Breaking ONCA News- March 28, 2013

Breaking ONCA news: Proclamation delayed, support for transition process and commitment to review amendments

ONN is very pleased to announce immediate and significant developments on the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (ONCA) for Ontario’s nonprofit sector:

1)    No Proclamation before Jan. 1, 2014

Proclamation of the ONCA has been delayed and it will not be proclaimed prior to January 1, 2014. The specific date will be determined by the Ministry of Consumer Services in the coming months.

2)    Transition support

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) will receive a grant to support the sector during the three-year transition period. CLEO is a nonprofit community legal clinic that works with community partners to produce legal resources and develop capacity to help people understand and exercise their legal rights. Thanks to the Ministries of Consumer Services; Citizenship and Immigration; and Tourism, Culture and Sport for their financial contributions.

3)  Commitment to review ONN-proposed amendments

The Government of Ontario has committed to review all of ONN’s proposed amendments and outstanding concerns during the next three years. In particular, Consumer Services Minister Tracey MacCharles has announced that a review of the Act’s enhancements of members’ voting rights has been made a priority.

ONN is thrilled that the Minister has acknowledged ONN’s concerns about limited voting rights to non-voting members and will be recommending that these provisions not come into force for at least three years following proclamation.

Continuing progress

Following almost seven years of the initiatives of an ONCA-focused working group of sector leaders on the implications for the sector, ONN representatives met with Minister MacCharles on March 27, 2013 to discuss the ONCA transition.

ONN Executive Director Cathy Taylor noted after the meeting that, “The Ministry of Consumer Services and ONN are committed to working together to improve the ONCA as foundational legislation for nonprofit governance in Ontario. ONN will continue to convene the voices of the sector throughout this process, for the public benefit of Ontarians. This could not have happened without the direct feedback of sector members, including over 800 members in 2012 alone.”

The ONCA has been the spark that galvanized the ONN in its early years and is a foundational issue for the sector. While ONN’s preferred course of action has always been to have all of our proposed amendments included in the Act prior to its final and third reading by the Government of Ontario (2010), our continued work on this fundamental issue has provided us with opportunities to keep the experiences and voices of the sector on this issue top of mind over the coming years.

A significant development

ONN wishes to acknowledge today’s meaningful steps forward on the ONCA with the Ministry of Consumer Services and their recognition of the Ontario nonprofit sector’s contributions as an important partner of the Government of Ontario.

In her letter, Minister MacCharles thanked ONN for “the collaborative and expert support that your organization is providing to the ministry and the non-profit sector in preparing for implementation of this important Act.”

We’ll continue to keep you updated on further developments – thank you to our members for your ongoing support and input, and to our Constellation leaders and volunteers for their dedicated sector building work.

Official Announcement from The Honourable Tracey MacCharles, Minister of Consumer Services