If I had time to dream at this time of the year, I would certainly conjure up the kind of vision found in a certain famous Christmas poem originally attributed to an anonymous author in the 1800s. My 2014 version would go something like this:
‘Twas the month before Christmas, when all thro’ the land
Not a preacher was stirring, no one raising their hand;
The planning was done and showed off to who cared,
In hopes that all would work out as prepared;
The charities were satisfied and smug in their heads,
With visions of charitable gifts no one dreads,
All the old advisers and those in new caps
Had shut off tired brains thinking of gift wraps —
When out in the realm there arose such chatter,
I sprang from my computer to see what was the matter.
Away to the twitter I flew like a flash,
Attended the webinars as I threw up the cash.
The rules that had changed on the books as we know,
Gave the effect that some gifts might be skewed don’t you know;
When, what to my dreaming old ears should I hear,
But a groundswell of rage and some thinking so clear,
With a readable paper not really that thick,
I knew in a moment it must be no trick.
New words were proposed to be used and exchanged,
But it did seem to bristle, cry for laws to be changed:
“Now CRA, now Finance, now Industry Canada,
On! Lawyers, accountants, on! Charities Directorate;
To your desks at the leg! go head the call!
Now draft away, draft away, draft away all!”
As dry heaves that before a change starts to fly,
When it meets with an obsession of barriers high;
Up to the parliament house-top they flew,
With the sleigh full of reforms — for Harper to do:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the tower
The ringing of bells and no words of power.
As I googled the draft and was gaining some ground,
Down the house sections came with no sound:
It was dressed all reform like, not an omnibus bill,
And its words were not tarnished with old fashioned swill;
Clear law reform was contained in this pack,
Nothing complicated, just old fashioned knack:
Its Charities — how simple! Its Non-profits: not scary,
Its acceptance of trusts as a vehicle just merry;
Its social enterprises were described by a pro;
And the words of the text gave a very clear go;
The structures for them were as tight as can be,
It had a broad base, an all-encompassing section
That made lots of sense for when one tries to reckon.
It was clear and concise, and would fit on my shelf,
And I cheered when I saw it and felt like an elf;
An all-party nod and a promise to pass it
Soon gave me hope I would soon start to test it.
It filled a great need but it needed more work,
Due to one loophole that showed up a quirk,
And tabling its sections for more to propose
They asked for more drafting, some help with its prose.
It sprang to my brain that I was only dreaming
And the words disappeared like somebody cleaning;
But I read it somewhere as I turned out my light —
Keep your hopes up high, it will be soon be budget night.