Petition - The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba Act

On June 12th I presented a petition to the House on behalf of the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. A year ago I supported Jewish Child and Family Services in updating their legislation in recognition of Century of Caring. I am pleased to be working with the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba to update their legislation this year. Presenting this petition yesterday was the first step on that journey. Thank you to the Foundation for letting me play a small part in the growth and development of your organization!

The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba Act

Ms. Sharon Blady (Kirkfield Park): Mr. Speaker, I wish to present the following petition to the Legislative Assembly.

And the background to this petition is as follows:

(1) The foundation was originally established by an act of the Legislature in 1964. It is a public foundation which manages a growing endowment fund that exceeds $80 million. Since its inception, the foundation has distributed more than $30 million in grants and scholarships in the local community and across Canada.

(2) The foundation provides opportunities to realize philanthropic objectives of Manitobans in strengthening and supporting the Jewish and general communities of Manitoba.

(3) Gifts to the foundation sustain and enhance a myriad of programs, services and charitable agencies across the province and ensure a strong and viable future for all Manitobans.

(4) Under the current act, subject to the donors' trusts and conditions and the disbursement requirements under the Income Tax Act, Canada, for registered charities, donations are to be held in perpetuity for the purpose of earning income to be used for the foundation's purposes.

(5) While traditional investment vehicles and their returns have served charitable institutions well in the past, the realities of a new economic and financial climate require alternative investment and disbursement strategies to be employed to meet the ongoing needs and obligations of the foundation. Specifically, where income generated by the foundation's capital assets is insufficient to meet its distribution policy, investment strategies, including capital encroachment along with other sophisticated investment methods, must be available.

We petition the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba as follows:

That The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba Act be amended to (a) require the board of the foundation to establish a distribution policy and (b) give the foundation sufficient authority to carry out that policy, allowing the foundation to encroach on capital as needed and subject to the donors' trusts and conditions.

This petition is signed by M. Cowan and S. Croft.