OTTAWA – Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes spoke in support of Bill C-470 in parliament today. C-470, a Private Member’s Bill, would amend the Income Tax Act by limiting the salaries of executives of charitable organizations to $250,000 per year.

“By providing Canadians with the knowledge that the presidents, CEOs, and other executives of the thousands of registered charities throughout Canada are limited in the amount of compensation they are receiving, Canadians will feel more confident donating to charities without having to worry that the money they are providing isn’t going to line someone’s already-deep pockets,” Hughes stated in her speech in the House of Commons.

Under current tax laws, the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charities Directorate has limited resources to examine where the money individuals donate to charitable organizations actually goes. If Bill C-470 passes, it will provide more stringent regulations that will give the CRA the authority to de-list charities that decide to pay executives massive salaries and bonuses at the expense of donors.

“It seems only logical… to place a limit on the amount of money that executives of charitable organizations receive,” Hughes said, “both as a method of providing greater oversight into the inner-workings of charitable organizations, and as a method of restoring and maintaining donor confidence in an industry that has been tested by scandal over the past few years.”

Hughes provided several recent examples of why this bill is needed, including that of Michael O’Mahoney, former Sick Kids Foundation president, who, after receiving a $600,000 salary for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, also received $2.1 million after leaving the post. She noted how the payment became public and drove down donations significantly, harming the foundation’s brand in the process.

“We need to work to ensure that Canadian charities are acting in the best interest of the Canadian people, and I’m positive most are, but the few who are acting unethically tarnish the reputations of those looking to do some good for our country and the world at large,” concluded Hughes.