Legislative Amendments were passed on May 12, 2020 by the Ontario Government to provide relief and flexibility to Corporations and Businesses in Ontario in response to Covid 19.
These temporary and permanent legislative amendments have been made to help business and corporations to continue to function while still adhering to physical distancing under the emergency period. Accordingly, several amendments have been made to the Business Corporations Act, Business Names Act, Corporations Act, Corporations Information Act, Co-operative Corporations Act, Condominium Act, 1988, Limited Partnership Act, and the Extra-Provincial Corporations Act have been incorporated under Bill 190 2020.
1. As applicable, the Businesses and the Corporations are now permitted to:
- Call and hold virtual meetings
- Defer Annual Meetings, in specified circumstances.
- Utilize electronic signatures
- File documents electronically
2. Document copies, electronic signature, and electronic filings: The Businesses, Corporations and Not-For-Profits may file copies of articles, applications and other documents under the above-mentioned Acts electronically with electronic signatures instead of original signatures by an electronic method (email/fax) as specified by the Minister, Director, or Registrar in accordance with the Alternative Methods of Filing Act, 2020.
These temporary alternative filing methods and requirements are for documents that were typically submitted by mail, courier or in-person. However, it is to be noted that these filings will still follow the existing service standards and will not result in immediate service fulfillments.
3. Electronic Chattel paper: Perfection of security interest can now be by way of electronic chattel papers under the Personal property Security Act (PPSA).
4. Remote or virtual commissioning and notarization will now become an option and will be established in regulation with proper measures and caution in place to prevent fraud and undue influence. Commissioner for Taking Affidavits Act and the Notaries Act is also witnessing several changes.
5. Succession Law Reform Act: This Act has also been amended to provide that certain designations of a person to receive a benefit payable under a plan on the participant’s death may be provided electronically. A consequential amendment is made to the Pensions Benefit Act as well.
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