History of The Canadian Multifaith Federation (CMF) (formerly, Ontario Multifaith Council, OMC)

In 1970, the Government of Ontario initiated a partnership with the Faith Groups of the province to develop a method whereby a high quality of spiritual and religious care would be consistently available to those in Government-funded and -operated institutions in the province. The Ontario Provincial Interfaith Committee on Chaplaincy (OPIFCC) was formed in March 1972.

In order to ensure the effective operation of the new service and good communication between the Government and the OPIFCC, Chaplaincy Services Ontario (CSO) was created. This centralized office ensured that the goal of coordinated and consistent delivery of spiritual and religious care was attainable.

In the late 1970s, co-ordination of chaplaincy services in each region of the province was provided for by the appointment of Regional Co-coordinators as staff persons of CSO. This division into regions included the formation of Regional Interfaith Committees under the auspices of the OPIFCC. These committees were responsible for providing advice and support to the Regional Coordinators, screening Chaplain candidates, and conducting assessments of spiritual and religious care programs within local institutions.

The unique partnership between the Government of Ontario and Faith Groups was affirmed on December 3, 1992 with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement. At that time the name of the OPIFCC was changed to the Ontario Multifaith Council on Spiritual and Religious Care (OMCSRC) and the Regional Interfaith Committees were renamed Regional Multifaith Committees (RMCs).

The OMCSRC began the process of incorporation in 1997 (incorporated in June, 1998) and restructured its mode of operation. Two full-time and one half-time Regional Coordinators were assigned to the OMCSRC to serve as resource staff to the RMCs.

Since its inception, the OMCSRC has expanded its membership to reflect the increasingly multifaith character of our province.

In 2012, the Ontario Multifaith Council (OMC) was informed by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) that its contract to ensure adequate and appropriate spiritual and religious care for people in care by the Province of Ontario was ending on March 31, 2013.  As this contract comprises the core funding for the organization, the OMC Board of Directors took immediate action to ensure the continuation of the organization and its work to provide a valuable service to public, not-for-profit, academic and private sectors and the general public.  A transition team was formed with the mandate to define operations for the next year and to set the stage for refocusing the organization (See: OMC Vision Document).  In 2015 the name of Ontario Multifaith Council was changed to The Canadian Multifaith Federation (CMF). The main office continues to be operated by CMF staff.