THE ROLE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN CHARITY PROCEEDINGS IN CANADA AND IN ENGLAND AND WALES
Keywords: Attorney-General, Charities, parens patriae, CRA
AbstractDespite the Crown’s recognized role as the protector of charities under the common law, the provincial attorneys general have had only limited involvement in charity proceedings in Canada, and have never participated in a proceeding between a purported charity and the federal tax ministers of the Crown. In this paper, the author describes the historical rationales for the Attorney General’s parens patriae role in charity proceedings, and the manner in which the chief law officer of the Crown has contributed to the development of the legal meaning of charity in England and Wales. She then discusses how the limited participation of the Crown’s Canadian law officers has affected Canada’s charities jurisprudence, and examines the possible grounds for the participation of the provincial attorneys general in proceedings addressing the meaning of charity under the federal Income Tax Act.
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