ON government access to information disclosure on ONCA - so many pages and so little said

October 28, 2019 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: Canadian Charity Law, Transparency, ONCA, New corporate non-profit acts, Non-Profits that are not registered charities

Since February 2019 there has not been any update from the Ontario government about ONCA coming into force.  As we have noted before the Ontario government is no longer referring to ONCA coming into force in early 2020.  A few months ago we put in a freedom of information request on ONCA and the computer company developing the new ONBIS system.   We wanted to know why it has taken so long to move ONCA along and when it is likely to come into force.   We just received the answer to my ATIP request and needless to say it does not answer either of the questions with there being some significant redactions.   Here is the FOI response from the Ontario Government on ONCA from the Blumbergs request.  It is interesting and 37 pages in length but does not provide much in terms of why ONCA has been so delayed and when ONCA will come in!

As we have noted elsewhere it may make a lot of sense for some Ontario corporations to move to the Federal Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”).  Here is some information on ONCA and the options for Ontario corporations.

Some of the tidbits of information we learned include:

I will just point out that I put in lots of FOI/ATIP requests to the Federal government (especially CRA) and mostly they work well.  I have put in 2 ATIP requests to the ON government and it is quite clear that the Ontario government tries to make it as hard and costly as possible to get information.   The people who work there seem to be nice enough but quite clearly MGCS has put a lockdown on information and wants the public to stay uninformed.      It would be unfair to blame this on the Conservatives as it follows the Liberal playbook so well but the Conservative are the government in power and it would be nice if the non-profit sector was provided with some information on when this major transformation will take place, the regulations that will underpin the transformation (even if only drafts) and other helpful material such as forms that will be used.      

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

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