The­sis Research Ques­tion:
Is it get­ting chilly?: How are changes in fed­eral pol­icy gov­ern­ing char­i­ties, and the chang­ing polit­i­cal cli­mate, impact­ing advocacy-oriented Cana­dian charities?


Gareth Kirkby
Stu­dent in M.A. in Pro­fes­sional Com­mu­ni­ca­tion
Royal Roads Uni­ver­sity, Canada


Topic Areas:
Polit­i­cal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion


advo­cacy, polit­i­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, rhetoric, con­tention, civil society


In 2012, the Cana­dian fed­eral gov­ern­ment increased enforce­ment of reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing resources that char­i­ties devote to “polit­i­cal activ­i­ties.” In the past sev­eral years, there has been an increase in rhetoric by gov­ern­ment min­is­ters denounc­ing for­eign donors, as well as social-movement orga­ni­za­tions work­ing on envi­ron­men­tal, devel­op­ment, and social pol­icy issues. Envi­ron­men­tal groups were added in 2012 to the government’s anti-terrorism strat­egy as a poten­tial threat to Cana­dian soci­ety. Also, gov­ern­ment fund­ing has been cut or elim­i­nated for some lead­ing pol­icy advo­cacy orga­ni­za­tions with his­to­ries dat­ing back as far as 70 years.

Using semi-structured in-depth one-on-one inter­views with lead­ers of char­i­ties who advo­cate on pol­icy issues, the research explores the impacts of reg­u­la­tion enforce­ment and chang­ing polit­i­cal cli­mate on the com­mu­ni­ca­tion, advo­cacy and oper­a­tional dimen­sions of those char­i­ties. In what ways are char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tions affected by, and respond­ing to, the pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing char­i­ta­ble sta­tus and to the shift­ing polit­i­cal climate?


To Con­tact Researcher: