The Canada Revenue Agency maintains a searchable list of Canadian charities.
This publication explains the process of registering a non-profit society in BC, as well as how to keep non-profit societies in good standing once they are registered.
Under the Income Tax Act, a registered charity can be involved in non-partisan political activities as long as it devotes substantially all of its resources to charitable activities. Any political activities have to help accomplish the charity's purposes and remain incidental in scope.
A registered charity cannot be involved in partisan political activities. A political activity is considered partisan if it involves direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, a political party or candidate for public office. See the CRA policy statement on Political Activities (CPS – 022) located at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/charities/policy/cps/cps-022-e.html
6. What kinds of activities can a charity participate in?
Although an organization established for a political purpose cannot be registered as a charity, a registered charity may take part in some political activities as a way of furthering its charitable purpose(s). However, charities do not have complete freedom to support any cause they like. Special legal rules apply to charities because of their charitable and tax statuses.
A charity wishing to carry out activities that go beyond the limits permitted by the Act may establish a separate and distinct organization that will not be a registered charity and therefore not able to issue charitable receipts. No limitations are placed on the political activities of such a body; it has complete freedom within the law to support any cause it chooses. But the charity cannot fund that separate organization or make resources available to it for any otherwise impermissible political activity.