[Update – the motion to extend the period within ONCA can be brought into force was carried on September 21, 2020.]

 

As we have noted before, ONCA was passed in 2010 and it was never brought into force.  Unless there is a motion or legislation this year it will be repealed automatically at the end of this year under the Legislation Act.  That Legislation Act makes sense as it would be ridiculous to pass legislation and then not have it come into force 10 or more years later.  Well, the Ontario government has now brought in on September 16, 2020 Motion #89 to grant a further year for the adoption of ONCA.  That will mean that ONCA will not die at the end of this year.   Still no word on when the Ontario government will bring in ONCA.  Perhaps January 1, 2021, or perhaps not.

One of the Conservative MPPs notes “This resolution provides us with the opportunity to bring ONCA into force when the infrastructure to support it is ready.”  As we have discussed elsewhere it appears that the Ontario Business Registry system which replaces the current ONBIS system has had many issues under both the Liberal and Conservative governments and this is holding up the implementation of ONCA.

It is positive that the Ontario Conservative government does seem intent on moving ONCA forward despite all the games, secrecy and delays. As we noted in June they had a consultation on ONCA regulations which is part of moving the process forward.  The sooner ONCA comes in – the sooner we will have for Ontario corporations a modern statute but also a searchable list of Ontario non-profit corporations that is free and available to the public!

The government has insisted quite strenuously on a number of occasions that if there were to be any updates on the ONCA they would put them up on this page.  Needless to say, there was no update on the page relating to this motion, changes to ONCA, etc.  In fact, it has not been updated since December 31, 2019.   The link to the PGT page does not even work!

A reminder that with ONCA not yet in force that you should almost never set up an Ontario non-profit corporation if you are incorporating a new non-profit.  This is especially true if you are interested in becoming a “registered charity” with CRA.   As well, another reminder is that if you are currently an Ontario corporation under the Ontario Corporations Act and want to avoid all of this ONCA uncertainty in many cases you’re better off to move from the Ontario Corporations Act (OCA) to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) under federal jurisdiction.

 

 

A few comments on statements made in the Ontario legislature on September 17, 2020:

 

MPP Lisa Thompson “The Liberals let the not-for-profit sector down.” Actually, both the Liberals and Conservatives have played by the exact same playbook – total silence on ONCA – do as little as possible to keep the legislation alive without actually bringing it in.   You have been in office for over 2 years and we still don’t know when this act will come into force and we have almost no communication from MGCS on legislation that will affect over 50,000 Ontario non-profit!  Please up your game!  Also the NDP House Leader  Mr. Gilles Bisson noted the motion was introduced at 4:30 PM on September 16, 2020, to be debated the following morning at 9 AM!  I agree completely with Mr. Bisson that is unfortunate, undemocratic, and shows contempt for the non-profit and charity sector especially during COVID.   But let us be clear that this was also the way that the Liberals treated the non-profit and charity sector while they were in power when it came to ONCA.  So a more accurate statement would be that ‘both the Conservatives and Liberals have let the not-for-profit sector down’.

 

MPP Thomson “I will note that this resolution will exclude certain new voting provisions that provide for a separate class of voting and voting rights for non-voting members in certain circumstances.” – so some member protections will die and not be maintained in ONCA.  This is not just purely a motion to extend the time for ONCA coming in.  Another reason why a few days of thought would be better than trying to ram something through.

 

 

Here is the text from the Ontario Hansard on September 17, 2020:

 

Orders of the Day

Not-for-profit corporations

Hon. Lisa M. Thompson: I move that, pursuant to clause 10.1(2)(b) of the Legislation Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 21, sched. F, the assembly resolve that the provisions of the act listed below, which have not come into force in the period since their adoption, not be repealed:

Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010, S.O. 2010, c. 15:

Sections 1 to 104, sections 106 to 110, subsections 111(1), (2), (5) and (6), sections 112 to 115, subsections 116(1), (2), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10), section 117, subsections 118(1), (2), (3), (6) and (7), sections 119 to 210, 213, 218, 221, 223, 224, 225—

Mr. Gilles Bisson: Bingo!

Hon. Lisa M. Thompson: I was waiting for that, actually. Thanks, Gilles.

—227, 228, 229, 230, subsections 231(1), (3) and (4), sections 232, 233, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 244, 245, 246, 247, subsections 248(2) and (3).

The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Ms. Thompson has moved government notice of motion number 89.

Would the minister care to lead off the debate?

Hon. Lisa M. Thompson: Yes, I would. Speaker, today I’m pleased to share my time with my outstanding parliamentary assistant from Sarnia–Lambton, MPP Bob Bailey.

Today, I rise before the House to speak about the resolution for the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010. It’s known as ONCA. The Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010, is a vital piece of legislation that will have positive impacts for the not-for-profit sector in Ontario, from one end of this province to the other.

In our province, there are over 58,000 not-for-profit corporations. This important sector strengthens our communities, supports countless causes and initiatives that are important to Ontarians and provides meaningful employment for many. Unfortunately, Canada’s not-for-profit sector has been especially hard-hit by COVID-19, as many of you would well expect. In August 2020, CBC reported on the results of a survey conducted by the Ontario Nonprofit Network, known as ONN. The results indicated that one in five of the survey’s 1,100 respondents said that they may have to shut down by the end of December. Another quarter said that 2021 will likely bring greater financial struggles even more in the next year. These are troubling stats.

In response, our government has created the Resilient Communities Fund to provide $83 million in grants through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, to support eligible non-profits as they recover from the effects of the pandemic. I applaud and share my appreciation with Premier Ford and the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. These grants will absolutely help organizations like food banks; child and youth programs, like the Ontario 4-H program that is near and dear to my heart; and the Royal Canadian Legion branches to bounce back and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities.

And I commend Minister MacLeod. She has taken it upon herself to travel across the province. She has seen first-hand, and she has spoken to representatives of the not-for-profit organizations that prop up our communities. She realizes that they do indeed need the government’s attention and support to help navigate these challenging waters. So I thank her on behalf of all of government for the work she’s doing in that regard.

Going back to the program, the Resilient Communities Fund, I’d like to share that these grants of up to $150,000 per eligible organization are being provided to support activities such as adapting or reimagining the delivery of programs and services. I think about our rural communities. I am so proud to represent the riding of Huron–Bruce, and almost every community in my riding celebrates the fall, celebrates the practice of farming, the harvesting of food. Our fall fairs have really been hard-hit because they haven’t been able to host their annual events. The agricultural societies across Ontario that host fall fairs could potentially apply to the Resilient Communities Fund, because again, we’re going to have to adapt. We’re going to have to reimagine how we host those events that we hold near and dear to our hearts.

This fund can be used for adapting or reimagining the delivery of programs and services, procuring equipment or renovating spaces to meet the changing needs of the organization; the funds could also be used for creating and/or adopting new approaches for organizations to work together to meet the needs of communities. There are two more categories that organizations could consider for this fund: They could also develop alternative sources of revenues, and they can equip their board members and employees with what they feel they need to prepare for change and to build resiliency for their organization.

While it will take time to restore our not-for-profit sector, this investment will help many not-for-profits to continue with their critical work supporting our communities and our most vulnerable citizens.

Madam Speaker, in the spirit of making life and business easier for our not-for-profit sector, I’m pleased to speak to you and our esteemed colleagues about the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act and the actions that we can take to save it by supporting this particular resolution.

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The Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, commonly known as ONCA, received royal assent in 2010—2010. That was years ago. That was before many of us in this House today were even elected. The Liberals let the not-for-profit sector down. Stakeholders have waited and waited for years to see this come into force. Our government, under the leadership of Premier Doug Ford, is going to make that happen. As a result of the 10-year rule in section 10.1 of the Legislation Act, right now, if we don’t pass this resolution, it is in jeopardy of being automatically repealed.

ONCA is a critical piece of legislation that will establish a modern legislative framework for not-for-profit corporations, including charitable corporations. Incorporating a not-for-profit or charitable corporation under ONCA will provide critical benefits for the organization. For example, it will include the assurance of a formal operating structure; permanence should leadership change, as we know it does as people work their way through the board positions; as well as legal protections for members. Furthermore, ONCA will reduce burden on not-for-profit corporations and facilitate a prosperous business climate. This is key: Our government is dedicated to digital-first, and ONCA will help organizations move from paper-based filing to digital services, for example, electronic filings of corporate documents. ONCA will also enhance flexibility for businesses and corporations. It will make it easier for people to do business in Ontario and will also support the province’s plan to reopen Ontario and help not-for-profit corporations return to what we now deem the new normal.

However, the implementation of ONCA is tied to the launch of a new business information and registration system, otherwise referred to as our new business registry. The new registry will enable electronic filings under ONCA for not-for-profit corporations, as I’ve mentioned, enabling many of the benefits I’ve talked about. This is a digital-first model that will replace the current legacy system that relies heavily on paper-based processes.

Unfortunately, because they’re so intertwined, ONCA cannot come into force until the new business registry is active, and this may not occur before the date by which ONCA will be automatically repealed. So our government, recognizing the value of ONCA and how long stakeholders have been waiting for this piece of legislation to come into force, is saving this important piece of legislation and bringing it into force as soon as possible so Ontario’s not-for-profit corporations can benefit from enhanced and modernized legislation.

To save the ONCA legislation and eliminate the risk of it being automatically repealed, I’m proposing this resolution today. If passed, this resolution will save ONCA from being automatically repealed and provide the time we need to launch the new business registry. I will note that this resolution will exclude certain new voting provisions that provide for a separate class of voting and voting rights for non-voting members in certain circumstances.

I want to pause at this moment and thank all of our stakeholders for the advocacy and the opportunity to discuss how we can make sure ONCA fits their particular environment in terms of their organizations. In particular, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture: Peggy, from northern Ontario, thank you for coming forward and sharing concerns that, quite frankly, I had heard for years. I think of the provincial director from Perth county, Brent Royce; he spoke about this for years, while the Liberals were in government. We, the PC government of Ontario, have listened, and we’re making sure that your concern in this particular regard has been acted upon.

I’d also like to share with everyone that the launch of the business registry and the proclamation of ONCA align with our government’s commitments to help businesses and not-for-profit corporations recover from the hit of COVID-19. It will implement modern solutions that embrace technology and reduce burden and red tape for not-for-profit corporations—and you know our government is all about making life easier for businesses and organizations.

At this time, as a little teaser, I have to tell you that Minister Sarkaria has done just an amazing job in terms of reducing burden and cutting red tape and listening to stakeholders. I can’t wait for his work to hit this chamber later this fall.

ONCA is intended to provide Ontario not-for-profit corporations, including charitable corporations, with a modern legal framework to meet their needs in the current environment—one that sets out clear, helpful guidance for the full life cycle of not-for-profits, including incorporation, governance and dissolution. In technical terms, a not-for-profit corporation is a corporation without share, which means the corporation does not issue ownership shares. It is dedicated to purposes other than pursuing a profit. It may not distribute any profits to its members, directors or officers. It must use any profit exclusively for its not-for-profit purposes, and it can be charitable or non-charitable.

Some examples of not-for-profit organizations include service clubs such as Rotary, Lions, Kinsmen, charitable organizations, sporting and athletic organizations, social clubs, and even some daycares. I’m sure we all can think about our own respective organizations that we work closely with in our own ridings, from minor sports through to 4H associations, agricultural societies, horticultural societies—the list just goes on and on. Again, I want to thank all of those volunteers who work with those organizations, because they truly are pillars of our community. That’s why it’s important that our government make sure that ONCA does not get repealed, and I ask for everyone’s support in this chamber to help us make that happen.

It should be noted as well that not all not-for-profit organizations are incorporated. Not-for-profit organizations may incorporate if they wish, but actually, there is no requirement to do so. An organization may be formal, meaning incorporated, or informal, meaning unincorporated. By incorporating under ONCA, once in force, an organization must comply with the rules set out under it and other legislation. This includes keeping records, having annual meetings and filing annual returns. In turn, the organization will benefit by having a formal operating structure that makes it a distinct legal entity with the powers of a natural person and enables the corporation to enter into contracts.

ONCA will also bring permanence, meaning that a corporation may go on forever, even if membership changes, until the corporation is dissolved. And we all know it’s important to have a flow of membership and executive members through our local organizations to make sure that there are fresh ideas and that there’s some sustaining of important values associated with our local organizations as well.

Through ONCA, the organization will also benefit from having limited legal responsibility, or liability, for members, meaning that, generally, members of a corporation are not personally responsible for its debts and obligations, unlike members of an unincorporated organization. However, directors and officers may be personally responsible in certain circumstances.

And finally, ONCA will benefit organizations by giving them the ability to hold a title to land that can be in the corporation’s name. Legal title to the property stays with the corporation even when the membership changes.

With everyone’s support in this chamber, when ONCA does come into force, it will simplify the incorporation process, making it easier and more efficient. It will also clarify rules for governing a corporation and, importantly, it will increase accountability.

It will also clarify that not-for-profit corporations can earn a profit through commercial activities—such as selling T-shirts or Girl Guide cookies or mementos from a particular event—as long as it is reinvested to support the corporation’s not-for-profit purposes.

It will also enhance members’ rights and outline actions that they can take if they believe directors and officers are not acting in the corporation’s best interests. Also, it will give members greater access to financial records. Accountability is paramount.

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Additionally, ONCA is intended to allow a not-for-profit corporation to provide, in its bylaws, other means of voting, such as by mail, telephone or electric means, in addition to or in place of voting by proxies. Again, we’re embracing our new environment by doing this. ONCA is also intended to allow a member of a corporation to appoint a proxy holder, but only if the articles or the bylaws of the corporation permit it.

It will also set out a due diligence and good-faith reliance defence for directors. A director will not be legally liable in certain circumstances if they acted with the care, diligence and skill a reasonably careful person would have acted in in similar instances.

ONCA will also list specific requirements for directors and officers to report a conflict of interest in certain circumstances. It will also allow the opportunity to state that corporations do not always have to include a member’s proposal in meeting notices in certain circumstances, and it will provide members with actions they can take if they believe directors are not acting in the best interests of the corporation.

Another feature of ONCA, if saved, would introduce a new process for reviewing a corporation’s financial records, called review engagement. This new process is less cumbersome than an audit and, as a result, generally less expensive. I appreciate this very much, being a member of various organizations in my home communities through the years. You work hard to raise money and, in some instances, just to meet requirements, like a financial audit, your profits can disappear very quickly. So I think this particular piece will be very well received. I’m going to repeat it: In this new process, less cumbersome than an audit, organizations will essentially be able to engage in a process called review engagement. Again, it’s less expensive than an audit, and it aligns with our government’s commitment to make life easier for Ontarians and businesses by removing barriers. I know that’s going to be well received.

However, it does not compromise the necessary controls that need to be in place to promote good governance. We all agree in this House that good governance is paramount. Whether or not a corporation can use a review engagement instead of an audit or waive an audit and review engagement will depend on its revenue per financial year and on whether or not it is a public benefit corporation.

In streamlining incorporation as a charitable corporation, ONCA will no longer require Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee approval. All applications for articles of incorporation will be submitted directly to ServiceOntario.

And, just as important, ONCA will bring Ontario up to speed with other jurisdictions in Canada that have modernized their not-for-profit corporations’ laws. For instance, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act came into effect on October 17, 2011, at the federal level. Again, that was years ago. So I’m very happy that we’re able to finally bring ONCA up to a modernized level that will benefit organizations across this province.

Speaking of October 17, 2011—I’m looking at Madam Speaker and around the House—I think it’s on October 6 that we have a very special anniversary coming up for many members in this House.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Jennifer K. French): It was 2014.

Hon. Lisa M. Thompson: Oh, 2014? Okay. Well, love you all the same—and I’m sincere about that.

Anyway, there are a number of members who are celebrating their ninth anniversary on October 6. Congratulations to everyone who came into the House at that time.

Moving on about ONCA: ONCA harmonizes with other modern legislation, including the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, which came into force in 2011. Ontario’s Business Corporations Act and not-for-profit legislation in other jurisdictions also came into effect at that time—like Saskatchewan, British Columbia and California. So I’m glad Ontario is finally catching up.

Madam Speaker, I hope all members can agree that there are many, many positive aspects to this ONCA legislation. Again, I sincerely look forward to your support for this motion.

I would now like to provide some details on how ONCA will affect organizations. If we save ONCA and bring it into force, it will generally apply automatically to every corporation that does not issue ownership shares, meaning it does not have share capital that is incorporated under an act of the Ontario Legislature, including the current Corporations Act.

There are some cases where ONCA would not apply. For example, ONCA is not intended to apply to insurance corporations under part V of the Corporations Act; corporations without share capital that fall under the Co-operative Corporations Act; when a statute clearly says otherwise; or companies with social purposes, like share capital social clubs such as some golf, tennis or country clubs. These companies will continue to be governed by the Corporations Act.

If they were incorporated or continued under this act, they would have a transition period of five years once ONCA comes into force. Within the five-year transition period, they must continue as either a non-share capital corporation under ONCA, a co-operative corporation under the Co-operative Corporations Act or a shared capital corporation under the Ontario Business Corporations Act. Additionally, with some exceptions, ONCA would apply to not-for-profit corporations that are incorporated under special or private acts.

ONCA would make a new distinction between public benefit corporations and other not-for-profit corporations. A public benefit corporation is a charitable corporation or a non-charitable corporation that receives more than $10,000 per financial year in either donations or gifts from people who are not members, directors, officers or employees of the corporation, or grants or similar financial assistance from federal, provincial or municipal governments or a government agency.

Special rules would apply to public benefit corporations under ONCA that do not apply to other not-for-profit corporations. Examples include different audit and review engagement requirements; and board composition, specifically that not more than one third of the directors of a public benefit corporation may be employees of the corporation or any of its affiliates.

To prepare not-for-profit corporations for the potential transition to ONCA, my ministry has assembled a number of resources that are available on the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services ONCA website, including an ONCA plain-language guide, transitional considerations and draft default organization bylaws.

The plain-language guide to ONCA that we have developed is a comprehensive guide that gives a more detailed overview of the act itself. The guide is intended to be used by members, directors, officers, administrators and other supporting organizations that are thinking of incorporating as a not-for-profit corporation, but that may not have not-for-profit experience. It is structured to provide useful information, organized under easy-to-understand categories. For example, the definition section provides readers with common terms and explanations that are relevant to ONCA.

The guide outlines the difference between a not-for-profit organization, a for-profit business corporation, a co-operative corporation and a charitable corporation, and it outlines the benefits of incorporating. It also includes general information about charitable and non-charitable corporations, and it defines key duties and obligations of directors, officers and committees. This resource guide is available for free to all Ontarians.

We have also shared guidance with not-for-profits on where they can seek assistance to prepare for ONCA. There are a number of organizations and materials that will support their transition, such as Community Legal Education Ontario, known as CLEO, which has dedicated tools and hosts a directory of non-profit or charity lawyers in Ontario who are knowledgeable about ONCA; the Law Society Referral Service, which can connect organizations with lawyers and paralegals who provide up to a half-hour of free legal consultation; the Not-For-Profit Incorporator’s Handbook, which provides general information about not-for-profit corporations and guidelines on how to incorporate; the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, which provides information for Ontarians who use, run or donate to charities; and, finally, the Canada Revenue Agency, which outlines how to register and operate as a charity in Canada.

Madam Speaker, nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians. Since day one of the COVID-19 outbreak, our government has taken action to ensure the people of this great province are supported through these challenging times.

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I am proud to say that my ministry, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, has taken an active role in supporting Ontarians through the COVID-19 outbreak. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has employees who have worked literally around the clock at the beginning of this pandemic, and they continue to put endless hours in to making sure that our responsibilities are addressed quickly, efficiently and responsibly. GCS has provided ongoing supports to the establishment of the Stop the Spread Business Information Line, the Ontario Together line, the Consumer Protection Ontario price-gouging line and ServiceOntario general inquiry lines.

The Legislature also passed legislation to allow corporations to hold virtual meetings, defer annual meetings and file documents digitally with electronic signatures during COVID. While we have waited to be able to bring ONCA into force, we have taken necessary measures to support Ontario’s not-for-profit sector. For example, we have made a number of important changes to the Corporations Act. These changes share some key features of ONCA and give not-for-profits more flexibility for ONCA before it becomes law. Some of the changes to the Corporations Act include:

—allowing electronic notices to be given for members’ meetings;

—allowing members’ meetings to be held by electronic means;

—giving not-for-profit corporations natural person powers, such as buying and selling property, as well as borrowing money;

—giving a not-for-profit corporation flexibility to sell, lease or exchange all or a substantial amount of its property;

—allowing for the adoption of pre-incorporation contracts;

—creating a standard for the duties of directors and officers;

—allowing for the removal of directors by majority vote of members generally;

—making it easier to waive an audit and not appoint an auditor by lowering the members’ approval threshold and changing references from “income” to “revenue” for clarity;

—not requiring directors to be members if it’s stated in the corporation’s bylaws;

—allowing an application to a court for an order to appoint directors if a corporation has neither directors nor members; and

—updating rules governing protections if a corporation is continuing in another jurisdiction.

Mr. Speaker, it’s clear our recent initiatives have provided real relief for Ontarians, essential workers and businesses across the province. We listened and we took action. But there is always more we can do, especially for the not-for-profit sector in Ontario. We must work in partnership with Ontarians and businesses to respond to the challenges they face and support the long-term health and prosperity of Ontario’s economy.

In this chamber, we all know our province is the country’s economic engine, and we need to do what we can to help kick it back into gear. Madam Speaker, the not-for-profit sector has an important role to play in supporting our communities and our economy. As I have outlined, there are many positive benefits to ONCA, and that is why I, along with my colleagues, am committed to saving this legislation.

Again, our not-for-profit sectors—all of us in this House can think of our local organizations that make such a tremendous difference in our communities. It behooves us to support this motion and make sure that they know we’re standing with them as we navigate these challenging waters, as I mentioned before. I hope that all members can see the benefits of the ONCA legislation for our not-for-profit sector and will be supportive in saving ONCA.

Again, I’d like to thank all of my team at GCS for all the work they did to bring us to this point in debating ONCA. I know that we have put forward very compelling reasons why everyone in this House should work together in saving ONCA and getting a job done that the formal Liberal government just didn’t do. And again, I thank the Premier and all of my colleagues on this side of the House for allowing me to do just that.

Now I would like to invite the member from Sarnia–Lambton, MPP Bob Bailey, to continue in speaking about the benefits of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Jennifer K. French): I remind all members to refer to members by their riding or title at all times.

I recognize the member from Sarnia–Lambton.

Mr. Robert Bailey: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and good morning. Good to see you in the chair this morning.

I rise before the House today to speak in my role as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services. As my colleague the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, explained, we are at a critical juncture for the ONCA legislation. This is important legislation that needs to be saved until such time as it can be proclaimed into force. Without this resolution, if it is not proclaimed into force on or before December 31, 2020, it will be automatically repealed as a result of the 10-year rule under the Legislation Act.

The not-for-profit sector has been anticipating this legislation for many years, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector was actively preparing to meet their obligations under ONCA. We know how far-reaching and impactful a legislative change would be for the not-for-profit sector. I’d like to note there are over 58,000 not-for-profit corporations in Ontario, and they support many communities across the province, providing for those who are most vulnerable.

As we have heard from the minister herself, the not-for-profit sector faced numerous challenges due to COVID-19. Rest assured our government is committed to taking action to help relieve that burden for this sector so that it can bounce back stronger.

With that said, a key action that we can take today to support charities and not-for-profits is to preserve the ONCA legislation. A lot of time and effort has been invested in ONCA, and with the end goal in sight, we must do everything we can to see it across the finish line. We have heard from many stakeholders on a range of issues to do with not-for-profits, everything from understanding how a not-for-profit works, rules around governance, and, of course, questions about bringing ONCA into force.

I’d like to share with the House some of the correspondence that has been received to provide some colour for the types of inquiries that have been submitted and a greater understanding of how impactful this legislation will be for the sector and the people it serves. In June and September 2019, emails were received from Ontarians across Ontario asking the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to confirm if the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act had come into force yet.

In December 2019, the ministry received the following from a constituent in Oakville, Ontario: “What aspects, if any (and when) of ONCA (2010) have been incorporated in recent years? What date is planned for full enactment of the ONCA (2010)? Many thanks.”

On November 29, 2019, the ministry received an email from an individual named Donald. Donald asked, “I am looking for information on whether or not audits are required for non-profit organizations (without charitable status, so non-soliciting) with an operating budget of under $250K. I can find information relating to the new ONCA legislation, but that hasn’t come into effect yet. If you could either pass on information or tell me where I might find it, it would be most helpful. Thanks! Donald.”

In May of this year, a constituent from Hamilton, Ontario, asked, “Our non-profit is looking at ONCA in preparation to update our bylaws once the new ONCA is passed. One question we have is with section 24(1). Currently our directors are on our board for up to two three-year consecutive terms. ONCA states one four-year term. Do we need to apply the rule in subsection 24(1) or can we define our own term? Thank you.”

Also in May 2020, a constituent from Ottawa, Ontario, asked a question related to community associations. That constituent asked, “I will be speaking to three community associations in Ottawa. Each association collects about $300 per year in fees to cover the cost of managing and maintaining its community centre. I am to provide an update on the ONCA and hope you can give me an indication of likely timing of proclamation. We are following the development of the ‘online registry’ with considerable interest and optimism. Can you tell me anything more about that ‘technical solution’? Many thanks for any additional information you can provide. Cheers.”

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has also heard from a number of colleagues in the House who have questions from their constituents. A constituent in Ottawa contacted his local MPP’s office just a couple of months ago to ask about the following:

“I do volunteer work with an organization and some of the new policies/rules that they are looking at have to do with ONCA (Ontario Not for Profit Corporations Act). I do not understand some/much of the proposals so I do have two questions:

“Will ONCA be implemented soon and how proactive should an organization be?

“Thank you for checking into this.”

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Also, in June 2020, The member for Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte, the Honourable Doug Downey, Minister of the Attorney General, received a request from a constituent seeking his insight on the status of the ONCA legislation.

The member from Nepean, the Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, has received questions from stakeholders and constituents alike in her role as minister. Many of the stakeholders the minister works with will be impacted by ONCA, so she is aware first-hand of the need to bring ONCA into force. I thank Minister MacLeod for the great work her ministry is doing to support Ontario’s not-for-profit sector.

The member from Kitchener–Conestoga, a fellow parliamentary assistant, to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, received a note from an individual in his constituency. This individual indicated:

“Our organization is a not-for-profit company with shares. We are attempting to bring our company in line with the ONCA to be a not-for-profit company without shares. This process entails a great deal of work in seeking out shareholders in order to hold a meeting and a vote on such a change. We have been actively engaged in such a process for some time, anticipating that the ONCA would soon be proclaimed.

“As you are likely aware, the act is nine years old as of December 31, 2019 and has not yet been proclaimed. It is our understanding that although the ONCA is referenced in the Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act of 2017 (Bill 154), and that since it is nine years old, something must be done before the end of 2020. My inquiry to you is to determine if you have any update on when the ONCA might/will be proclaimed. Thanks for any information you are able to provide.”

Again, staff in the office of the Minister of Government and Consumer Services are also receiving inquiries from Ontarians themselves. This one from an individual in Toronto reads:

“I am emailing you about a question I have in respect” to ONCA, “which is expected to come into force in 2020. Under ONCA, a non-charitable public benefit corporation is defined as a corporation that receives more than $10,000 of revenue in a financial year either in the form of:

“—donations or gifts from persons who are not members, directors, officers…;

“—or grants or similar financial assistance from the federal government or a provincial or municipal government or an agency of any such government.

“My question is, in the event a non-charitable not-for-profit corporation ran an event where they raised more than $10,000 from non-members and gave all the money away to the community and to charity, does the money they raised qualify as revenue (which could lead to them being classified as a public benefit corporation)?

“Any assistance you could provide would be very much appreciated. Thank you, kindly!”

Madam Speaker, I share these examples to illustrate that there are people across this province keenly interested in this legislation. Through the organizations they represent, they have told us that efforts are under way to prepare for ONCA coming into force. I would like to note that these efforts have been under way for many years, and once ONCA is brought into force, they will be ready. It is incumbent upon us as members to take the preventive steps to do what is necessary to prevent ONCA from being automatically repealed on December 31, 2020, should it not come into force by that date. This resolution provides us with the opportunity to bring ONCA into force when the infrastructure to support it is ready.

As the minister has already stated, if passed, this resolution will save ONCA, except for certain new voting provisions that provide for separate class voting and voting rights for non-voting members in certain circumstances from being automatically repealed on December 31, 2020, until such time as a new business registry is launched.

I’d like to take some time to speak about the new Ontario Business Registry. The Ontario Business Registry system is the technology infrastructure that manages the business registration life cycle for businesses in Ontario. This registry supports transactions that allow customers to register their businesses, corporations and not-for-profits and keep all of that information up to date on a searchable public record. The current system was built in 1992 and runs on an outdated technology platform. MGCS, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, has been building a new business information and registration system to replace the current legacy system that relies heavily on paper-based processes.

Madam Speaker, our government is working to adopt a digital-first mindset that will create better government services for Ontarians and businesses. The new online business registry represents smarter government service delivery and supports the creation of a more competitive business environment. The new business registry promotes use of digital services and streamlines business interactions, saving businesses, corporations and not-for-profits time and energy. These efforts will improve the services delivered to businesses and not-for-profits, lower administrative burden and cost of doing business, while opening new avenues for innovation and simplification of process.

While this project has been several years in the making, it is timely in assisting with COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. The new business registry will give Ontario businesses a modern digital registry that reduces the need for in-person interactions. I have a few short examples to illustrate how the new business registry will work to make things simpler, faster and better for Ontario corporations and businesses, including the not-for-profit corporations.

Let’s start with Zyler. What about Zyler? Zyler is a small business owner who wants to set up a simple business corporation. The paperwork was filled out and submitted by mail. The paperwork was returned when Zyler failed to properly complete the share provision section for the corporation. Not having a clear understanding of how share provisions work, Zyler decided to consult a lawyer for legal advice and assistance with the forms. After three weeks and additional expenses, Zyler received the official documents by mail.

In this hypothetical situation, the small business owner had to spend a fair amount of time and money resolving the situation—two things we know are precious to small business owners. Once the new business registry is launched, small business owners like Zyler will not have to worry about incurring additional expenses for complex business corporations.

With a simple selection, 80% of business owners, such as Zyler, will be able to select predefined text for share provisions that have already been reviewed and approved by their lawyers. By using this feature, Zyler can confidently set up a new corporation, secure in the knowledge that the information included in the submission complies with the legislative requirements. They could also complete this new process in less than one day. This will save time and money and the worry of waiting to hear back from government, and can be invested back into their new business.

Let’s consider Sol, the owner of multiple franchises of a pizza restaurant. It is set up with a numbered corporation with multiple business names under it to manage all the franchises. When relocating, there was a need to update the corporate address and information in the current system. To make these changes, a separate form had to be filed for the corporation and each of the business names registered to the corporation. All the duplicate forms required were submitted, and it took 15 days for the change to take effect.

However, with the new business registry, it will allow Sol to change the corporation’s address once and, with a simple confirmation, the change will be automatically applied to the business names registered to that corporation that requires the corporation’s address. All change made is reflected in real time, eliminating the need to wait for the change to be reviewed, accepted and manually entered in the registry. This will be a huge upgrade for the thousands of users of the business registry.

Finally, I would like to consider an example specific to the not-for-profit sector. Priyanka wanted to set up a charitable organization—i.e., a type of not-for-profit corporation—to help support the homeless people in Toronto who are transitioning to affordable housing. To incorporate the charitable corporation, Priyanka would either need to apply directly to ServiceOntario using “pre-approved objects,” or apply through the Public Guardian and Trustee using “objects specifically drafted for charity.” Confused by these directions, Priyanka needs legal advice. With the launch of the new business registry, Priyanka will be able to incorporate the charitable corporation online in just a few minutes.

ONCA will be proclaimed when the registry launches and will support simplified incorporations of not-for-profit corporations with a digital self-service, and will eliminate the need to incorporate charitable corporations through the Public Guardian and Trustee. ONCA will also introduce increased member oversight of not-for-profits, clarify the right of not-for-profit corporations to engage in for-profit activities under certain circumstances, and update corporate governance for boards of directors.

Ultimately, ONCA and the new business registry will make it easier for Priyanka to set up and manage this charitable corporation effectively, focus on its core mission, helping Toronto’s homeless transition to affordable housing, which is a laudable goal I’m sure we all support.

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Madam Speaker, our government is committed to saving this important piece of legislation and bringing it into force as soon as is humanly possible so Ontario’s not-for-profit corporations can benefit from enhanced and modernized legislation. We’ve heard from Ontarians and we know what actions need to be taken.

Together, we have an opportunity to support Ontario’s not-for-profit sector. This is a sector we know has been greatly impacted by COVID-19. We’ve seen the reports and read the statistics. Recovery efforts are under way, but this will take time. I encourage all members to support this important action, which signals our intention to bring this legislation into force as soon as possible.

I’d like to thank the Minister of Government and Consumer Services for leading the effort with her ministry to save this legislation from being automatically repealed by tabling this resolution.

I would also like to acknowledge all the non-profits in Ontario that are supporting our communities each and every day, and our fellow Ontarians. I know that these are trying times for your organizations. You have our support and admiration from this Legislature. Our government will continue to work for you so you can continue to do the good work across this province.

With that, Madam Speaker, thank you. My remarks are coming to an end.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Jennifer K. French): Further debate?

Mr. Gilles Bisson: Madam Speaker, let me just start in this debate by saying what the government is doing here looks fairly innocuous. It’s a bill that was passed here some years ago, Bill 65, and, if I remember correctly, I think it might have passed unanimously when it did come through the House. All the parties did support it. Contrary to what the Tories always say, that it was always the NDP that was propping up the Liberals, the Conservatives were certainly doing their own fair share because they were supporting the government about 50% of the time—52% to be exact, or 57%.

This is one of those bills that they voted for when the Liberal administration was in place, because every government has legislation that comes to the House that has every opposition party and every independent member—that other people agree with. So, at times, we vote in favour of things; sometimes we vote against.

This particular bill, as I understand—this is actually a motion—but in the bill itself, there are to be sunsetted provisions in that bill if they’re not enacted by, I believe, December 31. Of course, we don’t want that to happen, so we are needing to deal with this way before December 31.

I want to say a couple of things first before I get to my criticism of the process in regard to an issue that the member from Sudbury raised, and I know that the member for Nickel Belt was also part of this, when it comes to working with our YMCAs. The YMCA in northern Ontario, and specifically the one in Sudbury—I believe that the president is Helen Francis, if I still remember correctly. They are going through some tough times as a not-for-profit, Minister, and to the Speaker. They have lost about 70% of their revenue as a result of the pandemic. Keeping the doors open, paying the heat, paying the bills, doing the things that you have to do to keep the place going is getting more and more difficult.

They’ve been calling on the government to move on a sector-stabilization kind of strategy, or act, or whatever it might be, for all Ontario charities, not just the YMCAs, because obviously there are other not-for-profits.

I can tell you that in our community, the Croatian Hall, the Dante Club, La Ronde, all of those organizations are struggling because the revenue that they need in order to be able to operate their facilities is gone, as in your riding of Oshawa, where you can’t, for example, at the community halls, have weddings unless you have a crowd smaller than 50 people. So they’re really, really struggling.

The YMCA had this teleconference—or video conference by Zoom, these days; that’s how we do most things—with our two members from Sudbury, the member for Nickel Belt and the member from Sudbury, Mr. West and Madame Gélinas. They implored them, in order to try to get the government to move on doing something around a sector stabilization so that the not-for-profits are able to survive through this pandemic.

We will get through this pandemic in time. But we want to make sure that when we get on the other side of it, there are still going to be those not-for-profits out there that are doing what needs to be done in our communities and supporting many of the activities and services that we take for granted, which are not run by government but rather run by these not-for-profits. They’re a big part of our communities. We need to have some sort of sector stabilization. When Helen Francis reaches out to the members from Sudbury, and I’m sure you’ve been contacted as well by other such organizations in your own ridings, I think it’s incumbent upon us to be able to do something. Certainly that’s something that was raised at this select committee that the government put in place.

I want to be critical of the process that we’re following here this morning. It’s rather unfortunate. Last night, at about 4:30, the government tabled this motion. Again, I say, it seems on the surface that it’s not a problem, and it looks like it will get support from all sides of the House. But the government tabled the motion at 4:30. My staff people called me at about 4:37 or whatever it is and started telling me, “Oh, they tabled this motion,” and everybody’s at the last second trying—and the government says to us, “And we’ll be debating this tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock.” Myself, I go looking at the motion and I go looking at the actual bill. Our research people did, and people in the House leader’s office as well and our whip’s office. Here we are, trying as best as we can to get our heads around it, and the government didn’t have to do that this morning. It’s not until December 31 that the clauses in this bill are sunsetted. The government could have waited until next week. We could have done it on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I don’t think it would have been a problem. I think it might have even gotten quicker passage in that way if the government had waited enough time for us to do our due diligence and to look at it.

Again, it’s not just about the official opposition being able to read a bill; the not-for-profits have got to see this as well. The public has got to see this. The media has got to see it. People have got to get their heads around it and feed back to both the government and the official opposition and independents what they think of this. Is this good? Is it bad? Are we forgetting something? Does it need to be amended in some kind of way? I know that ministry staff did their utmost to draft this motion in a way that hopefully nothing is forgotten and that there’s no error, but I don’t know. The only thing I know is—I read the motion. The motion is in order. It seems to refer to the things that need to be referred to in the bill, but it’s going to take a lot more than—what would it be? Roughly about 16 hours, and much of that past midnight last night, to be able to figure out if this motion is actually okay.

It might turn out to be okay; I’m not arguing for a second that it’s not. But there’s a possibility that there’s a drafting error. We don’t know. The people who would know that are those people who work in the not-for-profit sector, those legal beagles who work in law firms that do this kind of stuff for the not-for-profit sector, the media to be able to report on it so that people can be aware of it, and us to do our job, because I’m sure that the ministry has reached out, along with the minister’s office, to not-for-profits about this. We certainly need to do the same, but we couldn’t do that last night at 5 o’clock because all of their offices were closed. And we couldn’t do it before 9 o’clock this morning because their offices don’t open, many of them, until 8 or 9 o’clock in the morning.

So it’s a flawed process. The ink is still being applied to the motion that is under consideration here in the House, motion 88, in regard to changing the standing orders, where the government will now have an ability to have a bill introduced on Wednesday afternoon at, let’s say, 3:30 and be called on Thursday morning at 9. We, at least, had the right—all members of the House, not just the official opposition—to file a reasoned amendment that has the effect of holding the bill up for two days. The government is taking that provision away in the motion that we’re now debating in the House, motion number 88. As we’re debating that motion—and the government knows we have great concerns and that we’re pushing back on losing the ability to have reasoned amendments, and that’s why we’ve proposed the 48-hour rule that they have in Ottawa and amended it in a way that fits with what we used to do here in Ontario in our motion—the government decides, “Let’s flaunt it to the opposition and the rest of the members in this House and let’s introduce a motion in the House at 4:30 in the afternoon so we can have a debate the next morning at 9.”

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I’ve got to tell you, if you’re trying to reach out and say, “We want to work with you,” it’s certainly not a way of working with people. It’s like going in as—what are they, with the bulls? The matadors. It’s like the matador going out into the arena and flaunting a flag in front of the bull. It’s not the way of building the friendships and relationships that you need in order to operate the House.

Now, we’re doing the best that we can. I looked at the bill. Our researchers looked at the bill. Other members responsible for it—I know Mr. Rakocevic looked at it as well, the member for—I don’t remember the riding name. Sorry I used his name, Madam Speaker, but I just don’t remember the riding. But everybody’s trying to do the best they can. We’ve certainly been around here long enough to know how to read a motion and know how to read a bill, but again, you’re trying to rush something through the House that you didn’t have to get passed until December 31. Certainly the government could have said, “Okay, we’re tabling this motion.”

We’re going to have a House leaders’ meeting this afternoon at 12—a Zoom conference, not in person, which is good. We certainly could have had a conversation about, “All right, let us kick the tires and look at what this is all about and consult with the stakeholders, and we’ll let you know Monday or Tuesday.” We could have this motion passed fairly quickly with very little debate. But right now, this morning, I’m going to hold the floor as long as I can, because we need to notify the not-for-profits that this motion is coming.

I’m sure they’re in favour. I don’t think they’re not in favour of extending the time of the sunsetting, because many of them have been working towards this, and they’re just not ready. I don’t think they’re opposed to the concept, Madam Speaker; I would be very surprised if they were. But I’ll tell you, I think we need to have some of their people look at the motion to make sure we didn’t get something wrong, because it won’t be the first time that governments that are in a hurry, who try to pass legislation quickly and without public scrutiny of the media and the public etc., end up with motions or bills that are in error, that there are drafting errors or there are policy errors in it that you have to then come back and fix a second time. To me, it’s just a sloppy way of doing legislation, Madam Speaker.

My good friend the member from Timiskaming–Cochrane, yesterday on my morning video in regard to the standing orders change, used an analogy that I think applies here: A good carpenter measures twice and cuts once. You don’t do it the other way around. Measure once, and you may have to cut twice. You may have to measure three times, right? But you double-check your measurement before you do the cut.

The government in this case is saying, “Nod, nod. Wink, wink. Let’s introduce something at 4:30 on Wednesday and let’s have a debate Thursday morning, and hopefully the opposition won’t debate it very long and we’ll be all done in the morning”—because it’s a motion. There’s only one reading of this particular motion. It’s not as if it comes back for third reading or goes to committee. As a motion, it’s either we’re in favour or we’re not, and if we’re all in favour it passes. So we’re in this unenviable position where we may not want to hold this up because it may very well be a perfectly drafted motion that’s sitting on the order paper, and that the sector is okay with it. But we have no way of knowing that because we couldn’t call them last night at 5—their offices were closed—and we couldn’t call them this morning because the House started at 9. The government could have waited until sometime next week in order to do this, and we would have been in a much better position.

So I just say to the government again that if the government is trying to find a way to reach out and to work with members of the opposition and the official opposition and the independents, they’re certainly finding an odd way of doing it, Madam Speaker. They know that central to the debate on motion number 88 is the loss of the ability to file a reasoned amendment, for this very reason. The reason that we have the reasoned amendment is to allow a pause to happen when a government introduces a bill.

There are two reasons we have a reasoned amendment in our standing orders. The first one is that, yes, it provides a pause of up to 48 hours, depending on how we execute it, which gives the media, the public and the opposition a chance to get their head around the legislation. But the other thing is, it allows us to amend the actual motion. That’s why the reasoned amendment is in place, and it seems to me that that is something in our standing orders that has served us well.

I heard the arguments—the government members and the government House leader say, “Oh, yes, but the NDP used it 17 times,” or five times or whatever the number was. Well, you’ve got some pretty controversial legislation. Yes, we’re going to slow some of it down for the reason of trying to give the public a chance to get their heads around what you’re doing. Changing the voting system in the middle of Toronto’s election—yes, we’re going to use a reasoned amendment, there’s no question.

Your changes on Bill 175 to the emergency powers, and the other one, which was the omnibus Bill 178 or Bill 177—Bill 178, I think it is—yes, we’re going to use reasoned amendments, because those are controversial bills. The measure is not that we’ve been using them too much, but that you’ve been doing controversial legislation. Previous governments had controversial legislation. When I was in government, we had some. When Mr. Harris was in government, they had some. When the Liberals were in office, they had some. But you guys have got far more. I don’t know why. I think it’s because you’re kind of ideological in your desire to drive things, as I’m ideological on the other side. But some of the stuff that you guys are doing is fairly controversial. So yes, we use the reasoned amendment for that reason, Madam Speaker.

When the government files a motion—I believe this is motion 89, Clerk? I believe it’s 89?

Hon. Lisa M. Thompson: Yes, it is.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: So the motion was filed, as motion 89, last night at 4:30, and the government expects that this is okay, this is not a problem. It tells you where their thinking is at. It’s like, “We don’t need to talk to you guys. We don’t need to consult. We just do what we want.”

I’ve said in this House, and my colleagues have said in this House, that we’ve all accepted the results of the last election. Would I rather the NDP had won? Absolutely. But the people of Ontario decided they wanted a majority Conservative government. Buyer beware. They may not be so enamoured of that idea, come two years from now, I would predict. My point is, that was the result. With that result, the government does have the right to introduce legislation, have their legislation debated and passed. That’s an absolute right.

But the opposition also has a job to look at and either praise or criticize the legislation on its strengths. There are times where we get into this House in opposition, on both—it doesn’t matter who’s here, Liberal, Conservative, NDP or independents, where we’ll actually say to the government, “Job well done,” but there are other times that we’re going to say, “Not so well done.” It’s our job as an opposition to hold the government to account.

So here’s where we’re at, as legislators today, with this motion. We have motion 89 sitting on the order paper, that may be perfectly well drafted—I certainly hope that’s the case. I know we have some really good people at leg counsel who draft these things. But there could be an error, and nobody would be the wiser if we allowed this to pass this morning, and then we would have to come back and bring another motion to the House before December 31 in order to fix it.

We are going to do our job as the official opposition of reaching out to the not-for-profits. I know there’s one particularly that I will contact in my riding because I’ve been doing some work with them on their incorporation. I’m sure that other members and our research staff are going to do the same in order for them to have their lawyers look at this, and look at Bill 65 that was passed about 10 years ago, and say, “Is this good? Is it drafted properly?”

Now, like I said at the beginning of this debate, Madam Speaker, we’re not opposed to what the government is doing. That’s not the issue here. In the end, we don’t want those provisions to be sunsetting, but you have till December 31. You didn’t have to do it this morning, on September 17, after you’d introduced the motion on the 16th at 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s just not the way of doing things. In the midst of the debate around changes to standing orders, I think it either shows an ineptitude on the part of the government and the government House leader’s office, or a disregard for the words they’re using, which are, “We’re trying to build a relationship.”

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The government House leader admitted that there was a difficulty in the relationship between him and I—and he uses me specifically—over the summer. Yes, yes, I had some disagreements with the government House leader not doing private members’ bills in the middle of a pandemic. Do you expect me, as the opposition House leader, to say, “Oh, that’s a great thing”? Every member of this House, government side or opposition side, are all experiencing the same thing in their constituencies where we have people coming to see us about issues that need to be addressed through public policy and, in some cases, motions or legislation. Members need an ability to be able to bring that to the House to do our jobs. It’s what we’re elected to do.

The government House leader, says to me, “Oh, well, we’re not going to do private members’ bills this summer because we’re in the middle of the pandemic.” If there was ever a time we needed private members’ bills, it was in the middle of a pandemic, because every member of this House has the same issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re Liberal or you’re NDP, Conservative, independent or Green, we have people who are coming into our offices by the droves around long-term-care issues, around education issues, around small business issues, around not-for-profit issues. They’re all coming in to see us.

The government House leader says, “It was all the NDP’s fault because they were being oppositional during the extended session this summer, the extended session of the spring into the summer.” Again, Madam Speaker, does he expect I’m going to say that it’s a good thing not to have private members’ bills? They didn’t allow opposition days to go forward either during that particular time. So, yes, I was pushing back. That’s my job. That’s the job of what we do as far as making sure that we afford members the ability to do their jobs by using the processes that are established in this Legislature.

What I find galling with what we’re doing here today is that the government knows that this is a sticking point in trying to make things work in this House. They’ve got motion number 88 on the order paper, which we’re currently debating. Central to this issue—to that motion 88 debate—is not having the 48-hour cool-off period, and the government introduces a motion at 4:30 on Wednesday night and says, “Let’s debate it at 9 o’clock on Thursday morning.” Hello? Do you think that maybe that kind of doesn’t help the relationship?

So I say to the government, we’re not wanting to slow this down for nefarious reasons or just for reasons of slowing it down. We need to do our jobs. If the government is trying to find a way to build a better relationship—and I’m all for that, because that’s how this place should work.

How many times have I gotten up in the House and spoken to how this House used to operate when I first got here? There was a collaboration between parties because the government, yes, had the right to pass legislation and they got it in the end, but the rules allowed us to hold them up so that there was a little bit of trading when it came to how much time in committee, if there would be any amendments to the legislation. In the end, it’s the government that benefits with that, not us. It allows us to do our job. But if the government drafts a better bill etc., the government, at the end, are the ones that wear the glory. But when you draft bad bills—and I’m not saying this motion is a bad one—at the end, you’ve got to wear it.

So I say to the government across the way, listen, if you’re trying to signal—and I know that the government House leader and I have talked about it at least twice today, but we’ve been speaking every day since Monday. Clearly, you can see the government House leader is trying to have a discussion, trying to build a better relationship. He’s certainly not doing it by his actions, because when you get these kinds of motions, it really puts us in a position.

Now, I see you’re looking for me to sit down here, Speaker. Is that what you’re looking—

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Jennifer K. French): I’m sorry to interrupt the member, but the time on the clock says that it is time for members’ statements.

Debate deemed adjourned.