Pathways to Policy Change

Where is the ONCA at?

The Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act passed third reading in 2010. It has not yet been proclaimed. In 2014, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services was mandated with bringing forward legislation to implement the ONCA and actively supporting the nonprofit sector through the transition.

Update – September 17, 2015: The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) announces update for timing of ONCA proclamation – at least 24 months’ notice to sector.

What Happens Next?

In order to be proclaimed, this new legislation must be introduced to deal with technical amendments necessary to implement the ONCA. This bill, titled “Bill 85″ in its most recent form, was in the midst of second reading in May 2014 when the provincial election was called for June 12, 2014. So, Bill 85 “died on the order paper” (become null and void!).

For ONCA to be proclaimed, these technical amendments still need to be passed. Therefore, the new Bill “85” will have to be re-introduced and the legislative process started over again… beginning with first reading, followed by second reading, committee review and third reading (and Royal Assent).

How Long?

The ONCA is unlikely to take effect before 2018, and the sector will still have a period of three years to implement the changes. We’re not legal experts, but nonprofits don’t need to rush out to get their ONCA ducks in a row. We’ll have lots of notice before this key governing legislation for the sector is in place.

ONN is advocating for the Act to be proclaimed as soon as possible, something we identified as a sector priority for all provincial parties during the 2014 election. We’ll continue working with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to bring forward reforms to improve the ONCA following proclamation.

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.

Transition Support for Ontario’s nonprofits


CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario) has launched the “Get Ready for the ONCA” project, in support of the Ontario nonprofit sector as it transitions under the new ONCA.

This will help Ontario’s not-for-profits understand and prepare for changes that will affect nonprofits across the province when the ONCA comes into force, no earlier than 2018. Click here to find helpful resources, webinars and events on their website.

Project Manager Brenda Doner is connecting with organizations about their transition needs, finding and sharing existing materials, and coordinating outreach. She can be reached at brenda.doner@cleo.on.ca, or 416-408-4420, x828. 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.

With thanks to the Ministries of Consumer Services, Citizenship & Immigration and Tourism, Culture & Sport for the financial support of this project.


Sector resources

History of work on the ONCA