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Condo Meetings During COVID-19: Important Updates from the Government of Ontario

On May 12, 2020, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 190, which amended the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Condo Act”) with a number of temporary changes to help condo communities even further during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary changes were in effect province-wide and retroactive to March 17, 2020, when the Declaration of Emergency was made. According to Part IV.1 of the amended Condo Act, these changes were to remain in effect for the duration of the emergency period, plus an additional 120-day transitional period following its end. The government also has the option to extend the transitional period by regulation.

Bill 195 marked the end of Ontario’s emergency period on July 24, 2020, and the beginning of the 120-day transitional period which will end on November 21, 2020. However, as of October 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario has extended the transitional period for certain temporary provisions to May 31, 2021 with the passing of Ontario Regulation 541/20.

Note: Please be aware that the extension of the transitional period does not apply to the deadlines to hold annual general meetings. See below for further details.

To assist the condo community in Ontario, the CAO is providing a summary of the temporary amendments, including their respective revocation dates, to the Condo Act set by the Government of Ontario in the fields below:

Condo Meetings During COVID-19: Important Updates from the Government of Ontario

Based on the condo corporation’s original deadline to hold the AGM (i.e., within 6 months of the end of the condo corporation’s fiscal year), the AGM may be able to be deferred according to the following:

If the original AGM deadline is:                  Then it must be held on or before:        
 March 17 – July 24, 2020  October 22, 2020
 July 25 – August 24, 2020  November 21, 2020
 After August 24, 2020  The original deadline, no deferrals

 

Please note that these deadlines have been set by the Government of Ontario and there will be no further extensions of AGM deadlines.

Condo corporations can hold owners’ meetings by telephonic or electronic means, and unit owners and mortgagees will be able to attend, vote and count towards quorum if they:

  • Personally connect to the meeting;
  • Have an individual represent them by proxy (using the mandatory proxy form) to connect to the meeting on their behalf; or
  • Vote prior to the telephonic or electronic meeting. Note that advance votes can only be used for and count towards quorum for the items voted on and set out in the meeting agenda.

After May 31st, 2021, if corporations want to continue holding and voting at owners’ meetings by telephonic or electronic means, then they may consider implementing a by-law.

The Condo Act defines “telephonic or electronic means” as any means that uses the telephone or any other electronic or other technological means to transmit information or data, including telephone calls, fax, e-mail, automated touch-tone telephone system, computer or computer networks.

Condo corporations can use electronic means to deliver meeting related materials (e.g., meeting notices) to unit owners and mortgagees, even if there is not an agreement between them as per Section 47 of the Condo Act regarding electronic delivery.

Any materials meant to be placed before an owners’ meeting (e.g., financial statements at the AGM) can be placed by electronic means. Any forms required under the Condo Act can be modified to reflect any temporary changes.

After May 31st, 2021, if corporations want to continue to send notices electronically, an agreement will be required with the unit owners.

Section 54 of the Act was amended to define “electronic means” as any means that uses any electronic or other technological means to transmit information or data, including fax, e-mail, computer or computer networks.

Board meeting notices can be delivered by electronic means to directors, even if the condo corporation’s by-laws specify otherwise. Board meetings can also be held by telephonic or electronic means without the consent of all directors.

This will not be possible after May 31st, 2021.

Section 11.12 of Ontario Regulation 48/01 defines the types of electronic communication that can be used to hold a board meeting.

Condo Meetings During COVID-19: Important Updates from the Government of Ontario

Please contact us if you have any questions, by calling 1-844-880-5341 or by emailing info@condoauthorityontario.ca