Specific Legal Issues
Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023
From the CCI Review 2023/2024-1 August 2023 issue of the CCI London Chapter
Bill 91, also known as the Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023, will be coming into effect on October 1, 2023. Schedule 7 of this new legislation speaks to several amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 which allow condominium corporations to utilize electronic meetings, notices, and votes without introducing new by-laws. These provisions are currently permitted because they were implemented as a temporary measure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but they will expire as of September 30, 2023. Bill 91 will make the following provisions apply and become permanent.
Directors’ meetings may be held in person, electronically, or as a hybrid of both, as long as everyone in attendance can communicate simultaneously and instantaneously. This gives Board members some flexibility in how and when they call a meeting, provided that everyone attending can communicate effectively.
Owners’ meetings may be held in person, electronically, or as a hybrid of both. Again, this gives unit owners more flexibility in how and when meetings are called, and can facilitate better communication and attendance at owners’ meetings. A location for the meeting does not need to be provided to unit owners if it will be held exclusively by electronic means, and any electronic meetings must be held in a manner that allows attendees to reasonably participate. Voting at owners’ meetings may be conducted in person, electronically, or as a hybrid of both. Again, by-laws may be put in place to limit the manner by which a vote is held, and to assist in creating a functional framework for e-voting. E-voting can be self -managed or conducted through a third-party service provider, like an electronic polling service.
Notices to Owners and Mortgagees
Notices may be sent to owners and mortgagees via electronic communication (namely email), and by-laws may be put in place to regulate sending notices electronically. If a condominium corporation already has an email address on file for a unit owner, then notices can be sent to the unit owner via that email address without first obtaining the unit owner’s consent; however, a unit owner can direct a corporation not to send notices by email and can refuse to provide an email address.
By-Laws Not Required … But Still Helpful
These amendments allow condominium corporations to implement all of the above electronic meetings, notices, and voting without introducing a new by-law; however, it does permit corporations to implement by-laws that regulate how electronic meetings, notices, and voting are conducted. Since the above noted provisions were introduced as temporary measures, many condominium corporations have implemented electronic communication by-laws to manage processes and create a framework for effective communication. If your corporation already has a by-law in place to govern electronic meetings, notices, and/or voting, then your corporation must continue to abide by its provisions going forward.
Kristi Sargeant-Kerr, LL.B., LCCI is a partner with Scott Petrie, specializes in all aspects of condominium and real estate law, including development, management and litigation and purchase, sale and mortgaging of condominiums. She has extensive experience working with managers and corporations in and around the region and prides herself on finding reasonable solutions to their complex issues.
Kristi is on the local CCI Board of Directors and is co-chair of their Education Committee. She has also been appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Condominium.
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