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Canadians give record $7.9B to charity in 2005

Nearly six million Canadians dug deeply into their pockets in 2005, donating a record $7.9 billion to charities, up $1 billion over the year before, says Statistics Canada.

Total donations increased by 13.8 per cent last year over 2004, with boosts in generosity from people in almost every province and territory, especially Alberta, which reported the highest increase at 21.1 per cent, the federal agency said Thursday.

Nova Scotia and Manitoba were next at 18.5 per cent and 17.7 per cent, respectively.

Overall, 5.8 million tax filers made donations, a 2005 increase of 0.9 per cent over the year before.

The median donation was $240 per person, up from $230 per person in 2004. Nunavut, which has led provinces and territories in median donations since 2000, did so again, with $400 per person last year.

The only two provinces that showed a dip in donor numbers were Saskatchewan, which showed a 0.9 per cent decline, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which edged down 0.2 per cent.

The Yukon led with the fastest rate of growth in the number of donors for the second consecutive year, with an 8.8 per cent increase in 2005 over the previous year.

Across the country, a quarter of all taxfilers claimed charitable donations, roughly the same proportion as in the past. Manitoba rounded out the top for the seventh straight year with 28 per cent of residents claiming charitable donations, followed by Ontario with 27 per cent.

November 23, 2006

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