Extension of the Temporary Amendments and the Importance of an Electronic Meetings and Voting By-law
On Aug. 25 Ontario announced that the temporary provisions will be extended until Sept. 30, 2023. This means that condo corporations can continue to:
- Send notices for condo board meetings to directors electronically regardless of the condo corporations by-laws
- Hold condo board meetings electronically without the unanimous consent of the directors
- Hold owners’ meetings and conduct votes electronically regardless of the by-laws of the condo corporation
- Deliver meeting materials electronically regardless of the by-laws of the condo corporation and without an agreement in place between the owner and the condo corporation to deliver materials this way
Even with the recent announcement, condo corporations may still wish to consider implementing a by-law to ensure electronic meetings and voting are conducted properly.
Why is this type of by-law important?
An electronic meetings and voting by-law can create a well-defined and consistent structure for electronic owners’ meetings. It provides an opportunity for condo corporations to increase owner participation, transparency and enhance confidence in the voting process.
Some key considerations for condo corporations when considering such a by-law include:
- Tailored provisions that can address the unique circumstances of a condo corporation (e.g., the size of the condo corporation, proficiency with certain technology, etc.)
- Increased flexibility by expanding the options available for condo corporations and owners
- Ensuring owner participation
- Enhancing confidence in the voting process
- Accommodating people with disabilities and/or limited access to technology or technological proficiency
What types of provisions should the by-law contain?
As a best practice, an effective electronic meetings and voting by-law should contain provisions such as:
- The selection process and use of a virtual platform vendor
- The determination of quorum at an electronic owners’ meeting
- The process for holding hybrid owners’ meetings
- The process for ensuring owner participation and transparency at electronic owners’ meetings (e.g., all attendees can observe and contribute to the discussion)
- The voting processes at electronic owners’ meetings, including how adequate record keeping of voting results will take place
- The accommodation process for people with disabilities and people with limited access to technology or technological proficiency
Every condo corporation is unique and as a result, both owners and legal counsel should be consulted if a condo corporation is considering creating such a by-law.
For more information on best practices for conducting electronic owners’ meetings, please see the CAO’s Guide to Conducting Owners’ Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Creating an Electronic Meeting and Voting By-law
By-laws are required to be reasonable and consistent with both the Condo Act and the condo corporation’s declaration.
An electronic meetings and voting by-law may be passed, amended, or repealed by the board but will require approval from the majority of owners present or represented by proxy at the owners’ meeting for the by-law to become effective. The process is as follows:
- A new, proposed change, or repeal of a by-law will be adopted by the condo board, by resolution, at a condo board meeting
- The condo board will then submit the new by-law for approval of the owners by calling a meeting of owners
- Information on the by-law will be included in the Notice of Meeting
- At the meeting of owners, the proposed by-law will be put to a vote
- Approval from a majority of the owners present or represented by proxy at the owners’ meeting is required
- If the proposed by-law is approved by the owners, a copy of the by-law must then be registered with the Land Registry Office to become effective
For more information, please see our additional materials on condo corporation by-laws.