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 support the nonprofit sector through the transition. In November 2017, legislation was passed that contains amendments to three important statutes affecting the nonprofit sector: The Ontario Corporations Act, the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 and the Charities Accounting Act.
Bill 154, Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017 contains all the enabling legislation needed so ONCA can be proclaimed. It also contains some important improvements to ONCA that ONN, charity law lawyers and nonprofit organizations have been asking for. It has now passed third reading. Next steps for ONN are to continue to work with the Ontario government via the ONCA Implementation Steering Committee in monitoring implementation, ensuring there will be transitional supports and education for the nonprofit sector, and that the new online services – and availability of sector data – meet the needs of the sector. Collaboration in action! See the official status of the bill.
Read ONN’s letter’s to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services asking for expedited proclamation of ONCA in the Fall 2017 Legislative Session. Here is the Minister’s earlier response in June 2017.
Previously, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services announced in 2015 that the sector would receive at least 24 months’ notice of proclamation: Update notice
What happens next?
Once the bill is introduced in the legislature, the bill will be given first reading, followed by second reading, committee review and third reading (and Royal Assent). See sidebar, How an Ontario bill becomes law.
Once ONCA is proclaimed, 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 will continue 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.