Agriculture and Horticulture Group and ONCA – Administrators and Officers

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Agricultural and horticultural organizations in Ontario differ from most different Ontario non-share capital firms in that their governance necessities are set out in two separate acts: New Ontario. Not-for-Revenue Firms Act, 2010 (The “onka“) And this Agriculture and Horticulture Group AcTea (The “AG. and hart. act” both “Ahoa“. Consequently, being ruled by two legal guidelines, particular compliance concerns apply to some of these organizations.

ONCA at a Look

Agricultural and horticultural organizations ought to pay attention to the laws of each AHOA and ONCA. As background, the ONCA typically applies to all non-share capital firms included beneath an act of the Ontario legislature, whereas the AHOA applies to each agricultural affiliation, agricultural society or horticultural society included or persevering with beneath the AHOA. Because the AHOA is an Ontario Act, ONCA typically applies to agricultural and horticultural organizations, with few exceptions.

ONCA entered into pressure on October 19, 2021, modernizing the authorized framework for Ontario not-for-profit firms. A lot of the nonprofits had been beforehand ruled by Ontario company act (The “OCA“) are actually ruled by ONCA and can be required to transition to this new statute. Nonprofit firms have till October 19, 2024, to amend their governing paperwork to adjust to laws beneath ONCA.

The OCA had beforehand utilized to agricultural and horticultural societies and organizations previous to the implementation of the ONCA to the extent that it didn’t battle with the AHOA. Topic to restricted exceptions, the provisions of the ONCA now apply to those societies and organizations. The place the ONCA and the AHOA battle, the AHOA takes priority over the ONCA. In different phrases, the place ONCA prohibits a company from complying with a provision of the AHOA or ONCA is silent with respect to a selected matter, the group should adjust to the AHOA provision.


The next listing gives some examples of when the AHOA takes priority over the ONCA:

  • Discover of Board conferences have to be offered to all administrators at the least seven days previous to the time scheduled for the assembly (ONCA doesn’t present a particular discover requirement);

  • Every member shall be given at the least two weeks’ discover of the annual assembly (as an alternative of seven days beneath ONCA);

  • The company should cost an annual membership price (no such price is required beneath ONCA); And

  • The company should conduct an audit (versus opting out of the audit or overview engagement beneath ONCA beneath sure circumstances).

consultant voting

Organizations ruled by the AHOA and societies that make use of consultant voting have to pay particular consideration to the transition necessities beneath ONCA. Many AHOA organizations have representatives that signify a particular geographic space, performing on behalf of the members of that space. Consultant voting constructions are additionally generally utilized by spiritual denominations, athletic associations, and scholar unions. The OCA permits representative-respecting by-laws that enable a company to be elected by teams of members. of want. This construction permits for regional illustration whereas sustaining a membership class and is often used the place a company is made up of a number of branches or native organizations. This mechanism is especially helpful for organizations with giant memberships.

Not like the OCA, the ONCA doesn’t present for bylaws respecting representatives. Provisions relating to representatives created pursuant to OCA in a company’s by-laws or structure shall stay legitimate till the group information articles of modification beneath ONCA (even after October 19, 2024 transition date) doesn’t do. It serves as an prolonged interval of validity for the provisions regarding representatives. Going ahead, organizations with consultant voting could think about transitioning to a multi-class membership or membership consisting of native firms or associations to be able to keep a illustration construction.

The brand new organizations will be unable to implement Delegate Voting because it operates beneath OCA. Whereas the AHOA permits directorial illustration of some “districts” or “sections” of members, it’s silent with respect to consultant voting, so organizations can’t depend on the AHOA to implement this construction.

transition guidelines

We’ve got included beneath a non-exhaustive guidelines for agricultural and horticultural societies and organizations that must be thought of when transitioning to ONCA:

  1. Overview your included paperwork (both articles/letters of incorporation issued by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Meals and Rural Affairs (“Letters of Incorporation”) to substantiate your inclusion statute.OMAFRA“) or a particular or common act);

  2. Overview its bye-laws or structure and put together amendments as wanted;

  3. put together articles of revision;

  4. Acquire the approval of administrators and members for by-laws and articles of modification, in addition to OMAFRA’s approval of the articles; And

  5. Articles of file modification.


If you’re concerned within the governance and operation of an Ontario agricultural group, agricultural society or horticultural society, it’s best to familiarize your self with the brand new laws beneath ONCA and conduct a company doc overview. For those who’re unsure what the change to ONCA means on your group, Miller Thomson’s social affect group is accessible to assist.

The content material of this text is meant to supply a common information to the subject material. Specialist recommendation must be sought about your particular circumstances.

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