Transition your society to the new Societies Act

Yukon’s new Societies Act came into effect on April 1, 2021. It clarifies how societies are created and managed in Yukon. The Act also:

  • allows for more flexibility in how to manage societies; and
  • ensures that societies are accountable to their stakeholders.

How long do societies have to transition?

Societies currently registered in Yukon have until March 31, 2023, to transition and conform to the new Societies Act.

Initiating the transition

Using the transition application form, a society can initiate their transition.

To start, societies will refile their constitution, list their directors and submit new bylaws in paper or electronic format with the Yukon Corporate Online Registry (YCOR).

What to know about transitioning

Once your society has transitioned and submitted all the reports regarding the completed transitional reporting period, most of the transactions and filings needed for your society under the new legislation can be submitted online through the Yukon Corporate Online Registry (YCOR).

Using YCOR for submitting documents

  • You'll need to set up a regular account and request a private filing key (PFK).
  • If you're the account holder and requested a PFK you'll receive it by mail and a confirmation will be sent to the registered office of the society. This ensures security of the PFK.
  • If you don’t have internet access, you can visit your local public library or submit paper documents in person or by mail.

Extra-territorial societies

How to transition

Decide when to transition

Your society should decide when, within the 2-year timeline, it would be beneficial to submit the transition application.

The transition is a 2-step process:

  1. Submit the transition application.
  2. Complete the fiscal year reporting for the transition year under the former legislation.

Your society should:

  • consider what needs to be done before submitting the transition application and completing the transitional fiscal year reporting period; and
  • determine whether it would be better to transition as close as possible to the end of the society’s current reporting period (fiscal year) for a smooth transition regarding new reporting requirements.

After your society decides when to transition

Before logging in to YCOR to submit the completed transition application

Make sure that all the society’s annual report filings are current and that you have the following ready to be submitted:

  • constitution (under the existing name and with the existing purposes of the society);
  • new bylaws (whether the model bylaws or their own) that have been approved by special resolution of members that follow the new statutory requirements;
  • directors’ information and registered office address as currently in the registry; and
  • information required by the application for transition form ‒ submit in person, by mail or through YCOR.

Before you start the process to transition

Submit your society’s constitution

The constitution must contain only the name and purposes of the society, word-for-word as these appear in the society’s constitution on record.

If your society wishes to preserve any provisions of the existing constitution other than name and purposes, those provisions must be moved to the society’s bylaws.

Example:
Constitution before transition
Constitution after transition

The name of the society is Yukon Snow Shovellers Society.

The purpose of the society is to provide Yukoners who love shovelling snow with an opportunity to a) develop shovelling techniques and b) swap equipment.

No director shall be paid for services rendered to the society.

On winding up or dissolution of the society, any assets that remain shall be distributed to a charitable organization carrying on activities of a similar nature.

The name of the society is Yukon Snow Shovellers Society.

The purposes of the society are (a) to provide Yukoners who love shovelling snow with an opportunity to a) develop shovelling techniques and b) swap equipment.

[Other additional, unrelated provisions that were previously contained in the constitution, cannot be included in the constitution under the new, but may be moved to the bylaws]

Example:

To follow the example regarding the constitution requirements above, your customized bylaws may look as follows:

Portion of bylaws before transition
Portion of bylaws after transition

Bylaws of the Yukon Snow Shovellers Society

Bylaws of the Yukon Snow Shovellers Society

11. In these bylaws, unless the context otherwise requires, “directors” means . . . . . .

46. The society must use its seal in all official correspondence.

11. In these bylaws, unless the context otherwise requires, “directors” means . . . . . .

46. The society must use its seal in all official correspondence.

49. No director shall be paid any remuneration for services rendered to the society.

48. On winding up or dissolution of the society, any assets that remain shall be distributed to a charitable organization carrying on activities of a similar nature.

Bylaws

As part of its transition application, your society must provide its new bylaws conforming with the new legislation.

The new bylaws also need to be approved by special resolution prior to submitting the transition application.

Societies have 2 options

Option 1: Adopt the model set of bylaws created by the Department of Community Services, which, if unchanged, complies with the new Societies Act.

Option 2: Develop customized bylaws. These must follow but the new legislative requirements, as set out in section 12 of the new Societies Act.

Your society's bylaws cannot violate other legislation, such as:

  • human rights legislation;
  • the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms; and
  • other statute and case law.

Your society may decide to not use the model bylaws. If this happens, we recommend that your society hires a lawyer to make sure the bylaws follow the act.