We have created a dedicated page on our site to provide you with current and relevant information and resources to help Ontario's co-operatives through this difficult time, and will continue to provide updates as they become available. You can also access the links to our Member-Owner COVID-19 Information & Resources.


A MESSAGE FROM OCA

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT INFORMATION

ONTARIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INFORMATION

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

 


A MESSAGE FROM OCA

OCA strongly believes that co-operatives are part of the solution to foster economic recovery. We also know that the world will never be the same as it was before. We encourage Ontario co-operatives to share their stories with us on how your co-operative is helping its community during the crisis, and your thoughts on how we can help rebuild a different, better future. The more stories we can collect and share, the more awareness we can build on how co-operatives are solution providers. We need to plan for a different future now - tomorrow needs us. Send your story to us at [email protected]. Check out these awesome stories here

If you have specific questions or concerns, we want to help. Please contact us directly at 519-831-0850 or via email at [email protected]


PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT INFORMATION

April 2021: The Government of Ontario made regulatory amendments under the Co-operative Corporations Act (CCA) that extend the effective period of temporary legislative provisions permitting corporations governed under these statutes to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, notwithstanding certain restrictions or requirements. The effective period of these temporary legislative provisions has now been extended to end on December 31, 2021. You can review these changes here.

A plain language version of these temporary changes is available here.  

Businesses and organizations need to adhere to the measures that have been put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Providing corporations governed under these statutes with the flexibility to host annual meetings and other meetings of significance virtually despite certain requirements or restrictions is intended to help these corporations safely meet their obligations during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.


January 2021: The Ontario Government has opened applications for a new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, to provide up to $20,000 for eligible businesses that are required to close or severely restrict their operations, due to the necessary provincewide shutdown from COVID-19.


October 2, 2020: the Government of Ontario made regulatory amendments under the Co-operative Corporations Act (CCA) that extend the temporary legislative amendments permitting corporations governed under the CCA to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, notwithstanding current requirements. These temporary legislative amendments have now been extended to end on May 31, 2021. View a plain language explanation here.

All co-operative corporations need to adhere to the protective measures that have been put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Providing corporations with the flexibility to host annual meetings and other meetings of significance virtually will help ensure Ontario corporations have choices and can meet their obligations under applicable statutes. You can review these changes here

The ministry will continue to monitor COVID-19-related developments and will communicate any additional updates in future, as necessary. Questions about the extension of legislative amendments related to virtual meetings can be directed to Victoria Walker, Manager, Policy and Business Law Unit at [email protected]

You may wish to visit the following pages for additional information:


July 24, 2020: Important Information Regarding Emergency Order Temporary Replacement Provisions

The declared emergency was terminated on Friday July 24th, 2020 when the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 came into force. See section 17.

The temporary suspension period (that included the emergency provisions under Emergency Order O. Reg. 107/20) extends to the 120th day after the declared emergency ended on July 24th, 2020 (which would be November 21st, 2020). This is outlined in section 189 (2) of the Co-operative Corporations Act. This means that you are still able to hold an AGM virtually, vote electronically etc. even if its not in your bylaws (until that 120 day deadline). You can view our plan language version of those temporary provisions here for clarification on what still stands for those 120 days.

Key areas of interest...

  • Postponing of your co-operative’s AGM: According to those temporary replacement provisions: If the last possible date your AGM could be held, falls within the active state of emergency, you can postpone your AGM to a date within the 90 days following the final day of the state of emergency. If the last possible date your AGM could be held, falls within 30 days after the state of emergency has been declared over you can postpone your AGM to a date within 120 days of the state of emergency being declared over. You may want to check the exact date your AGM could technically be held (15 months after your last AGM) because you might be able to extend your time the extra 30 days.  For example. If the last possible AGM date would have fallen between March 17th, 2020 and July 24, 2020, you have until October 22nd (90 days after July 24th, 2020 when the emergency order ended).  BUT, If your last possible AGM date is actually would have fallen between July 25th, 2020 and August 24th, 2020, you would have until November 21st, 2020 (120 days after July 24th, 2020 when the emergency order ended) to host your AGM.
  • Hosting Virtual AGM’s and Electronic Voting: According to the replacement provisions: All co-operatives, including non-profit housing co-operatives can hold electronic meetings, regardless of whether or not their articles or by-laws allow them. All members participating in the electronic meeting must be able to hear each other, and a member who votes at the meeting or establishes a communications link to the meeting is counted as present at that meeting. The requirement for voting in person is suspended temporarily, and instead, whether or not the articles or by-laws of a cooperative, including a non-profit housing co-operative, allow it, voting may take place by mail or by telephonic or electronic means.  Both of these provisions continue to be active for 120 days after the emergency order ended on July 24th, 2020 (which would be November 21st, 2020).
  • Hosting your AGM in person: Even though the requirement for voting in person was suspended temporarily, an in-person vote remains lawful under the Act. The Rules relating to current gathering limitations for indoor and outdoor gatherings can be found in regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. Regions in stage 3 are able to hold gatherings of 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors, but you also need to social distance 2 meters or more. You can find out more about the Framework for Reopening Ontario here.

May 12, 2020: the Government of Ontario passed legislative amendments in the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020 that will provide relief and flexibility to different types of corporations and businesses in Ontario, as a result of the declared emergency. These legislative amendments provide flexibility for affected corporations and businesses to, for example, and as applicable, enable them to call and hold virtual meetings, defer annual meetings in some circumstances, utilize electronic signatures, and file documents electronically.


April 24, 2020: the Government of Ontario took further action to support corporations, including condo corporations, co-operative corporations, businesses, and not-for-profits during the COVID-19 outbreak with amendments to Emergency Order O. Reg. 107/20.

The Emergency Order is in effect province-wide and retroactive to March 17, 2020, the day the Declaration of Emergency came into effect. The Emergency Order can be accessed here and will be available on e-laws shortly. The Emergency Order was amended to:

  • Permit corporations governed under the Co-operative Corporations Act (CCA) and Condominium Act, 1998 (Condo Act) to hold meetings virtually, notwithstanding current requirements or restrictions;
  • Extend the time period in which corporations governed under the CCA and Condo Act must hold annual meetings; and
  • Address additional matters related to meetings for corporations under the Corporations Act (CA), Business Corporations Act (OBCA), Condo Act and CCA, such as the re-issuing of notices to hold a meeting virtually after a notice of meeting has already been sent, in certain circumstances, and, as applicable, the requirement to present financial statements at annual meetings within a specified period.

The order applies to requirements under the CA, OBCA, CCA, and Condo Act.

Questions related to Emergency Order O. Reg. 107/20 can be directed to Victoria Walker, Manager, Policy and Business Law Unit at [email protected].

A plain language of these temporary changes can be foundhere.


March 25, 2020: the Government of Ontario released Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, a $17-billion response which includes $3.7 billion for “people and jobs” and $10 billion available through tax and other deferrals for “people and businesses.” The government has also opened a phone line for businesses to call with inquiries: 1-888-444-3659. You can call Monday to Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


ONTARIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INFORMATION

Check out the Chamber's Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit, designed to help support businesses be prepared for any human-resources or operational-related disruptions. The guidelines and resources contained in this toolkit have been prepared to assist businesses in planning for and adaption to the disruption of COVID-19 and any future influenza pandemics.


MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

Covid-19 has increased those struggling with substance abuse and mental health by a staggering 40 percent according to the CDC.

  • ARK Behavioral Health has created a resource page that shares valuable information for those seeking help while battling addiction and co-occurring conditions. 
  • Rehab 4 Addiction has developed a great online resource called "Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health" to help people dealing with substance abuse. 
  • The CAMH has a dedicated website for those struggling with mental health and addiction during COVID-19.