An Act respecting the constitution of certain Churches
1. Whenever any Protestant individual church has been formed but has not been constituted as a legal person in any other manner than hereinafter provided, and is not prevented from doing so by the constitution of the religious denomination to which it belongs, or when the property of the said church is not owned, possessed and controlled by some authority superior to the said church within the body to which it belongs, and when no other provision exists under special statute whereby the said church may acquire the powers of a legal person without a special Act to that effect, the church may be constituted as a legal person upon petition presented to the Government, which is hereby authorized to grant the same at its discretion.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 1; 1992, c. 57, s. 521; 1999, c. 40, s. 86.
2. The petition shall contain the following particulars:
(1) the name of the individual church so applying;
(2) the names of not less than three of the principal officers of the said church;
(3) the recital of a general resolution of the members of the said church duly passed at a special meeting called for the purpose, and of which reasonable notice to all members has been given, authorizing the said officers to proceed under this Act;
(4) the name of the religious denomination to which the said church belongs;
(5) the address of its head office and the place where its principal meetings are held;
(6) a description of any landed property already belonging to it.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 2; 1993, c. 48, s. 351; 1999, c. 40, s. 86.
2.1. The name of any legal person must be in conformity with section 9.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38).
1993, c. 48, s. 352; 1999, c. 40, s. 86.
3. The petition shall be accompanied by:
(1) affidavits of three of the principal officers of the church, in support of the allegations of the petition, declaring that the conditions of this Act are applicable;
(2) a duly certified extract from the minutes of the special church meeting hereinabove referred to, containing a copy of the resolution aforesaid and of the notice of such special meeting, and mention of how members were notified.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 3; 1999, c. 40, s. 86.
4. Notice of the presentation of the petition shall be transmitted to the enterprise registrar, accompanied with the fee set out in Schedule I to the Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises (chapter P-44.1) for the deposit of any other document. The enterprise registrar shall deposit the notice in the register referred to in Chapter II of that Act. A notice of the presentation of the petition shall also be published four times in a newspaper published in the judicial district in which the church meets, or, if no newspaper be published in such district, then in a newspaper published in the nearest district where one is issued.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 4; 1993, c. 48, s. 353; 2002, c. 45, s. 293; 2010, c. 7, s. 210; 2010, c. 7, s. 282.
4.1. The Government shall refuse to grant the petition where it contains a name not in conformity with any of paragraphs 1 to 6 of section 9.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38).
1993, c. 48, s. 354.
5. After presentation of the petition, the Government may, if satisfied of the correctness of the allegations thereof, grant the same, by transmitting a notice to that effect to the enterprise registrar. The notice shall state the name and address of the congregation. The enterprise registrar shall deposit the notice in the register. From the date of deposit, the congregation shall possess all the powers, rights and privileges and be subject to all the obligations of a legal person, and, under the name mentioned in the petition, may, among other things, enter into contracts, and may acquire, by onerous or gratuitous title, movable and immovable property for the actual use and benefit of the church, its missions, minister's residence and appurtenances, and the benevolent and charitable objects connected therewith, and may hold and possess the same, provided that the immovable property does not exceed in value the sum of $300,000; may sell, alienate or exchange any such property for the benefit of the church, its missions and appurtenances or the benevolent and charitable objects connected therewith, and hypothecate such immovable property, provided no purchase, acquisition, sale, alienation or hypothec of immovable property shall take place unless the same be recommended by a majority of the trustees and authorized by a three-fourths vote of the members of the church present at a meeting duly convened in the manner provided by the by-laws of the church for such meeting, to hear and determine such recommendation of the trustees; institute and defend all actions at law in connection with its rights and obligations; and generally possess all the privileges and powers of ecclesiastical corporations under the laws of Québec.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 5; 1973, c. 72, s. 1; 1993, c. 48, s. 355; 1999, c. 40, s. 86; 2002, c. 45, s. 293.
5.1. The remedy provided for in section 123.27.1 of the Companies Act (chapter C-38), with the necessary modifications, may be exercised in respect of the name of a legal person.
1993, c. 48, s. 356; 1999, c. 40, s. 86.
6. The church may make such by-laws, rules and regulations for the government of its affairs as shall not conflict with the laws in force in Québec, the provisions of this Act, or the principles, usages and doctrines of the denomination to which it belongs, and more particularly, but not so as to affect the generality of this provision, the church may, by by-law, rule or regulation, provide for:
(1) membership in the church;
(2) the appointment and election of church officers, servants and committees, their term of office and the manner of replacing and removing them;
(3) the appointment of the pastor, his requirements, salary and removal;
(4) meetings, annual, monthly and special, the notices to be given for the convening thereof and the times when such meetings shall be called;
(5) pews and sittings and provisions relative thereto.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 6.
7. The church shall appoint, from among its qualified members, a board of trustees for such term and of such number as it shall fix by by-law, provided such board shall never consist of less than five nor more than nine members; and when so appointed the board of trustees may make or cause to be made, for the church, any contract which the church by law may make, subject to the provisions of this Act with respect to the acquisition, alienation or hypothecation of immovable property.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 7.
8. A majority of the trustees shall form a quorum for the transaction of business.
A majority of the trustees present at any duly convened meeting of the board of trustees, if a quorum, may pass any motion or adopt any measure or enter into any contract within their powers, save with respect to the acquisition, alienation or hypothecation of immovable property belonging to the church, in which case a majority of the then board of trustees shall be necessary to adopt any such motion, measure or contract, and the authorization of the church shall be obtained as provided by section 5.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 8.
9. The church shall elect from among its members a treasurer of the church, who shall receive and pay out all moneys under the direction of the trustees and render a true and correct account to the church, at its annual meeting, of all moneys received and expended, and at all times, when required so to do by the trustees, shall furnish them or the church with a statement of the financial condition of the church.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 9.
10. The church shall also elect from among its members a clerk of the church or church secretary, who shall keep a roll containing the names of all the members of the church with the date of their reception and last known address, or the date when they ceased to be members by reason of resignation, death, expulsion or otherwise, which roll, when countersigned by the chairman of the board of trustees, shall be evidence of membership.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 10.
11. The church shall, when thereunto required by the Government, make a full return of its property and of its receipts and expenses, with such particulars as it may require.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 11.
12. Nothing in this Act shall alter or impair in any way the rights of any creditor acquired previous to such constitution as a legal person.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 12; 1999, c. 40, s. 86.
13. This Act shall not apply to, among other denominations, the Church of England in Canada, or the United Church of Canada.
R. S. 1964, c. 305, s. 13.
14. (This section ceased to have effect on 17 April 1987).
1982, c. 21, s. 1; U. K., 1982, c. 11, Sch. B, Part I, s. 33.
15. The Government designates the Minister responsible for the administration of this Act except the provisions relating to the responsibilities of the enterprise registrar, which are administered by the Minister of Revenue.
2002, c. 45, s. 294; 2006, c. 38, s. 30.
The Minister of Finance exercises the functions of the Minister of Revenue provided for in this Act. Order in Council 55-2016 dated 3 February 2016, (2016) 148 G.O. 2 (French), 1272.
not in force
16. The Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade is responsible for the application of this Act.
2002, c. 45, s. 294; 2003, c. 29, s. 170; 2006, c. 8, s. 31.
In accordance with section 17 of the Act respecting the consolidation of the statutes (chapter R-3), chapter 305 of the Revised Statutes, 1964, in force on 31 December 1977, is repealed effective from the coming into force of chapter C-63 of the Revised Statutes.