By: Sukhdeep Singh Sembi
This past month Corporations Canada hosted their annual Client Engagement Session in Ottawa, where their senior staff conversed with members of the public. Their annual meeting aimed to update the private sector on their activities of the year past, highlighting important successes, problem areas and prospective changes in the administration of businesses, not for profits (NFPs) and cooperatives in the following year.
Of particular mention for the not-for-profit sector, incorporations continued to grow steadily since 2011. This past year saw the formation of over 2,700 incorporations totaling 23,000 active federal not-for-profit corporations, with nearly 90% of incorporations and returns occurring now through online filing. This year also saw new exemptions for financial disclosure requirements pursuant to Part 11 of the Not-For-Profit Act, which are available to NFP’s if there are circumstances where meeting the disclosure requirements would be detrimental to the corporation.
Corporations Canada also provided statistics from their Contact Centre which in the past year received over 75,000 calls of which over 80% were answered within two minutes. Improvements were also made to their NUANS, name designation program, which was revamped and launched in June 2016. A pleasant surprise to the industry was a slight reduction in the price for new name reports through the NUANS system.
Last year saw the arrival of online filing services for NFP’s which included filing by-laws, financial statements and proxies. Going forward Corporations Canada aims to improve on this feature by including accessibility of the filing features through mobile-enabled websites. Other online additions will include the ability to change a NFP’s word name to a numbered name, auto-returns for the changing of a registered office to a different province, along with changing the number of minimum and maximum directors for the corporation. Another addition not limited to NFP’s but also including business corporations is the ability to request Letters of Satisfaction, which are required when continuing a federal corporation in another jurisdiction.
The meeting ended with an open question and answer forum, allowing the public to converse directly with the senior staff at Corporations Canada as well as to discuss previously mentioned concerns by the public. It should be noted that requests are always welcomed by email or phone to Corporations Canada, and they presented a variety of questions to the attendees, including but not limited to:
– Were you aware of the new e-service regarding Letters of Satisfaction?
– What would be the best way to inform you about a new service?
– Are there products or services offered by other government bodies that you would like Corporations Canada to implement in the future?
– Are there new NFP online services you require?
To contact Corporations Canada to provide feedback to these and other questions or concerns please visit the: Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada