International Charities Association Network (iCAN)

International Charities Association Network (iCAN)

December 20, 2007 14:01 ET

iCAN: It is a Sad Day for Canadian Charities

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2007) - The International Charities Association Network (iCAN) is a Canadian registered charity that supports more than 400 affiliated charities and not-for-profit organizations. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issued a Notice of Suspension of iCAN's ability to issue receipts to donors. iCAN has appealed the suspension and is awaiting a judicial decision. This issuance impacts iCAN's ability to support these charities as well as communities across Canada.

iCAN engages in charitable activities that help to relieve the stress of poverty and give the disadvantaged and marginalized a hand-up not just a hand-out. The charitable programs assisted and operated by iCAN include: food distribution - more than 20 million meals in 2006; over 160 Learning and Leadership Education Centres nationally providing on-line courseware training; skills upgrading, pre-employment preparation; job preparation and placement - in the last three years, more than 5,000 people have found employment; after-four Literacy; mentorship programs for high-risk youth and children in need and development programs for 200 volunteers a month. iCAN also provides counseling to those in distress.

iCAN's learning centres provide barrier-free access to computers and on-line training courses. The Learning and Leadership centres help Canadians who need it most to take control of their personal development by helping them to increase their skills capacity. These skills are deemed essential to living, working and learning in the 21st century and a cornerstone to economic development. iCAN believes that the best way to build skills capacity is to partner with existing entities and communities at the grassroots level filling in gaps without duplicating services.

iCAN receives food from corporations, and as a beneficiary of a CRA sanctioned tax shelter program, education software from tens of thousands of Canadian donors. It re-distributes these donations to both its affiliates and communities across Canada.

If iCAN's appeal is not successful, the impact of CRA's action will be profound. Many of iCAN's affiliate charities have indicated that without iCAN's support their programs will be in jeopardy. Existing learning centres will continue to have access to courseware but other services will be discontinued. Tens of thousands of other charities and communities may be deprived of the opportunity of adding a vital education component to their charitable programming.

iCAN has had to suspend the launch of a mobile food bank program that was developed in direct response to community need as well as the further expansion of iCAN's network of learning centres.

The CRA action implicates that helping educate the poor and marginalized in society is beyond iCAN's charity mandate. In fact, it was on the recommendation of CRA that iCAN added the education programming to its official mandate.

iCAN's charitable programs fill a very important gap between government-delivered programs and the needs of marginalized communities.

ICAN works to make a difference for individuals, families and communities across Canada to improve their quality of life and chances for success offering barrier-free access to:

- A Food Distribution Program operated from an 18,000 square foot warehouse that directly and indirectly supported the distribution of 20 million meals in 2006

- More than 160 Learning & Leadership Education Centres nationally, providing skill development courseware training for pre-employment and career development helping 5,000 individuals find jobs

- Children and Youth Programs including After-Four, Literacy, Mentorship Arts and Sports Recreation programs

- Volunteer development programs for 200 volunteers every month in partnership with Social Services

Contact Information