Removing barriers for non-profits doing social good | Réduire les obstacles pour les organismes sans but lucratif qui œuvrent pour le bien commun

The website will allow organizations to find existing exemptions or apply for new exemptions to regulations that were never intended for them. It also provides information and resources to support the sector’s understanding and implementation of the volunteer liability protections under the Freedom to Care Act. This includes resources for best practices in volunteer management and a volunteer checklist.

“Non-profits are playing a key role in Alberta’s economic, social and emotional recovery, and are in the best position to respond to pressing community needs. Having exemption and volunteer liability protection information on one convenient website makes it easier for non-profits and their volunteers to focus on delivering critical programs and services to Albertans.”Ron Orr, Minister of Culture

“The community spirit of Albertans continues to serve as one of our greatest strengths in the face of challenges like natural disasters and the pandemic. Unnecessary government barriers make it difficult for neighbours to help neighbours, and we are committed to getting out of the way. The Freedom to Care website is a step in the right direction to making life better for Albertans and I’m excited to see this common-sense platform come forward.”Tanya Fir, Minister of Red Tape Reduction

“We are encouraged by the government’s commitment to unleash the expertise of the non-profit sector and its volunteers to further tackle community needs and to fully participate in Alberta’s social and economic recovery.”Michael Grogan, president and CEO, IntegralOrg

Government regulations intended for business can prevent non-profits from addressing immediate needs in the community. However, these regulations often have exemptions for non-profits and charitable groups because of the unique nature of their work. For example, there are exemptions to limit liability for civil society organizations that accept donated food.

The website provides information about existing exemptions to regulations and how to apply for them. Non-profits can also use the website to apply for a new one-time common-sense exemption from a regulation.

The website supports the implementation of the Freedom to Care Act, which comes into force Sept. 1. The Freedom to Care Act:

  • Allows cabinet (through order in council) to grant one-time, short-term exemptions for non-profits from government regulations intended for business, where an exemption does not already exist.
  • Requires the Minister of Culture to report annually to cabinet on exemption requests that cannot be addressed through existing processes or legislation.
  • Provides individual volunteers with liability protections.

Quick facts

  • There are more than 26,200 non-profit organizations in Alberta.
  • In 2018, nearly 83 per cent of Albertans volunteered either formally and/or informally, contributing 578 million volunteer hours.
  • The non-profit sector is an economic driver – it employs 280,000 Albertans and accounts for $5.5 billion in GDP annually.

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