July 2017 Archives

What Happens if Members are Never Properly Admitted?

In Rexdale Singh Sabha Religious Centre v. Chattha (decided in 2006), the Ontario Court of Appeal addressed the situation in which no proper procedure had ever been taken to admit members of a not-for-profit corporation after incorporation, holding that, in such a case, the members consist of the original applicants for incorporation.

Schism Within a Church and its Effect on Church Property

In Bentley v. Anglican Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster (decided in 2010), the British Columbia Court of Appeal held that, when four Anglican parishes decided to leave a diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the oversight of the Anglican Bishop, the church buildings and other property belonged to the ACC and could not be used by the split-off parishes, even though they continued to adhere to the Anglican faith.

Sask. Court Invalidates Election and Orders New List of Members

In Ray v. Morin (decided in 2002), Justice Allbright of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench found that there were sufficient grounds to invalidate an election of directors of a non-profit corporation and order the compilation of a new list of members and a fresh election based on the new list.

Close Elections Equal Closer Scrutiny

In Garcha v. Khalsa Diwan Society - New Westminster (decided in 2006), the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a trial court decision setting aside a close election of directors of a religious institution governed by the British Columbia Society Act (now the Societies Act).

Characterization of a Document as a By-law

In Smith v. Toronto Police Assn. (decided in 2008), the Ontario Court of Appeal held that a regulation of the Toronto Police Association was properly characterized as a by-law under the Ontario Corporations Act and, since it had not been amended in accordance with the governing legislation or the by-laws of the association, the purported dissolution of the Legal Assistance Plan Board of the association by simple resolution of the association's board of directors was a nullity.

B.C. Court of Appeal Sets Aside Attempt to Stack Membership Rolls

In Samra v. Guru Nanak Gurdwara Society (decided 2008), the British Columbia Court of Appeal set aside attempts by three separate factions to stack the membership rolls in preparation for a vote for the election of the board of a religious institution that operated a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia.

Life Memberships: A Qualification

In Whittall v. Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club (decided in 2005), the British Columbia Court of Appeal reconciled the apparent inconsistency between a life membership and the ability of the voting members of the corporation to unilaterally vary the conditions of membership. In effect, the status of a life member is subject to the right of the members of the corporation to vary membership classes or groups - including requiring members who were formerly exempt from paying dues to start paying annual dues.

Proposed Change Would Eliminate Certain Conflicts for Directors of Charities

Charity law holds directors of charitable corporations to strict duties to avoid conflicts of interest and to disgorge payments they may receive in violation of this duty. But a proposed new regulation under the Charities Accounting Act would relax this standard. 

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