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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 <a href="http://beneficgroup.com/" rel="nofollow">Benefic</a>, a boutique firm focused exclusively on the benevolent sector. <br> <br> 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. <br> <br> 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 <a href="http://beneficgroup.com/blog/" rel="nofollow">blog</a>, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000820438222" rel="nofollow">facebook</a> and <a href="http://twitter.com/blakebromley" rel="nofollow">twitter</a>.
Should Freedom of Religion Trump the Charter's Equality

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 <em>Charter's fundamental freedom of religion</em> provision trumps the <em>Charter's</em> equality rights.
03/24/2015 01:23 EDT
If a Bible's Allowed in a Courtroom, Why Isn't a

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

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
Why Canada's Charity System Needs To Consider

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
When Will Canada Revenue Agency Start Dealing With Legal Issues

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

In 2009, CRA began to publish on its website summaries of the reasons it had revoked registrations "for cause". There is nothing in the Income Tax Act which defines revocation "for cause". (In deed, it is alarming to think that charities could be revoked "without cause".) These are simply charities CRA wants to "name and shame".
11/08/2014 07:24 EST
CRA

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

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

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

TWU's statutory object is to provide a university education to persons of any creed. It is the BC legislature which has enacted the statute which uses the mandatory "shall" when articulating the requirement that TWU's education be provided to persons of "any creed". It went on to expressly state that TWU's Bylaws must not include anything "that is in conflict with this Act".
09/28/2014 08:22 EDT
Charity Lesson From the Scottish

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

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
Will Radicalized Jihadists One Day Be Recognized As Humanitarian

Will Radicalized Jihadists One Day Be Recognized As Humanitarian Heroes?

It is not my intention to compare the actions of Dr. Norman Bethune with jihadists fighting for ISIS. My point is that these radicalized jihadists may at some point in the future come to be recognized in Canada and around the world as humanitarian heroes rather than as terrorists.
09/11/2014 07:56 EDT
All This CRA Bickering Is Distracting Charities From Their Real

All This CRA Bickering Is Distracting Charities From Their Real Work

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." This is a sideshow which is distracting the charitable sector from the real issues.
08/22/2014 12:05 EDT
This Conservative Attack Dog Should Not Bite

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
The CRA Should Learn That Charities Can Have Controversial

The CRA Should Learn That Charities Can Have Controversial Views

CRA is cherry-picking its jurisprudence to justify its program of political activities audits. It is ignoring these recent decisions from Australia, England, New Zealand and even Canada's Federal Court of Appeal. Disagreeing with the government on environmental issues is not necessarily a partisan activity.
08/07/2014 05:20 EDT
Don't Select Charities To Audit Based On Their Political

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

How can Canada claim to have a truly independent regulator when the Director General has admitted to the national press that the Directorate is concerned with the particular political leaning of charities, rather than with whether their activities are political at all?
08/01/2014 05:22 EDT
Should Charities Be Allowed to Participate in

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
Does the Government Have in Hand in Which Charities Get

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

Canada's reputation with regard to the politicization of charity audits for "political activities" has been tarnished both domestically and internationally. One can only hope that CRA audits would be governed by the rule of law rather than a political agenda.
07/11/2014 04:49 EDT
Giving Money Towards Maternal Health Is Only Part of a

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

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