Charitable Purpose Trusts

Charitable Purpose Trusts | Disinherited Vancouver Estate Litigation

Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society 1999v Vancouver Foundation 2019 BCSC 54 involved a decision relating to the criteria of whether or not a document qualified as a charitable purpose trust.

If the document was not a charitable purpose trust, then the trust would be void pursuant to section 24 of the Perpetuity act, which was the basis on which upon it was challenged.
The court reviewed the criteria to qualify it as a charitable trust and found that the October 2001 cheque charitable donation in the amount of $175,000 that was in dispute, was contributed for a charitable purpose, and thus was not voidable under the Perpetuity act

The cheque for $175,000 was to be held permanently by the Vancouver foundation and invested, and the income to be paid each year to be used for the charitable purposes of supporting the Whatshan Lake retreat and supporting programs that will assist in the sponsorship of youth, as well as at, seminars and other events”.

To qualify as a charitable purpose trust, the trust must have a purpose that falls within one of the four recognize heads of charity, and be concerned with public benefit, rather than private advantage.

Vancouver Society of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women V Minister of National Revenue (1991) SCR 10 at 105

The four recognized heads of charity comprise:

1) relief of poverty;

2) advancement of education

3) advancement of religion;

4) and other purposes beneficial to the community amateur youth soccer Association v Canada Revenue Agency 2007 SCC 42

The question is always whether the primary purpose of the trust falls within ahead of charity.

Once a purpose has been found to fall within ahead of charity, the court must assess whether it meets the second requirement, that is to benefit the public at large, or sufficiently large section of the public, rather than simply conferring private benefits. ( Vancouver Society at 121)

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