canada Revenue Agency Start Dealing With Legal Issues Properly?

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 6:24 PM

In a recent piece I pointed out that CRA's charity audits frequently turn on administrative issues rather than on substantive issues such as political activities. I discussed a current audit in which the charity had filed its T3010 13 days late in one of two years in the...

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CRA "Gotcha" Audits Need to Stop

(4) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 3:12 PM

In a recent piece I pointed out that when the Minister of National Revenue issues a Notice of Intention to Revoke, a charity must appeal to the same Minister who issued the Notice. There is no guarantee of an independent appeal process. The Appeals Branch of CRA's Tax...

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

(1) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 8:59 AM

I am in Beijing for about the 50th time since beginning my second round of advising the Ministry of Civil Affairs' officials drafting the law of charity in China in 2005. The elephant in the room is the protesters occupying Civic Square in Central Hong Kong and blockading...

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Don't Frame TWU's Community Covenant Issue as a Freedom of Religion Issue

(9) Comments | Posted September 28, 2014 | 8:22 PM

Trinity Western University faces yet another hurdle in creating its proposed law school. The Law Society of British Columbia has asked its members to vote on the issue whether it should become an approved faculty of law in British Columbia.

The controversy focuses on...

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Charity Lesson From the Scottish Referendum

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 12:01 PM

It took the fear of Scotland voting to separate for the tax authorities in London to afford any respect to Scottish law when determining tax benefits for charities in Great Britain.

When opinion polls showed the Scots might actually vote in favour of separation on September 18,...

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Don't Give ISIS the Reaction it Wants

(6) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 1:19 PM

The horror of yet another online broadcast of a hostage beheading by an ISIS radical from England is the focus of global news again. The latest victim is an international aid organization worker.

This execution resonated with me personally. I was working with an international aid organization in...

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Will Radicalized Jihadists One Day Be Recognized As Humanitarian Heroes?

(13) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 7:56 AM

It is intriguing to find Dr. Norman Bethune's legacy celebrated on the front page of the Globe and Mail as Canada debates the radicalization of its youth in light of current global conflicts.

Bethune was a Canadian doctor of distinguished Presbyterian pedigree who, in 1936,...

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Tribute to Stephen Lloyd: Creator of Community Interest Companies

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 3:03 PM

The charity world lost one of its most important and innovative intellectual leaders. On August 20, London lawyer Stephen Lloyd died in a tragic boating accident while on holiday in Wales.

Very few Canadians knew of Stephen Lloyd. However, the charitable sector in Canada is indebted to...

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All This CRA Bickering Is Distracting Charities From Their Real Work

(2) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 12:05 PM

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue says that it is "absolutely shameful" to suggest that Canada Revenue Agency officials auditing charities could "somehow fall under political influence." With that highly calibrated sense of righteous indignation, one hopes that Conservative MP Gerald Keddy does...

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This Conservative Attack Dog Should Not Bite Trudeau

(12) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 6:11 PM

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.

While it is too late to turn back politicization of CRA's Charities Directorate with regard to environmental...

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The CRA Should Learn That Charities Can Have Controversial Views

(11) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 5:20 PM

Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) very public and aggressive program of auditing the alleged political activities of charities is being conducted in spite of the fact that the law of charity upon which CRA purports to rely is moving in the opposite direction.

In a recent piece on

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Don't Select Charities To Audit Based On Their Political Leanings

(4) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 5:22 PM

It was "always a bit tricky", Cathy Hawara told the Globe and Mail, when Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) "gave consideration to, you know, what you might call political leanings, to make sure that we weren't only focusing on one side of the political spectrum."

Ms. Hawara's acknowledgement that...

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Should Charities Be Allowed to Participate in Politics?

(6) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 7:56 AM

Last Friday, I wrote about an "advocacy chill" growing in Canada due to politicization of the Charities Directorate at Canada Revenue Agency and referred to last week's legal decision in England, of the Charity Tribunal, which held that "promoting the sound administration of the...

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Does the Government Have in Hand in Which Charities Get Audited?

(9) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 12:23 PM

Concern is growing in Canada over the politicization of the Charities Directorate at Canada Revenue Agency. On the same day that the issue was covered by the Globe and Mail and the CBC, CRA emailed everyone on its "Charities and Giving" list the Director...

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Giving Money Towards Maternal Health Is Only Part of a Solution

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 11:28 AM

Press headlines covering the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Summit held in Toronto May 28-30, 2014 focused on the money. $3.5 billion is enough to command the attention of the press. The magnitude of the financial commitment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is easier to understand...

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Why We Should Admire Justin Trudeau's Answer Instead of Mocking It

(79) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 4:33 PM

Justin Trudeau has "shocked" the media by providing an unusual response to a question posed to him during a fundraising event. When asked which nation, besides Canada, he most admires and why, Trudeau could have provided a "safe" answer and said the United States. Instead, Trudeau had the courage to...

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