Legislation Update
Jan 2022 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on January 27 2022

By Terrance S. Carter

Bill S-216, Effective and Accountable Charities Act

As reported in the November 2021 Charity & NFP Law UpdateBill S-216, Effective and Accountable Charities Act, proposing amendments to the Income Tax Act (“ITA”), was introduced in the Senate by the Honourable Senator Ratna Omidvar after its predecessor Bill S-222 had died on the Order Paper when Parliament was dissolved on August 15, 2021. Bill S-216 completed Third Reading in the Senate on December 9,2021, and is now awaiting First Reading in the House of Commons.

As previously discussed, Bill S-216 proposes changes to several provisions in the ITA governing charities to eliminate the fictitious “own activities” test in the ITA and the related Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) “direction and control” regime that prohibits charities from making grants to non-qualified donees for charitable purposes, and replaces it with a proposed new regime of “resource accountability.”

Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)

Legislation prohibiting certain acts related to conversion therapy has now been passed in Canada.
Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy), was introduced to the House of Commons on November 29, 2021 and received Royal Assent on December 8, 2021. Bill C-4 amends the Criminal Code as of January 7, 2022 to, among other things, prohibit: “(a) causing another person to undergo conversion therapy; (b) doing anything for the purpose of removing a child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada; (c) promoting or advertising conversion therapy; and (d) receiving a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.” Further, the Criminal Code has also been amended to authorize courts to order that advertisements for conversion therapy be disposed of or deleted.

Ontario Bill 9, Non-Profit Sector Appreciation Week Act, 2021

Ontario has declared the third week of February each year as Non-Profit Sector Appreciation Week.
Bill 9, Non-Profit Sector Appreciation Week Act, 2021, was introduced on October 6, 2021 and brought into force upon receiving Royal Asset on December 9, 2021. The preamble to Bill 9 recognizes that “Ontario’s non-profit sector is a major contributor to innovation, job creation and the economy”, that the work of non-profits “is indispensable and heroic, but it is all too often invisible”, and that “their public service deserves to be recognized and honoured.”

Ontario Bill 13, Supporting People and Businesses Act, 2021

Ontario’s Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 (the “PRCRA”) will be amended to provide relief to volunteers who must undergo police record checks. The omnibus Bill 13, Supporting People and Businesses Act, 2021 received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021, introducing amendments to the PRCRA that will be proclaimed into force on a future date to be named.

In particular, the amendments include a definition for volunteer under the PRCRA as “a person who performs a service but who receives no compensation for doing so other than an allowance for expenses or an honorarium, and excludes a person receiving some other form of credit such as academic credit or fulfilling a sentence requirement”. Further, people becoming or continuing as volunteers will not be required to pay a fee for a criminal record check or for a criminal record and judicial matters check. Notably, though, the fee exemption for volunteers does not apply to vulnerable sector checks.

Ontario Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021

Employment legislation in Ontario has been passed to prohibit non-compete clauses in most employment contracts, as well as to require employers with 25 or more employees to have a “Disconnect from Work” policy, among other things. Amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 were passed in through Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021, which received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021. For further details, see Charity & NFP Law Bulletin No. 506, above.

Ontario Bill 37, Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors, and Building More Beds Act, 2021

As reported in the November 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update, Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 is being repealed and replaced by the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021. Bill 37, Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors, and Building More Beds Act, 2021 received Royal Assent on December 9, 2021, and is to be proclaimed in force on a date to be named. According to Ontario’s Regulatory Registry, the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 “maintains parts of the [Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007] and includes new provisions around staffing and care; new protections for residents through better accountability, enforcement and transparency; and streamlined development processes.”

Draft Phase I Regulations for the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 were also posted on January 18, 2022 for public consultation. The draft regulations focus on those regulations that are necessary to support bringing the Act into force, including bringing forward many provisions contained in O Reg 79/10, General under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007. The province is seeking comments by February 17, 2022.

Ontario Bill 43, Build Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2021

Draft implementing legislation for the 2021 Ontario Fall Economic Statement was introduced through Bill 43, Build Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2021, which received Royal Assent on December 9, 2022. Bill 43 amends the Assessment Act to exempt from property taxes land leased and occupied solely by a university if the certain conditions are met. This amendment is deemed to have come into force on September 1, 2021. For more details, please see the November 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update.

Ontario Bill 75, Emancipation Month Act, 2021

Ontario has followed in the footsteps of the United Nations General Assembly, which adopted 2015 to 2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent to ensure people of African descent receive the recognition, justice and access to opportunities they deserve. Bill 75, Emancipation Month Act, 2021 received Royal Assent on December 9, 2021, and proclaims the month of August each year as Emancipation Month. The preamble to Bill 75 “pays tribute to the important contributions and leadership that the Black communities have made and continue to make in Ontario as a major part of the vibrant social, economic, political and cultural fabric of our province”. It further states that Emancipation Month will be “a time for healing, unification and restoration. It is about eliminating discrimination by continuing to educate and advance the importance of racial equity across the province. Emancipation Month will help build a more inclusive province, where everyone is treated with fairness, respect and dignity.”

Read the January 2022 Charity & NFP Law Update