Legislation Update
March 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on March 25, 2021

By Theresa L.M. Man and Jacqueline M. Demczur


Bill S-222, the Effective and Accountable Charities Act at Second Reading 

The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Senator for Ontario, and former co-chair of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, moved second reading of Bill S-222, the Effective and Accountable Charities Act (“Bill S-222”) in the Senate on March 16, 2021. If passed, and there is still a long way to go, Bill S-222 would provide registered charities in Canada with much needed and long awaited reform concerning the “own activities” requirement. For additional information and resources concerning Bill S-222 and the “own activities” test, see Charity & NFP Law Bulletin No. 488

Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) receives Royal Assent 

Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), received Royal Assent on March 17, 2021 (“Bill C-7”). Bill C-7 extends the provision of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for people whose natural death is not “reasonably foreseeable” if “additional safeguards” are complied with. As discussed in the October 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update,, Bill C-7 amends the Criminal Code to repeal the requirement that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order for that person to be eligible for medical assistance in dying, specify that persons whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness are not eligible for medical assistance in dying — subject to a two-year sunset clause, create safeguards before medical assistance in dying may be provided, permit medical assistance in dying to a person who has lost the capacity to consent as long as it is on the basis of a prior agreement entered into with the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner providing medical assistance in dying, among other amendments.

Prior to receiving Royal Assent, Bill C-7 received a number of changes as it passed through Parliament. A sunset clause was added, which comes into force on the day two years after the date of Royal Assent, to repeal the added exclusion of mental illness from the eligibility criteria in the Criminal Code and require an independent review respecting requests for MAiD “by persons who have a mental illness,” as well as a report provided to the Minister of Justice and Minister of Health within one year and tabled in each house of Parliament. Provisions were also added for the collection of information respecting “race or indigenous identity of any person who requests medical assistance in dying” if the person consents, as well as information respecting any disability, if the person consents. A further added provision includes “the use, analysis and interpretation of that information […] for the purposes of determining the presence of any inequality — including systemic inequality — or disadvantage based on race, Indigenous identity, disability or other characteristics” in MAiD.

Ministry of Colleges and Universities Propose New Requirements for Sexual Violence Policies

Consultations ended earlier this month regarding proposals to include new requirements for sexual violence polices in Ontario colleges and universities. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities held consultations from January 27 to March 15, 2021 for possible amendments to regulations under the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, 1990 (“MTCU Act”) and the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 (“PCC Act”). The proposed requirements are intended to strengthen sexual violence policies and to “help ensure that the institutions respond appropriately to students affected by sexual violence.”

Ontario Regulation 415/06 supports requirements under section 32.1 of the PCC Act respecting the content of sexual violence policies of private career colleges, and Ontario Regulation 131/16 supports requirements under section 17 of the MTCU Act for sexual violence policies at publicly-assisted colleges and universities. These regulations establish common standards and minimum requirements for college and university sexual violence policies and include provisions for postsecondary education institutions to “meet the unique needs of their community (i.e., students, staff and faculty) and the physical layout of their campuses.” The Ministry of Colleges and Universities proposed the following two requirements to that would be reflected in sexual violence policies under the regulations:

  • A complainant acting in good faith, who discloses or reports sexual violence, would not be subject to actions for violations of the institution's policies related to drug and alcohol use at the time the alleged sexual violence took place.
  • During the institution's investigative process, students who share their experience of sexual violence through disclosing, accessing support, and/or reporting to the institution, would not be asked irrelevant questions by the institution's staff or investigators. Examples of such irrelevant questions would include those relating to past sexual history or sexual expression.

According to the Analysis of Regulatory Impact, the regulation amendments would have “no additional costs or burdens” on students and “no impacts on administrative costs or fiscal implications within the government.” However, the new requirements “may result in a minor increase to the administrative costs” of colleges and universities to update their sexual violence policies.


Read the March 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update