Land Use / Land Cover
Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
Ecologically Important Lands
Years of Implementation
The Ecological Gifts Program, administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada, provides a tax benefit to private landowners in Canada who donate land or an interest in land (as an the case of an easement) in perpetuity and according to the terms of the Income Tax Act of Canada and the Taxation Act of Quebec. Individuals receive a tax benefit in the form of a non-refundable tax credit, “calculated by applying a rate of 15 per cent to the first [C]$200 of the donor’s total gifts for the year and 29 per cent to the balance.” Capital gains of an ecological gift are tax-exempt, and provincial taxes may subsequently be reduced. To qualify, land must meet national and, in some cases, regional criteria for “ecological sensitivity.” National criteria include lands already identified for their ecological significance, lands zoned or designated for biodiversity objectives, or sites that contribute to the country’s environmental heritage. Regional criteria are also applicable in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The monarch is designated as a species of Special Concern Schedule 1, under the Species at Risk Act, and in Ontario, lands that provide “significant portions of the habitat of federally or provincially listed species at risk, including endangered or threatened species, or species of special concern” qualify. Lands with concentrations of wildlife for “seasonal staging, feeding, breeding and like purposes” also qualify (when, in addition, meeting other requirements). Similar criteria apply for other provinces. An independent appraisal must be commissioned and reviewed to establish the fair market value of the donation. Lands must also be certified as important for preservation of the environmental and biodiversity heritage of Canada by the Minister of the Environment. To have a tax credit qualify for a particular calendar year, the application should be submitted by mid-September at the latest (ECCC 2016).
Amount of the Incentive
Dependent on the calculated fair market value of the donation. Non-refundable tax credit rate is 15% of first [C]$200 and 29% of the balance.
Related Institutional Objectives or Targets
Species at Risk Act