The legislation makes sweeping changes to the law governing societies6. To name a few of the biggest changes, the Societies Act:
- Distinguishes between member-funded and publicly-funded societies
- Publicly funded societies and charities will be subject to increased requirements, and member-funded societies will have their regulatory burden reduced7.
- A member-funded society is a type of special society “funded primarily by its members to carry on activities for the benefit of its members.”
- Introduces mandatory online filing for incorporations, bylaw changes and other filing at the corporate registry
- Existing societies will have to upload their constitution and bylaws in digital format when they transition.
- Currently, the online online filing available is for annual reports.
Clarifies societies’ record-keeping obligations
Makes changes to classes of membership, voting rules, and a reduced threshold to pass a special resolution.
Allows restoration of societies without court approval.
Sets qualifications for directors and senior managers, including age requirements.
- The new legislation specifically describes what records must be maintained, and who will have access to them.
To see section-by-section comparisons of the two Acts, see these concordances:
Current Society Act to new Societies Act
New Societies Act to current Society Act
6 Explanatory Notes
Please note that this article is offered only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or opinion.