The Companies Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (“MGS”) is very heavily backlogged at the moment. Estimated times for processing applications that generally would have taken 6 – 8 weeks are now taking 4 or more months!
We recently placed a call with MGS to get further updates on timelines and they advised they are still processing applications received at the end of June! This is very different than Corporations Canada. Turnaround times for processing applications by Corporations Canada generally take between 1 day to 5 business days with most being processed in 1 day or less. This is just another reason for new not-for-profit corporations to avoid incorporating under the Corporations Act (Ontario) (“OCA”) or why existing not-for-profit corporations under the OCA should consider moving to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”). We are concerned that this might get a lot worse. The current Ontario government seems to be looking at cutting departments and not hiring new people to improve client services. Also with tens of thousands of Ontario corporations that will need to make changes to comply with ONCA one can expect that especially for charities that have to deal with both the PGT and Companies Branch that the waits are going to get a lot longer.
Here are some links that you might find helpful:
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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.