The Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (“ONCA”) was given Royal Assent on October 25, 2010 and will come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

The purpose of ONCA is to bring Ontario not-for-profit laws into conformity with other comparable statutes across Canada and to give not-for-profit corporations “a modern legal framework to enhance governance and accountability… to give more rights to members and better protect directors and officers from personal liability” (Extract, Ministry of Consumer Services, Press Release, May 12, 2010).

It was anticipated that ONCA was to have been proclaimed in force on January 1, 2014.

Unfortunately after a number of delays, a recent announcement from the Ontario government means that ONCA will not be in force until at least 2017 and more likely 2018 or later.  The Ontario government announced this on the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services website:

“The government is fully committed to bringing ONCA into force at the earliest opportunity and will provide the sector with at least 24 months’ notice before proclamation. Existing corporations will have a three-year transition period once ONCA is in force and assistance will be available to ensure a smooth transition to implementation.”

The government stated that ONCA will not come into force until the Legislative Assembly passes a number of technical amendments to the legislation and related acts and technology is upgraded to support these changes and improve service delivery.

What does this mean for Ontario not-for-profit organizations and charities?  More waiting and continued uncertainty.

In order to avoid the waiting and uncertainty, one option may be to transition your corporation to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, a modern statute in force since 2011.


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