New year, new Act for Ontario Not-For-Profits

18 01 2011

The Corporations Act, which has applied to Ontario non-profits since 1907, was replaced in October with the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act. If you missed it, here’s a brief wrap-up of the pertinent content changes and a link to the new Act.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario

The Act is a legal framework, setting out rules for many of the same issues and requirements as the previous Corporations Act. The updates, however, were long overdue and address current issues and realities. Here’s what stands out among the highlights of Bill 65:

  • harmonizes regulations with other Canadian jurisdictions (including Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act of 2009)
  • simplified incorporation process (potentially from previous several weeks to just a few days)
  • directors now have statutory duty of care (act honestly, in good faith/best interests of the corporation, exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person, and comply with Act and all by-laws)
  • liability protection provisions for directors (with certain conditions)
  • allows commercial activities if revenues used for the organization’s non-profit purpose
  • increases financial transparency (from changes in annual reporting to rules for accessing  records)

To access the Act at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario web site, use this link:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2347&detailPage=bills_detail_the_bill&Intranet=

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