Sport Law & Strategy Group Newsletter - October 2013

Published October 22, 2013

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Sport Law & Strategy Group Newsletter

vol 9(2) - October 2013

This edition of our newsletter features tips for sport leaders in the areas of leadership and absentee voting, provides updates on the Federal NFP Act (and our interpretation of some of the clauses), and big news on the Ontario NFP Act (ONCA).  We also discuss the dual roles of Directors, new developments in social media, and the third type of employment relationship - the dependent contractor. Finally, we have a new offer for individuals interested in purchasing our handbook Values-in-Action: Igniting Passion and Purpose in Sport Organizations.

Our quarterly newsletter has brought you important content in the following areas: legal updates, new legislation and case law, governance tips, risk management and values management practices, social media, communications strategies, as well as all kinds of other planning and strategic advice. We published our last newsletter in May 2013.

We send our newsletter every three or four months. The content includes summaries and links to material that we have posted on our website - plus updates on current events and other news. You can also join our Facebook page and get immediate updates.  If you don't want to receive the newsletter - no problem - just choose to unsubscribe at the bottom of this message.


Big ONCA News

Every incorporated not-for-profit sport organization in Ontario will be required to transition to compliance under the new Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act (ONCA). Depending on the organization, this process can involve bylaws revisions, policy changes, and a governance review. Whatever the changes, each Ontario sport organizations (PSOs and most clubs) will need to act to become compliant with the new law. The good thing though, as we explained in this post about timelines and features of the ONCA, sport organizations will have much more time to transition. We will continue to update Ontario sport organizations about the ONCA via posts on our website and notifications on our Facebook page. You can also email us at or

Federal NFP Act - Updates and New Lessons

We are working with over 60 organizations - both sport and non-sport - in their transition to compliance with the new NFP Act. In fact we recently learned that there are 17,000 federal not-for-profit organizations in Canada that need to transition but only 1,700 have completed the process. Only 13 months to go!! As we continue our work in this area we learn more and more about the Act and how it is interpreted. In a comprehensive post, Rachel wrote about our interpretations of proxy voting (Can an organization restrict the number of proxies? We think not!) and nominations for directors from the floor of a meeting (Is this possible? We say yes!). Kevin wrote about our interpretation of what records (e.g., financial, directors, amendments, etc.) each organization will be required to keep under the new law and who can view them.

Lessons About Jurisdiction from the Quebec-Soccer-Turban Situation

Back in June, the Canadian Soccer Association's suspension of the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) was making national headlines. Even Quebec's Premier Pauline Marois commented about the QSF's autonomy to make its own rules and prohibit its participants from wearing turbans. In an opinion post about jurisdiction, we strongly disagreed with Premier Marois's interpretation of the situation and we highlighted the issues inherent with the QSF's decision, and discussed the consequences of the CSA's suspension. The suspension ended within five days once the QSF rescinded the turban ban.

Dual Loyalties of Directors

The federal NFP prohibits 'ex-officio' Directors - those Directors who earn their position by virtue of holding another position with a different organization. But many provincial organizations maintain this governance structure. A president of a regional club may be granted an automatic seat on the Board of the provincial association. This is okay, right? But if it is okay - why has it been prohibited at the national level?  In this post, Hilary discussed the dual loyalties of Directors and to which organization they owe a duty of loyalty if the best interests of their two organizations conflict.

Lessons on Leadership

Dina wrote about her recent experience in Nicaragua and how being perceived as 'warm and caring' may give leaders more influence rather than if they were perceived to be authoritative and competent. Dina offered five tips for fellow Canadian sport leaders that may help others perceive their leadership as 'not a threat but a gift'.

Vine and Instagram - New Social Media Problems?

Though not every adult has heard of Vine (a video-sharing service) or Instagram (a picture-sharing service similar to twitter) it is almost certain that every young athlete has engaged with these new social media. Kevin wrote about how any new issues raised by these evolving social media can still be managed with proper organizational policy.

Dependent Contractor - A Third Employment Relationship

In this post, Hilary discussed employment relationships and how a third type of employment relationship - the dependent contractor - may be the one most commonly used by sport organizations. Hilary defined what it means to be a 'dependent contractor' and outlined how an organization can determine the type of employment relationship it has - or should have - with its employees.

Absentee Voting

In our last newsletter, we asked organizations to complete a survey on absentee voting and we promised we would share the results. From the survey we learned that most organizations would be open to absentee voting by email or by an online form but had questions about what the best method would look like. Under the new NFP Act, electing Directors might best be done by absentee voting so a lot of organizations are considering adapting a safe and straightforward process. We are available to help and discuss. Please feel free to email Rachel at

Charitable Support

The SLSG supports one of SchoolBOX's new programs called Tracy's Hope Library - which is currently accepting donations and selling texting mittens - in honour of Dina's sister Tracy who passed away twelve years ago. A cool useful item for a great and worthy cause! We also sponsor Read for the Cure - a charitable foundation that raises funds for cancer research. We will be attending one of their upcoming author events held in Ottawa, Toronto, or Calgary and we encourage supporting this entirely volunteer-run charity.

Sport Leadership

We'll be at the Petro Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference in Calgary on November 7th and 8th. We'll also have hardcopies of all of our handbooks. Stop by and say hi!

Values-in-Action: Answered Questions + New Offer

Dina's handbook - Values-in-Action: Igniting Passion and Purpose in Sport Organizations - has been published for almost a year now. Some questions were received from sport leaders - such as 'How can this book make me a better sport leader?' - and Dina's responses are summarized in this post. Our new offer is that if you purchase Dina's book, for an extra $5.00 we will add a copy of one of our first edition handbooks - 'The Complaint Process from Start to Finish' or 'Doing Business with the Private Sector'. Or for an extra $7.50 we will add both. So $27.50 (plus tax and shipping) for all three. Not bad! Orders are placed via our online order form and we send an invoice to the address you specify.


Our newsletter is distributed three or four times a year.

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