Posted on August 17, 2022
August 17, 2022
The Hon. Kaleed Rasheed
Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery
5th Floor, 777 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M7A 2J3
We are writing to express our concern that the government of Ontario has not yet enacted the Proposed Permanent Changes to Enable Digital and Virtual Processes released in January 2022. The emergency amendments to the Condo Act expire September 30th and condominium managers, directors and lawyers are somewhat unclear as to whether and how meetings must be conducted after that date. If the changes proposed in January 2022 are to come, they should be implemented as soon as possible.
Since March 2020, many condo corporations have proactively enacted bylaws to permit electronic attendance and voting at owners meetings, but many condo corporations have not, thinking the proposed legislative change were forthcoming. After September 30th these condominiums won’t be able to permit owners to either attend or vote by electronic means at their owners' meetings. This despite the fact that owners, directors, and managers have overwhelmingly stated their preference for electronic owners' meetings because they facilitate higher owner participation. These owner’s meetings should be permitted to continue without the need and inherent expense of making onerous bylaw changes.
On September 30th, condominium board meetings will also be forced to return to the in-person format unless all directors consent. This would be a major step backwards for condominium managers who have found virtual/electronic board meetings more efficient, productive, and less burdensome for balancing work and family obligations. Section 35(5) of the Act should be permanently changed as soon as possible to help condo corporations and their managers avoid being arbitrarily dragged back to in person meetings with as little as a one dissenting director. Unlike electronic owners' meetings, this issue cannot be resolved with a bylaw change. This requires the legislative change to section 35 along the lines of the proposals circulated in January 2022. Government leadership is required on this issue and is urgently requested.
Lastly, in response to the January 2022 consultation draft, ACMO and others recommended that electronic service of notices without owner agreement be made permanent. We continue to support that reform, but realize the issue is more difficult so hope that it doesn’t delay or derail the required permanent reforms to permit electronic/virtual owners meetings and board meetings.
We would greatly appreciate your prompt attention to these issues and make ourselves available should you wish to discuss them.
Executive Director of ACMO
President of ACMO