New legislation would make it easier for non-profit organizations to support their communities in times of need.
Bill 58, the Freedom to Care Act, would make it easier for non-profits to access exemptions, allow Alberta’s government to grant new one-time regulatory exemptions and provide individual volunteers with liability protections. Non-profits and charitable organizations are governed by regulations, just like businesses. However, regulations for commercial purposes can prevent non-profit organizations from addressing immediate needs in their communities.
Non-profits provide crucial supports to Albertans, and will be key to Alberta’s recovery and reinvigorating our communities. To help non-profits to perform social good, several exemptions to regulations currently exist. For example, there are exemptions to limit liability for civil society organizations that accept donated food. These organizations need to focus on helping people instead of navigating complicated regulations. If passed, a central website will be developed to help non-profits identify and access these exemptions for their organizations.
To ensure successful implementation, the minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women will also report annually to cabinet on the outcome of exemption requests and when new exemptions may be needed. This will ensure the provisions of the act are producing the expected results, meeting the needs of communities and not putting Albertans at risk.
The proposed Freedom to Care Act will:
- Allow cabinet (through order in council) to grant one-time, short-term exemptions for non-profits from government regulations intended for business.
- Require the minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women to report annually to cabinet on exemption requests that cannot be addressed through existing processes or legislation.
- Provide individual volunteers with liability protections.