On September 17, 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services quietly posted an update on its website in regards to the implementation of the Not-for-Profit- Corporations Act, 2010 (“ONCA”), the new governing legislation for charities and not-for-profits incorporated in Ontario. The ONCA has now been languishing in the legislature for the last five years and even though attempts have been made to pass technical amendments to the ONCA, provincial elections, and it would appear, lack of initiative on the part of the Ministry, have prevented this from occurring.
In their notice, the Ministry stated that it was “fully committed to bringing the ONCA into force at the earliest opportunity”. It seems however, that this commitment is hampered by the required legislative amendments and technology upgrades the Ministry indicates are necessary to support the new changes. The Ministry has apparently decided that it will need quite a while to do this work, and will now be giving the sector 24 months notice before proclaiming the ONCA in force (compared to the 6 months notice previously promised).
The delay by the Ministry to get this legislation implemented will further cause issues in the charity and not-for-profit sector in Ontario. By postponing the enactment of the Act by at least two more years, the Ministry is putting undue hardship on the corporations that, rightly or wrongly, have already been working on their restructuring and reorganization. The legal community has also recognized this hardship and the Ontario Bar Association’s Charity and NFP Law Section has responded by sending a letter to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services urging him to have the ONCA proclaimed and implemented as soon as possible.
Only time will tell whether or not we will see the enactment of this law any time soon. At this point however, it appears that the earliest the ONCA will come into effect will be the winter/spring of 2017-2018.
By: Tanya Carlton
For more information on the above, or to find the contact information for the Ministry, see: www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/onca3.aspx.