22 May 2020 – Statutory physical meetings can be virtual, documents accepted electronically

Type of Intervention: Regulation
Sectors Involved: Private Sector and Businesses
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services
Business Law Modernization and Burden Reduction Council

Overview: The Ontario government is permitting corporations to conduct virtual meetings, defer annual meetings, and allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents as part of legislative changes under the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020. This intends to make it easier to conduct business and practice physical distancing by using electronic means to fulfil business obligations during the pandemic. The COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020 will permanently allow the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept electronically signed documents, improving flexibility for businesses in the future beyond the pandemic.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/mgs/en/2020/05/ontario-makes-it-easier-to-conduct-business-during-covid-19.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, provincially appointed council – Business Law Modernization and Burden Reduction Council
Evidence/Justification: The Ontario government’s legislative changes aim to provide corporations with an opportunity to operate more efficiently and fulfil business obligations while reducing the number of touchpoints needed to file documentation. The government consulted with the Business Law Modernization and Burden Reduction Council on these amendments. This is a council of legal experts appointed by the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, which advise the government on modernization of Ontario’s business laws. The government also consulted with key businesses and sector stakeholders to gather feedback and ideas for solutions to improve efficiency during this time.