Specific Legal Issues

January, 6 2022 Published by Toronto and Area Chapter - By CCI-Toronto Chapter

Legislative Newsflash: COVID-19 Modified Stage 2 and Proposed Permanent Changes to Enable Digital and Virtual Processes under the Condominium Act, 1998

As the Ontario government announced on January 3rd, 2022 in response to an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, as of January 5th at 12:01 AM, the province has entered into a “Modified Step 2” phase of its road to recovery from the pandemic.

CondoVoice

Release date:January 6, 2022

COVID-19 Modified Stage 2 and Proposed Permanent Changes to Enable Digital and Virtual Processes under the Condominium Act, 1998

COVID-19 Modified Stage 2

As the Ontario government announced on January 3rd, 2022 in response to an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, as of January 5th at 12:01 AM, the province has entered into a “Modified Step 2” phase of its road to recovery from the pandemic. This Modified Step 2 is intended to last for 21 days, until January 26th 2022. For a full listing of what the Modified Step 2 entails, please review O. Reg. 263/20 which was recently amended on January 3rd by O. Reg. 2/22.
 
Of particular concern to condominiums are the limits on social gathering and organized public events to 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors, the general closure of indoor amenities, and short-term rentals being restricted to people “who are in need of housing”.
 
There is currently an open debate as to whether this Modified Step 2 requires all indoor condominium gyms and fitness facilities to close. Condominiums should consult with their legal counsel about whether an amenity must be fully closed or may remain open with conditions, absent explicit guidance from the provincial government or municipal authorities; there are likely a variety of factors that each condominium community should consider in deciding what is most appropriate for their specific circumstances, in compliance with the law.

Proposed Permanent Changes to Enable Digital and Virtual Processes under the Condominium Act, 1998

As was noted in our earlier newsflash, the Ontario government previously extended the temporary legislative amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 allowing condominium corporations to call and hold meetings virtually (without a by-law), to September 30, 2022.
 
However, the Ontario government just announced that it is proposing to make those legislative amendments permanent. In summary, the proposed permanent legislative amendments would, among other things:

  • Set a default rule that corporations may hold virtual or hybrid meetings unless the governing documents provide otherwise, and would remove the requirement for unanimous consent from directors in order to hold hybrid or virtual directors' meetings.
  • Set a default rule that votes and elections may be conducted virtually, unless a corporation opts out in their governing documents, and to clarify that hybrid voting/elections are allowed.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is currently seeking feedback on the proposed legislative amendments. All feedback on these proposed amendments must be submitted by January 21, 2022.

The Ontario government’s summary of the amendments (and the draft copy of the amendments) can be found at the following link: Draft Proposed Permanent Changes to Enable Digital and Virtual Processes under the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services' Business Law and Condominium Statutes (ontariocanada.com)


CCI is committed to providing regular ongoing updates regarding all legislation concerning condominiums, in order to keep our members abreast of changes they need to be aware of.


 

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