The Cemeteries Act, 1999
License required (section 3-17, 21; regulation 47)
Commercial cemetery operators must apply for and be granted a license to operate as a commercial cemetery. The Registrar of Cemeteries will require a business plan to be submitted that demonstrates the long term environmental, fiscal and operational sustainability of the cemetery.
The current annual licensing fee is $300 for each cemetery;
Once licensed, notification of any change of name or address or operation discontinuance is required (section 18-19; regulation 47).
A commercial owner must file a copy of every bylaw with the Registrar of Cemeteries, and only takes effect 30 days after filing. The Registrar may revoke a bylaw if the bylaw is not in the public interest. The bylaws shall include a schedule of tariffs for goods and services offered to the public.
Pre-need Sales Contracts (sections 31-38, regulation 10-14)
These sections require that the pre-need contract must comply with The Cemeteries Act and Regulations, be filed with the Registrar, contain certain information, including a statement of cancellation rights and must be provided to the buyer. There are rules surrounding the trusting of these funds.
Buyers Right To Cancel a Prepaid Cemetery Contract (section 32, regulation 11, see also the wording of the right to cancel language in the schedule attached to the regulations)
There is a minimum 10 day right to cancel a prepaid contract. The seller may provide a longer cancellation period.
Price Lists (sections 22 and 56)
The Act requires all commercial cemeteries to make itemized price lists of their goods and services available to the public. The price list must be filed with the Registrar of Cemeteries.
Trust Funds - Pre-paid Cemetery Services Sales (section 39-45 regulation 12-22)
• Every owner who sells prepaid cemetery contracts shall maintain a prepaid cemetery contract assurance fund in a trust account.
• Every owner who is required to maintain an assurance fund shall pay into the assurance fund an amount prescribed in the regulations from the money received from each prepaid cemetery contract [see regulations12 &16].
• Where an owner fails to pay the required moneys into an assurance fund or fails to deposit those moneys with a trust company, the owner is liable to make up any deficiency together with interest at a rate set out in the regulations for the period that the moneys were not paid, deposited or invested.
• The trust funds can be accessed when the prepaid cemetery contract has been:
• On application by an owner, the registrar may authorize the withdrawal of an amount from the assurance fund where the registrar is satisfied that the amount remaining in the assurance fund after the payment is equal to or greater than an amount determined in accordance with the regulations.
• An owner shall maintain the records prescribed in the regulations respecting each prepaid cemetery contract pursuant to which moneys have been paid into an assurance fund.
Trust Funds – Care and Maintenance (sections 23, 24; regulations 41, 42)
The Act requires an owner of a commercial cemetery to establish trust funds for ongoing care and maintenance of the cemetery and use only the income from the fund (section 23).