Specific Legal Issues

December, 21 2022 Published by North Alberta Chapter - By Anand Sharma, Hugh Willis

Government Advocacy Report

This year has been an exceedingly busy one for members of the advocacy team.

CONDOMINIUM MANAGER LICENSING AND RECA

The Government Advocacy Committee has been communicating with Service Alberta and the Industry Council at RECA in respect of manager licensing. In the last few months our efforts were to discuss the red tape in the manager examination competencies and questions. As discussed at the 2022 AGM, we have received reports on questions which have very limited-to-no application to the condominium management industry.

We are pleased to advise that the deadlines for managers to complete their licensing has been extended to September 2023. This will permit the examination questions to be reviewed, education providers to update their materials, and for condominium managers to prepare with better education materials to be tested on more relevant questions.

We would like to thank the Industry Council, Service Alberta, and RECA for their willingness to discuss these issues with CCI North Alberta and work through solutions that can be achieved. This year has been an exceedingly busy one for members of the advocacy team.

It is important to note that CCI North Alberta has been the lead organization working with RECA, the Industry Council, and the Government of Alberta to advocate for a fair and balanced licensing process that protects the consumer and the industry. We have been consistently at the table since 2015 attempting to steer this process to better outcomes. Our new Premier, Honourable Danielle Smith, specifically cited the Canadian Condominium Institute as the organization to work with to better the process in her mandate letter to Service Alberta and its new Minister, Honourable Dale Nally.

CCI will be meeting with Minister Nally in the new year to continue the lines of dialogue on this and other matters of interest related to condominiums.

BILL 19 – SHELVED…FOR NOW

As we have reported previously, Bill 19 was introduced in the spring of 2022. This bill amended the Condominium Property Act primarily by amending the language around voting to allow for show of hands votes, and provides a legislative response to case law on voting. This was led by condominium lawyer Victoria Archer.

The bill also finally addressed the issue of chargeback in condominiums, entrenching the ability to charge back to owners damage chargeback, insurance deductible chargebacks, and other costs through the regular collections process condominiums may use to collect outstanding contributions.

Unfortunately, with the resignation of then Premier Kenney, the UCP finished their spring session abruptly and Bill 19 was left in second reading.

CCI North Alberta spent countless hours working with Service Alberta to ensure the language and intent of the amendments would address long standing issues.

The new winter legislative session did not see the bill reintroduced, and therefore the bill failed to be passed. CCI North Alberta will be pushing to make sure this legislation is reintroduced in the spring session of 2023 and supported. Good condominium owners have been left holding the bag on paying for damages by some owners that are preventable and not the responsibility of the collective owners to fund.

CONDOMINIUM DISPUTE RESOLUTION TRIBUNAL

CCI North Alberta continues to advocate for the introduction of a dispute resolution tribunal that is accessible, affordable, and open.

Our committee members serve on the Service Alberta working committee to address this issue, and other emergent topics.

PROMPT PAYMENT LEGISLATION

Led and sponsored by CCI members Keller Engineering (Justin Tudor) and Willis Law (Melissa Stappler, Brian Anslow, Hugh Willis, and Amber Nickel) CCI North Alberta held a hybrid session on the new prompt payment legislation that came into effect in August of 2022. This legislation changes the process and time in which invoicing and payment occurs in the Alberta market.

A recording is available on this important seminar to members so please check it out.

UTILITY REBATES

CCI North Alberta’s push for fairness around electricity and natural gas rebates may be successful yet. Recently, the Alberta Government has indicated hat they are closely looking at a way to rebate condominium corporations and its owners. We will continue to push for the government to treat Albertans equally regardless of the type of housing they live in.

NEW HOME BUYER PROTECTION REGIME

CCI North Alberta was consulted on amendments to the New Home Buyer Protection regime, which is legislation under the Municipal Affairs ministry. We advocated on behalf of condominium owners for the need for a transparent and effective mechanism to enable purchasers to better protect their interests when buying new condominiums from a developer.

A public consultation survey is being circulated with requests for responses by December 22nd, 2022.

COMMITTEE UPDATE

Once again thank you to our volunteer committee of condominium lawyers Victoria Archer (Archer Law), Todd Shipley (Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer), Amber Nickel, Melissa Stappler and Hugh Willis (Willis Law), Jeremy Dalgliesh (Converge Condominium Management) as well as Dawn Mitchell with HUB International for their ongoing work and dedication.


Anand Sharma & Hugh Willis
Co-Chairs – Government Advocacy Committee

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