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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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non-profits

Non-profit members and directors must adhere to corporate statutes and by-laws

The relationship between non-profit members and directors is sometimes akin to the relationship between parents and their newly-licensed teen-aged drivers. The key to the family car grants the teenager new freedoms, but sometimes, a parent’s only option is to reclaim the key. Members elect or appoint directors, delegating to them the power to manage the corporation. Corporate statutes and by-laws restrict the ability of members to participate in the management of the corporation once the directors hold the reins. Often, the only way for members to effect changes that the board opposes, is to reclaim the reins, by removing existing directors and appointing more amenable ones. http://canlii.ca/t/gh81g” target=”_blank”>Vaughan Community Health Centre Corporation v Annibale (2015 ONSC 2559 (CanLII)), recently examined the roles of members and directors, and the importance of adhering to corporate by-laws and statutes.

 

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What charites & non-profits can learn from the Ministry of Labour blitz on unpaid internships

Volunteers and unpaid interns are not covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and therefore are not subject to minimum wage and other requirements of the legislation. However, on September 30, 2014, the Ministry of Labour released the results of its recent blitz where it was determined that a number of unpaid interns in various sectors of the economy were actually employees covered by the ESA, and accordingly, entitled to minimum wages, vacation pay and other protections afforded to employees under the ESA. While the Ministry of Labour did not specifically target charities and non-profits in this blitz, there are many lessons to be learned due to the large number of volunteers and unpaid interns working in these sectors.

 

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NPOs’ internal procedures are subject to judicial review

Within the microcosm of a not-for-profit organization, where internal bylaws and rules are generated and enforced by the organization itself, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that there is always an external source of recourse in the form of judicial review. The officers of an organization must adhere to procedural fairness when carrying out administration functions. If they violate or misapply the bylaws, they may find themselves in court having their actions scrutinized by a judge.

 

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Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act: Two steps forward, one step back

The Ontario election called for June 12th has delayed proclamation of the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act, 2010 (ONCA) yet again.

 

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A fiduciary obligation does not (necessarily) a fiduciary make

Regular readers may recall the article we wrote on the topic of officer liability. There we commented on circumstances in which officers of corporations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) (whether continued to it or incorporated there) will be exposed to personal liability. Not long after that piece was written, an Executive Director of a corporation considering continuing to the CNCA who is an employee and not an officer in accordance with the corporation’s by-laws, asked us if she would owe a fiduciary duty to the corporation under the CNCA. On reflection, we concluded that the new officer provisions in the CNCA create a statutory framework wherein employees could be held liable for a breach of the same duties that are applicable to directors of those corporations. We left, for the moment, the question as to whether these duties were “fiduciary” or not.

 

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