November 2020
MGCS Consultation on Cemetery Care and Maintenance Fund and Accounts Framework

2020-11-27 2:03:17 PM


There's a new regulatory registry posting that will be of interest to our members. MGCS has put out a discussion paper on the Cemetery and Maintenance Fund and Accounts Framework.

Our members have expressed some issues and concerns around the maintenance of cemeteries, particularly ones that end up abandoned and the municipality in which it is located must take on the burden of care and add it to its assets.

The consultation is broken into two parts: 1) Regulatory Proposals and Non Regulatory Proposals and 2) Proposals Under Consideration. There are a series of discussion questions in each section. In summary, see the below. Bold items may be of particular interest for our members:

Part 1:

  • Permit All Types of Cemetery Operators to Access the Capital Portion of CMF/As to Expand Interment/Scattering Capacity in a Cemetery, or to Buy Land Adjoining a Cemetery to Enlarge it, Subject to the BAO Registrar’s Authorization
  • Increase Minimum CMF/A Contribution Amounts
    • Of particular note, the ministry mentions municipal volunteer run operators. Based on feedback heard, these operators charge for internet rights result in a minimum contribution amount as required by regulation rather than a percentage of a price which means less funds available in the capital portion for the CMF/A.
  • Burden Reduction Regulatory Proposal – Licence Display: Remove the Requirement that Licensed Bereavement Service Operators Must Display Their Licences Near the Main Entrance of Their Business Establishments
  • Other concerns and Non-Regulatory Action: Volunteer-run cemetery operators may lack an understanding of the rules and investment options for CMF/A funds. While there is free training available, along with some resources, there is difficulty in delivering such training, and existing resources may not be sufficient.
Part 2:

One proposal is to exempt municipal cemetery operators from the requirement to establish and contribute to CMF/A, while still retaining operator duties, but perhaps would have to meet certain criteria to be eligible to be exempt 

The ministry is concerned about the balance between municipal interests and the needs of members of the public who are concerned about cost and upkeep and commercial operators concerned about competition.

There is also a note in there that suggests that any municipality eligible for exemption could be subject to reporting requirements. It notes that currently, operators must provide a statement of fund/account provided annually by all operators to the Bereavement Authority of Ontario Registrar and other requirements of regulation. It also notes that municipalities are already subject to reporting on its assets.  As AMCTO members are well aware, any additional reporting requirements will likely impact the overall reporting burden faced by municipalities. 

AMCTO is likely to make a submission. Should member's like to discuss issues, concerns or contribute to AMCTO's submission process, please contact Alana Del Greco, Manager - Policy and Government Relations with some thoughts on the discussion questions presented in the paper by December 11th. 


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