AFP's Day in the Ridings: Why Public Policy Matters
Public policy has become increasingly important for AFP in Canada over the past two decades. From having a single member on the U.S. Government Relations Committee to the creation of the first Canada Government Relations Committee—from the submission of our first Pre-Budget Consultation paper to helping win passage of several pieces of legislation—AFP’s government relations program in Canada has surged forward.
In 2017, AFP Canada took the next step in its government relations evolution, introducing the association and our key issues to Members of Parliament through an advocacy initiative involving chapters across the country: Day in the Ridings.
The Day in the Ridings (DITR) event was discussed and supported by the full Canada Government Relations Committee, as well as Canadian volunteer leadership, including the AFP Canada Board. The pilot, which was implemented in the fall of 2017, resulted in 75 meetings with MPs and AFP chapters taking place!
The primary goals of DITR are:
- Have chapters talk with local MPs and other politicians in their ridings to introduce AFP and establish positive relationships.
- Involve chapters and members in public policy work and familiarize them with meeting elected officials.
- Begin the long-term process of chapters developing knowledge and expertise in public policy issues and matters.
The event also has other benefits, including engaging senior-level practitioners, as well as those members in remote areas, highlighting important government relations activities to AFP members, and testing evolving communications pieces such as Asking Matters, one of the documents chapter will leave behind with MPs after their meetings.
What are AFP’s Policy Priorities?
- Designate a federal department—the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (formerly Industry Canada)—to have economic policy responsibility for the nonprofit sector. In doing so, it would provide a better framework to develop data-driven, charitable giving policies that would in turn foster a stronger nonprofit sector.
- Allocate $1 million annually to Statistics Canada for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and disseminating comprehensive data about the nonprofit sector, as proposed by Imagine Canada.
- Permanently eliminate the capital gains tax on charitable gifts of private company shares and real estate. It has been estimated that this proposal would enable the charitable sector to access an estimated $170 to $225 million of incremental funding from the private sector with a tax revenue cost to the government of only $50 to $65 million.
What is AFP asking our elected officials to do?
- Continue to learn about and support the many charities in your riding. This can include attending events or visiting their places of business, thus giving them an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with you concerning local needs.
- Access AFP expertise for riding and national matters related to fundraising, charities and philanthropy.
- Support AFP’s legislative priorities, especially moving primary government responsibility for the charitable and nonprofit sector to the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.