The Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (the “ONCA”), received royal assent in October 2010. After nearly ten years, it has neither been proclaimed into force nor been given an official date to be proclaimed into force. This limbo state is sometimes referred to as being “unproclaimed”, as the bill has passed but there is no official date on which the legislation will be proclaimed into force.
For the last two years, the ONCA has been expected to come into force sometime in early 2020. However, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (the “Ministry”) recently announced delays, pointing in part to the changes caused by the Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017. The Ministry explained:
“We are upgrading our technology to support these changes and improve service delivery. The focus is on launching a technology solution that provides the best possible support for stakeholders. The launch date [for the ONCA] is now expected to move beyond early 2020.”
Some of our readers may be aware that there is a ten year expiration date for unproclaimed legislation. By February 24, 2020, Ontario’s Attorney General will table an annual report of unproclaimed legislation which received royal assent on or before December 31, 2010. The ONCA will be named in this report, and will be repealed on December 31, 2020 unless additional steps are taken.
Despite the timeline, we do not expect such an inglorious end for the ONCA. The Ontario not-for-profit sector makes an important contribution to Canada’s GDP, and it deserves modern corporate legislation and the upgraded technology and service promised by the Ministry. The Ministry is surely also eager to dispose of finicky paper forms clogging up its resources. We expect that the Ontario Legislative Assembly will either adopt a resolution to give the ONCA a one year extension, or—hopefully— it will finally give the ONCA a proclamation date.
In the meantime, Ontario’s provincial not-for-profit corporations continue to be governed by the Ontario Corporations Act.
Lex Klombies is a charity and non-profit lawyer at Drache Aptowitzer LLP. She can be reached at LKlombies@drache.ca.