In October, 2021, the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (the “ONCA”) was brought into force. This legislation replaces the Ontario Corporations Act which governs Ontario not-for-profit and charitable corporations. When the ONCA came into force, certain requirements were added and changed which may leave your organization’s documents out of date and incompliant with the ONCA.

Transition Period

When the ONCA came into force, a transition period of three years was provided for Ontario Not-for-Profit and Charitable corporations to bring their governing documents into compliance. If your organization does not update its governing documents by October, 2024, your existing documents will have to be read together with ONCA like patchwork – some parts can stay as they are, and the ONCA will override other parts. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is – updating your documents before the transition period ends in October, 2024 will alleviate this confusion and potential for misunderstanding.

Charitable Objects Not Compliant

If your charitable organization has been around long enough to have seen the pilot episode of Friends, there’s a fair chance that its Objects and Purposes could be irrelevant and in need of a refresh. Many charities adjust and refocus their programs over time, and will update their mission statements and by-laws to match their current objectives; but was the Canada Revenue Agency notified when this happened? Before updating Objects and Purposes, charities need to obtain approval from the CRA to make these changes. The enforcement of the ONCA provides charities with an opportunity to obtain the proper approvals and make these updates while already in the process of updating their governing documents.

Want to start the process of reviewing your Not-for-Profit or Charity’s documents (and it is a process!) – we can help – [email protected]

This WARDS LAWYERS PC publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be. Specific or more information may be necessary before advice could be provided for your particular circumstances.

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