Some activities that may seem to be political are actually accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as charitable activities. These are:
1. Making representations. If you make a representation to an elected representative or public official (so long as it meets the other requirements of political activities), this is generally considered to be a charitable activity.
You may need to register under the Lobbying Act if you are communicating with an elected representative or public official. Click here for details
2. Releasing representations. Releasing the text of a representation is considered a charitable activity if the entire text is released and there is no explicit call to political action either in the text or in reference to the text (that is, the charity should not tell readers or others to contact an elected representative or public official and urge them to retain, oppose, or change the law, policy, or decision of government).
The charity can release the entire representation through a press release or on its Web site. The charity can also offer to distribute the information to anyone who wants a copy. In all cases, the entire representation should be distributed.
If a charity makes an explicit call to political action in the representation or in reference to it, the activities could be regarded as political activities and all resources associated with them could be considered as devoted to a political activity.
Be careful that a call to political action is not partisan (i.e., that it does not support or oppose a particular candidate or party), or the activity may be prohibited.
3. Public Awareness Activities. When a charity promotes public awareness about its work or an issue, and the activity is connected and subordinate to the charity's purpose, CRA considers this to be a charitable activity. The activity should also be based on a position that is well-reasoned, and not on false, inaccurate, or misleading information. Finally, although CRA accepts that public awareness material may have some emotional content, it is not acceptable to use primarily emotive material.