Authored by Derek B.M. Ross.
By now, federally incorporated charities should be aware that there is an important deadline looming. Under the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”), federally incorporated charities must apply for a certificate of continuance by October 17, 2014 or risk dissolution and losing their registered status. CCCC has prepared a detailed article about the CNCA and the continuance process, available for free to our members: see “Getting Your Corporation in Order under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act”
Charities that are provincially incorporated in Ontario, under the current Ontario Corporations Act, should also be aware that new legislation (the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010, or “ONCA”) will soon be in force, which will also likely require some action steps. For more information about that process, see our article “Getting Ready for the ONCA: An Update”.
With these legislative developments, it is imperative that charities verify whether they are federally or provincially incorporated. The best way for them to confirm this is to review their constating documents (i.e. letters patent or articles of incorporation) which will contain this information.
As an added measure, they may be able to search an online database. Corporations Canada maintains a database of federal corporations here: https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/scr/cc/CorporationsCanada/fdrlCrpSrch.html?locale=en_CA
In addition, an Ontario law firm recently published a directory of Ontario not-for-profit corporations, available here: http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/blog/list_of_ontario_non_profit_corporations_revealed_for_the_first_time
These databases should be used in conjunction with a charity’s own governing documentation to verify their status. If they are, in fact, federally incorporated, and have not yet begun the transition to the CNCA, they should review CCCC’s article and seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.