• That is a very high price to pay for burial fees, and seems to be prohibitive for any cemetery. Good luck with changing those laws. I can’t believe you have to do that! I can’t imagine what the burial costs in your cemetery must be!
  • It’s mindblowing how many obstacles you have.
  • 40% – That’s a little bit cheeky.
  • Those fees are outrageous.
  • That is extremely inappropriate and unnecessary. Having worked in the funeral industry, there’s a stranglehold placed on anything that’s going to take power or money from the funeral industry. They are powerful; they lobby very, very well for themselves. Everything you’re talking about [the $165, 000 and 40%] is an attempt to prevent these [natural burial grounds] from happening.
  • That’s a little steep isn’t it?
  • Oh my goodness.
  • I was shocked when I heard how prohibitively expensive it is to open a perpetuity fund in Ontario and equally as shocked to find out the enormous percentage of every lot sale that must be contributed to the fund. I understand this is to try to ensure that the cemetery will be taken care of in perpetuity (which is extremely important) but I’m not sure how it’s even feasible for a cemetery to survive after having to make such a large contribution, unless they are completely gouging the customers on the price of a cemetery lot.
  • He just let out a big long whistle
  • That is a ridiculously steep hurdle.
  • *&!#@* That seems highly prohibitive to the running of an effective business model of any kind whether it’s a non-profit or a for-profit. Even at the ten percent for our conservation burial ground there’s the question of Why? It doesn’t cost that much to maintain a forest. Once the grave mounds have settled, there’s a little bit of grave-tending in the first couple of years and then they’re good, everything’s good. You don’t have to mow any lawns! It feels to me that that is a huge blind spot in the policy and legislation. And that there’s not an understanding of the distinction between what a conventional cemetery maintenance process is and what a conservation cemetery maintenance process is. And that there’s probably some giant taboo in not wanting to deal with new cemetery development.
  • That’s extreme. For a natural burial cemetery, I feel $25,000 is extreme. [That] and 10% is a massive amount of our revenue that we cannot touch.

 

 

Details about the fee:
Every province sets the rate of the cemetery perpetuity fund. It’s the percentage of each plot sale that must be put aside in the cemetery’s fund for its long term upkeep. It’s nice that we take care of our ancestors in this way, but Ontario’s fee is excessive for natural burial grounds. The fund is called the Care & Maintenance Fund (CMF). With Ontario’s CMF rate at 40%, when a consumer buys a $1,000 plot, $400 is stashed away in the fund, and only the interest off the capital can be touched. As of early 2024, the total sum of CMF in Ontario is over $1,700,000,000!

This punitive 40% fee renders natural burial unaffordable, because the higher the rate, the more the cemetery has to inflate the cost of a grave, and Ontario’s rate is more than double the national average*. It’s the highest rate in North America!

Furthermore, for a dedicated natural burial ground to launch in Ontario, a new operator must put $165,000 in its CMF before it’s licensed. That fee is $0 in other provinces (with the exception of Alberta and Saskatchewan at $10,000/hectare). With this $165,000 cushion already in the CMF, and the lower maintenance required at a natural cemetery (no regular mowing, no tombstone maintenance), it’s unfair and unnecessary to tax natural burial in this way. Ontario’s high CMF rate is both a barrier to affordable burial, and it blocks the creation of dedicated sites, like those thriving in the US and UK.

*PROVINCIAL RATES: BC 25%, AB (15% private, 0% municipal/religious), SK 15%, MN 30% (ground level marker), ON 40%, PQ 0%, NS 15%, NV 0%, PEI 0%, NL 0%, YT 33%, NWT 0T NU 0%.

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