Overview

In response to COVID-19, temporary and permanent legislative amendments have been made to help corporations continue to function while adhering to physical distancing guidelines and legal requirements.

These changes enable corporations to, as applicable, call and hold virtual meetings.

These changes also enable individuals, corporations and other businesses filing documents with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) to:

  • utilize electronic signatures
  • file documents with the ministry electronically (temporary)

Legislative changes

On May 12, 2020, legislation was passed to provide relief and flexibility as a result of the declared emergency by permitting, as applicable:

  • calling and holding virtual meetings
  • deferral of annual meetings
  • submission of copies of documents
  • electronic signatures on documents filed with the ministry
  • electronic filing of documents with the ministry

Through this new legislation, the following acts were amended:

Virtual meetings and deferred annual meetings

Document copies, electronic signatures, and electronic filings

On June 3, 2021, further legislation was passed to permit Ontario’s not-for-profit corporations and certain other corporations governed under the Corporations Act to continue conducting virtual meetings during COVID-19 once the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 is brought into force on October 19, 2021

These legislative amendments include changes to the:

Virtual meetings and deferred annual meetings

Note: temporary legislative amendments made to the following acts are set to expire 120 days after the end of the emergency period:

The amendments permit corporations governed under one of the acts listed above to call and hold meetings virtually (as applicable) and to defer annual meetings until a later date (after the emergency period) in some circumstances.

The amendments:

We have extended some of the temporary legislative provisions to allow corporations governed under one of these four Acts to continue to hold meetings virtually until September 30, 2022:

We have also extended temporary legislative provisions to allow Ontario’s not-for-profit corporations to continue conducting virtual meetings once the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 is brought into force on October 19, 2021 until September 30, 2022.

This will help businesses conduct meetings while practising physical distancing.

New procedures available for filing documents with MGCS

To help meet physical distancing measures and reduce the number of touchpoints needed to file documentation:

  • copies of documents can be submitted to the ministry electronically
  • documents can be signed with an electronic signature

These temporary alternative filing methods and requirements are for documents that are typically submitted by mail or in-person. You will now be able to submit them by email or fax.

This is in accordance with the:

You can read the notice for more information on the filing methods and requirements, including requirements for electronic signatures and copies.

Please note that email or fax filings will follow existing service standards of mailed-in or couriered documents and will not result in immediate service fulfillment.

Updated: October 05, 2021
Published: May 12, 2020