High Ideals and Noble Intentions

High Ideals and Noble Intentions: Voluntary Sector-Government Relations in Canada

PETER R. ELSON
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 224
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442690097
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  • Book Info
    High Ideals and Noble Intentions
    Book Description:

    This historically informed comparative analysis provides the basis for practical recommendations meant to improve the future of voluntary sector-government relations across Canada.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9009-7
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-15)

    Canadaʹs more than 160,000 charities and not-for-profits protect the environment, shelter the poor, create spaces for worship, help new immigrants read, build low-income housing, feed the hungry, organize sports, care for the sick, and educate the public. These not-for-profit and voluntary organizations report annual revenues of $112 billion and employ more than two million Canadians, making this sector the second-largest in the world as a percentage of the domestic working population (Hall et al. 2005). These same organizations enjoy strong and consistent public trust, donations to achieve their missions, and support for their public policy advocacy (Muttart Foundation 2006, 2008)....

  6. 2 1600 to 1930: An Emerging Institutionalization
    (pp. 16-30)

    The history of voluntary sector/government relations in Canada is often overlooked and chronically underappreciated. Yet if we are to truly understand this dynamic, it is essential that we review the emergence of voluntary sector/government relations as it relates to poverty, moral charity, immigration, and the political and social reform movements in the early 1900s.

    During the 330 years between 1600 and 1930, voluntary organizations such as hospitals, settlement houses, faith groups, and community support agencies emerged to support those in need, both independently and in collaboration with the state (Valverde 1995). These emerging voluntary institutions continue to play an important...

  7. 3 The 1930 Income War Tax Amendment
    (pp. 31-58)

    The 1930 amendment to the Income War Tax Act continues to echo through the corridors of charity regulators and voluntary organizations across Canada. This amendment was both a tax statuteanda regulatory one. Those two elements have yet to be separated after eighty years - a circumstance that to this day exerts enormous influence on charities both registered and prospective. The circumstances surrounding this critical historical event, and its consequences since, indicate why the voluntary sector has found it so difficult to bring about statutory changes.

    In 1929 the Liberal government was urged by the opposition Independent Labour Party...

  8. 4 Where Is the Voice of Canadaʹs Voluntary Sector?
    (pp. 59-87)

    The 1930 amendment to the Income War Tax Act demonstrated that federal regulations can have a long-term impact, especially when registered charities comprise almost half the voluntary sector. Charities are controlled by federal regulations that define charitable purposes, registration eligibility, and donation and disbursement limitations. Similarly, advocacy regulations limit the capacity of charities (i.e., their community and board members) to address systemic injustices and inequalities. The constraints on advocacy and service provision put in place by certain funders are serious limitations, especially for charities that rely on government funding in their efforts to support vulnerable populations.

    Even though the federal...

  9. 5 Cuts to the Core
    (pp. 88-114)

    When the federal Liberals returned to power in 1993, the dark clouds of successive deficits and accumulated debt were gathering, soon to break over Parliament Hill. The voluntary sector was caught up in Finance Minister Paul Martinʹs aggressive Program Review, which involved all government departments and cut billions of dollars of government expenditures over a three-year period.

    These expenditure reductions across all levels of government led to fundamental institutional changes in staffing, transfer payments, and program funding policies. The funding cuts implemented by the federal government directly affected federal programs and department staff levels and resulted in significant reductions in...

  10. 6 Canada: This Is London Calling
    (pp. 115-149)

    Since 1994 there has been a sustained, dynamic, and comprehensive engagement between the New Labour government and the voluntary sector in England.¹ This engagement has had a direct impact on advocacy regulations, the regulation and the statutory definition of charities, the contracting out of public services to the voluntary sector, and institutional relationships among the central government, local authorities, and the voluntary sector.

    England has been a frequent comparator for countries interested in developing better relations with their voluntary sectors. There are several reasons why. First, common law precedents in England have been recognized by courts and parliaments in other...

  11. 7 High Ideals and Noble Intentions
    (pp. 150-166)

    How can the voluntary sector in Canada move beyond its aura of high ideals and noble intentions and be seen as a valuable source of insight and experience? What steps can voluntary sector organizations take at a local, provincial/territorial, and national level to forge a new relationship with government that doesnʹt repeat the past but builds a new future?

    This book opened with an effort to identify the critical junctures that have led to the relational, regulatory, and financing policy issues currently existing between the voluntary sector and government in Canada. I identified three critical junctures in Canada: the 1930...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 167-172)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 173-192)
  14. Index
    (pp. 193-197)