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Marriage Laws In Canada

#1 Guest_Greg_*

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:09 PM

Hello All,

Just wondering if anyone has any insight into whether a ULC minister can legally perform ceremonies in Canada...more specifically, Ontario.

Do I have to register with the provincial/federal government? If so, how?

I've been searching around quite a bit and can't seem to find any specific information, at least that I can understand :)

Thanks in advance,

Greg
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#2 Guest_Zeligg_*

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:24 PM

Definitely check with an attorney, but according to http://www.religious...can_gov_reg.htm

Becoming certified to perform marriages:
The regulations in Ontario are believed to be typical of provinces across Canada. Marriages in the province can only be performed by:

Members of the clergy who have a certificate of registration from the Office of the Registrar General for the Province of Ontario.

Judges.

Justices of the Peace.


Clergypersons set their own fees for performing marriages. Civil marriages by Judges and Justices of the Peace cost $75.00 (as of 2001-MAR). In addition, there is the cost of the license which is $75.00 plus an optional fee by the municipality.

In order for a religious leader (minister, pastor, priest, priestess, rabbi, imam, etc.) to perform marriages in Ontario, she or he must:

File an application form with the government.

Include a document proving that they have been ordained or appointed as a clergyperson.

Include a letter from their faith group authorizing them to solemnize marriages.

Include a statement that discusses the name and location of their "church," the numbers of its members, the congregation's growth rate, etc. 1


However, the faith group itself must first be be registered by the Office of the Registrar General. That office requires detailed information from any faith group seeking registration. This includes:

How clergy are appointed and dismissed.

A copy of the marriage ceremony.

A copy of the group's form of worship "namely actions or practices of displaying reverence or veneration paid to a being or power regarded as supernatural or divine displayed by appropriate acts, rites and ceremonies."

A letter stating who in the group will keep track of clergy registrations.

A copy of the group's incorporation papers.

A copy of the group's registration as a charity by Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

A description of the organizational structure of the group.

Signatures of at least 25 group members, not including clergy and their families. 1


This Memorandum is obviously based on a fairly rigid, Christian model of what a religious group should be.

It refers to a "church," rather than a generic term, like "meeting place."

It assumes that the group owns or rents a building. That might make it difficult for Aboriginal, Wiccan and other Neopagan groups to register. Some don't always meet in a building, preferring to assemble in a forest or other area away from asphalt and close to nature.

Some groups may not have a standard marriage ceremony. Some Unitarian Universalist groups, for example, expect the future spouses to write their own ritual and vows.

The memorandum appears to assume that each faith group is a denomination of some larger religion. A small new religious movement may not have denominations or individual congregations.

It seems to imply that only theistic religious groups can be registered. If rigidly applied, this would eliminate entire religions from consideration. Buddhists do not generally worship or recognize a deity. Unitarian Universalist congregations do not generally worship a deity. Members of the Church of Satan are generally Agnostics.


The office appears to be quite concerned that a "denomination" prove its existence over a period of time in the province and elsewhere. We have heard a rumor that a group must have been established in excess of 15 years before it can become registered. This would discriminate against new religious groups, regardless of their sincerity or stability. We suspect that a constitutional lawyer would have a field-day with regulations such as these.
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#3 Guest_mdtaylor_*

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 08:03 PM

Arg... religioustolerance.org Arg...

Go right to the source, it's always the better option. Ontario Marriage Act. The Office of the Minister of Consumer and Business Services is your best source of information. Reading the laws it appears that the Minister must be satisfied that the ULC is firmly established in Canada, and that it has a set procedure for ceremonies, rites, etc. Additionally I would interpret that the law requires that you actually have a church (building and congregation) in Ontario. Registration is a must (unless you are a JP.)


Of course, that is just my 10 second interpretation. Your mileage may vary. And Zeligg is right on the money about contacting an attorney, even though the Minister will either register you or not an attorney can help you meet the qualifications of the laws and finally become registered.
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#4 Guest_Greg_*

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 01:17 PM

Thanks for the quick responses. More than I can say for my government :)

Greg
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#5 Guest_Zeligg_*

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 11:12 AM

View Postmdtaylor, on Dec 7 2005, 08:03 PM, said:

Arg... religioustolerance.org Arg...


This is off-topic, so it might be better in it's own topic, but you seem to have experience (bad, I'm assuming) with religioustolerance.org, and I was just wondering why. I've found them to be fairly non-partisan (although I've not doubt the foudners are probably liberal), but if you have another experience with them, I'd like to hear it.

Thanks!
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#6 User is offline   donnab 

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 11:24 AM

Several years ago I tried to jump through the hoops in Ontario to be able to perform marriages. It is a near impossible task. They require pretty much what zeligg stated. You need to have the church registered first and this is the biggest hurdle. I would suggest that it is almost impossible, but, should you choose to carry it forth longer than I did, good luck to you
Donna
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#7 Guest_mdtaylor_*

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 07:58 AM

View PostZeligg, on Dec 9 2005, 10:12 AM, said:

View Postmdtaylor, on Dec 7 2005, 08:03 PM, said:

Arg... religioustolerance.org Arg...


This is off-topic, so it might be better in it's own topic, but you seem to have experience (bad, I'm assuming) with religioustolerance.org, and I was just wondering why. I've found them to be fairly non-partisan (although I've not doubt the foudners are probably liberal), but if you have another experience with them, I'd like to hear it.

Thanks!

No, but I do have a wall full of law books. So, when I need a legal reference I go to books and not to the internet. This is not to say that the internet cannot provide copetent and accurate information. But it more often than not provides inaccurate and downright wrong information. The lay person does not normally have the necessary skills to discern the difference.
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#8 Guest_Zeligg_*

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:19 AM

[quote name='mdtaylor' date='Dec 11 2005, 07:58 AM' post='15925']

[/quote]
No, but I do have a wall full of law books. So, when I need a legal reference I go to books and not to the internet. This is not to say that the internet cannot provide copetent and accurate information. But it more often than not provides inaccurate and downright wrong information. The lay person does not normally have the necessary skills to discern the difference.
[/quote]

Ah, gotcha! The information I found fell in line with other information that I found, but was much more in-depth. But of course, it could still be wrong which is why I told them to check with an attorney. I agree, many people grab the first bit of info they get off the net without trying to confirm it first. Which is why my second favorite web site is Snopes.com, lol!
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#9 User is offline   Josh 

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:00 PM

if it has to do with the law, always look for an official gov site...anything less is a crap shoot.
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#10 Guest_lancx_*

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 07:48 PM

View PostJDCUSAF, on Dec 19 2005, 06:00 PM, said:

if it has to do with the law, always look for an official gov site...anything less is a crap shoot.


Given all of this information about Ontario, What can we as ordained Ministers of this church do in Ontario? I believe in god and christ, and would like to minister. I cant seem to find anyone here in Ontario that can tell me what I can and cant do.
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#11 User is offline   rev mark 

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 08:04 PM

under the laws of canada,anything of a religious nature execpt preform a legal marrige cermony.you can preform a wedding ceremony for anyone,but not a"binding one"(ie:legal).

i would suppose that such things as human sacrefice,or other things not allowed by law aren't to be done,but other than that,your free to do as you believe.
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#12 User is offline   Josh 

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:05 AM

To be able to perfrom legal weddings requires alot of paperwork to be done.
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#13 Guest_lancx_*

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:00 PM

View Postrev mark, on Feb 28 2006, 08:04 PM, said:

under the laws of canada,anything of a religious nature execpt preform a legal marrige cermony.you can preform a wedding ceremony for anyone,but not a"binding one"(ie:legal).

i would suppose that such things as human sacrefice,or other things not allowed by law aren't to be done,but other than that,your free to do as you believe.



Thank you for your response. I am relieved that except for weddings, I can practice as a minister. I hope that , with regards to wedings, this rule would not apply to weddings involving couples just renewing their vows. A fellow minister in our church has asked me to perform this wedding for him and his wife in July.
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#14 User is offline   Josh 

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 08:28 AM

If they are already legally marriage to each other there normally isnt a problem since your not doing anything in the realm of legal.
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#15 User is offline   donnab 

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 11:39 AM

lancx...you can organize and run your own congregation in Ontario if you wish. Actually, should you do that it would be easier to jump the hoops to perform legal marriages. . However, there are many jumps in getting tax status for a congregation as well.
If you choose not to set up a congregation, you are still able to officiate at funerals, baptisms, blessings as well as chaplaincy at most hospitals (although many require you participate first in their chaplancy training/orientation.
Donna
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#16 Guest_Chev.Col.Rev.Dr.Timothy_*

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 11:06 AM

View Postdonnab, on Dec 10 2005, 12:24 PM, said:

Several years ago I tried to jump through the hoops in Ontario to be able to perform marriages. It is a near impossible task. They require pretty much what zeligg stated. You need to have the church registered first and this is the biggest hurdle. I would suggest that it is almost impossible, but, should you choose to carry it forth longer than I did, good luck to you
Donna

If anyone is interested I am working on setting up a brick + morter priory in Ontario for the chivalric order I belong to,within this priory there will be a church catering to all religious beliefs.Both will be registered as non-profit orgs.this will no dout take care of one part of the problem.In order to do this I need to prove to the order that there is enough interest in my area 'Durham region' to warent the cost of a priory,if you would like to help me in my mission please surf over to "www.stisadore.org" and apply for membership,in the coments section say that Sir.Chev.Col.Rev.Dr.Timothy M.Coulter D.D. Esq. sent you.Lets work on the gov. and the laws from the inside.Lets make U.L.C. Mimisters leagal in Canada.
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Posted 17 March 2007 - 11:49 AM

A few corrections to Tim's post. the link is www.st-isidore.org, and its not open to all religious beliefs, only to christian beliefs.
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#18 User is offline   donnab 

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:59 PM

Since someone revived this topic I will just tell everyone that to date, ULC is still not recognized in Ontario. There are several groups who have done the legal legwork, established their charitable organization churches and are legit in the eyes of the government. However, you still may not just apply as a ULC minister
Donna
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#19 Guest_Rev-Phoenix_*

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 01:09 PM

From what I've read, if I'm correct... part of the problem with the ULC not being recognized here in Ontario is that there is no legal ULC in Canada that also has charity status. The church has to have a "Canadian governing body" that is incorporated and ordains ministers to be accepted as a body.
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#20 User is offline   Josh 

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 03:20 PM

that seem to be the problem from my research as well.
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#21 Guest_Rev-Phoenix_*

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Post icon  Posted 11 April 2007 - 06:28 PM

You could probably challenge it with the Human Rights Commission or in court, but that requires work and money. :biggrinthumb:
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Posted 12 April 2007 - 06:37 AM

they don't say your not a church or restrict other religious practices. Just ones that are legal in nature.
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#23 User is offline   donnab 

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:44 PM

partly correct, but the person responsible does not actually have to live here...however, what they need to see is a basic structure. There are many brick and mortar churches around that do not have status and therefore their ministers cannot perform weddings. The hoops to jump through are more related to registering it as a charitable organization.. If you have a following (it used to be at least 25 people who are NOT ministers) who will register their desire for recognition... prove a financial plan, basic tenets etc etc, it can be done. I gave up trying and went legit via another organization...but for those willing to persevere, it is possible
Donna
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#24 Guest_Rev-Phoenix_*

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:27 PM

View Postdonnab, on Apr 16 2007, 02:44 PM, said:

partly correct, but the person responsible does not actually have to live here...however, what they need to see is a basic structure. There are many brick and mortar churches around that do not have status and therefore their ministers cannot perform weddings. The hoops to jump through are more related to registering it as a charitable organization.. If you have a following (it used to be at least 25 people who are NOT ministers) who will register their desire for recognition... prove a financial plan, basic tenets etc etc, it can be done. I gave up trying and went legit via another organization...but for those willing to persevere, it is possible
Donna


We almost need a central ULC Canada to do it for it's Ministers, or an Association of Ministers to take care of it. Not easy.

How did you manage to go "legit"?
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#25 User is offline   donnab 

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 10:46 AM

I am a chaplain and got registered that way... do a little search online and you will find a few options on how to "go legit"

View PostRev-Phoenix, on Apr 16 2007, 03:27 PM, said:

View Postdonnab, on Apr 16 2007, 02:44 PM, said:

partly correct, but the person responsible does not actually have to live here...however, what they need to see is a basic structure. There are many brick and mortar churches around that do not have status and therefore their ministers cannot perform weddings. The hoops to jump through are more related to registering it as a charitable organization.. If you have a following (it used to be at least 25 people who are NOT ministers) who will register their desire for recognition... prove a financial plan, basic tenets etc etc, it can be done. I gave up trying and went legit via another organization...but for those willing to persevere, it is possible
Donna


We almost need a central ULC Canada to do it for it's Ministers, or an Association of Ministers to take care of it. Not easy.

How did you manage to go "legit"?

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#26 Guest_Rev-Phoenix_*

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 04:05 PM

I will see what I can find. Who are you a chaplain with?

View Postdonnab, on Apr 20 2007, 11:46 AM, said:

I am a chaplain and got registered that way... do a little search online and you will find a few options on how to "go legit"

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#27 User is offline   dlc 

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 10:30 AM

View PostChev.Col.Rev.Dr.Timothy, on 17 March 2007 - 12:06 PM, said:

View Postdonnab, on Dec 10 2005, 12:24 PM, said:

Several years ago I tried to jump through the hoops in Ontario to be able to perform marriages. It is a near impossible task. They require pretty much what zeligg stated. You need to have the church registered first and this is the biggest hurdle. I would suggest that it is almost impossible, but, should you choose to carry it forth longer than I did, good luck to you
Donna

If anyone is interested I am working on setting up a brick + morter priory in Ontario for the chivalric order I belong to,within this priory there will be a church catering to all religious beliefs.Both will be registered as non-profit orgs.this will no dout take care of one part of the problem.In order to do this I need to prove to the order that there is enough interest in my area 'Durham region' to warent the cost of a priory,if you would like to help me in my mission please surf over to "www.stisadore.org" and apply for membership,in the coments section say that Sir.Chev.Col.Rev.Dr.Timothy M.Coulter D.D. Esq. sent you.Lets work on the gov. and the laws from the inside.Lets make U.L.C. Mimisters leagal in Canada.

this link will not work www.stisadore.org
D L C. M.Rel
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#28 User is offline   dlc 

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 03:56 PM

IF SOMEONE HAS MADE IT THROUGH THE RED TAPE PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET.

Darrin.M.Rel
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Canada
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#29 User is offline   dlc 

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:09 AM

[quote name='Rev-Phoenix' date='11 April 2007 - 01:09 PM' timestamp='1176314985' post='37365']
From what I've read, if I'm correct... part of the problem with the ULC not being recognized here in Ontario is that there is no legal ULC in Canada that also has charity status. The church has to have a "Canadian governing body" that is incorporated and ordains ministers to be accepted as a I
[size


I wounder what it would take to get charity status as how may Rev. we need to start a "Canadian governing body of the church and can we get a few from Ontario ministers to work together on this?
[/
[/b]

Rev.DLC M.Rel
Toronto, Onjtario. Canada

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#30 User is offline   dlc 

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:10 AM

[quote name='Rev-Phoenix' date='11 April 2007 - 01:09 PM' timestamp='1176314985' post='37365']
From what I've read, if I'm correct... part of the problem with the ULC not being recognized here in Ontario is that there is no legal ULC in Canada that also has charity status. The church has to have a "Canadian governing body" that is incorporated and ordains ministers to be accepted as a I
[size


I wounder what it would take to get charity status as how may Rev. we need to start a "Canadian governing body of the church and can we get a few from Ontario ministers to work together on this?
[/
[/b]

Rev.DLC M.Rel
Toronto, Onjtario. Canada

D L C. M.Rel
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