Doing Business in Ontario During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond Just Became Easier and Safer
On May 12, 2020, Bill 190, COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020 (the “Act”) was passed to address social distancing concerns faced by businesses in carrying out their statutory responsibilities. The legislation addresses these concerns two ways.
Firstly, the Act amends the Business Corporations Act, the Co-operative Corporations Act, the Condominium Act, 1998 and the Corporations Act to temporarily suspend the requirement for corporations, including business corporations, not-for-profit corporations and condominium corporations, to hold in person meetings during the declared emergency and for a period of 120 days thereafter. In addition, provisions are made for the calling and holding of virtual meetings and the deferral of annual meetings.
Secondly, the Act enacts the Alternative Filing Methods for Business Act, 2020 and amends the Business Corporations Act, the Business Names Act, the Co-operative Corporations Act, the Corporations Information Act, the Corporations Act, the Extra-Provincial Corporations Act and the Limited Partnerships Act, to provide for certain documents previously required to be filed by in-person delivery or by mail, to now be filed by alternative methods. The amendments also permit electronic signatures and electronic copies in respect of certain documents. Unlike the temporary suspension of in-person meetings, these amendments are expected to stay in place, making the signing and filing of documents by businesses much easier now and in the future.
If you have any questions regarding Bill 190 please contact the business lawyers at Merovitz Potechin LLP.
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