There has been a lot of discussion recently about the Phase 1 amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998. Click here for Jim Davidson’s previous article in Condo Contact describing those changes. But what hasn’t received as much attention are some of the lesser known – but still important – amendments, which are as follows: Continue reading “Some Condo Act Phase I Amendment Tidbits”
In this Blog No. 4, I explore what the Summary has to say about Changes to Meetings and Voting.
The Summary respecting the proposed new Regulations refers to some Changes to Meetings and Voting. In the case of owners’ meetings, the changes will generally apply to meetings held at least 40 days after the Regulations come into force (unless the notice of meeting is sent before the Regulations come into force).
[Note: The target date for the Regulations to come into force appears to be July 1, 2017.]
Here are some of the highlights.
New Quorum Requirements for Meetings of Owners
Currently, the quorum requirement for meetings of the owners is the owners of 25% of the units (unless the corporation has passed a by-law to increase the quorum requirement to 33 1/3%).
Under the proposed Regulations, quorum for the third attempt to hold a meeting will be reduced to 15% for the following types of meetings:
- Turnover Meetings
- Any meeting to appoint a new Auditor
- Any meeting to elect Directors
Condominiums will be deemed to have a standard by-law provision stating that owners voting by ballot, by proxy or by telephonic or electronic means must always be permitted to vote secretly – without revealing their names or unit numbers. (This standard by-law provision can only be amended after turnover.)
The Regulations will confirm the meaning of a “recorded vote” (also defined under the amendments to the Act).
There will be a mandatory proxy form to be contained in the new Regulations.
The required vote to confirm certain NEW types of by-laws will be reduced to an ordinary vote – ie. a majority of the votes cast with a quorum of units represented (either in person or by proxy) at the meeting. The Summary says that this reduced voting requirement will apply to By-laws
- To add information to be included in a periodic information certificate, an information certificate update or a new owner information certificate.
- To specify more frequent time periods for sending a periodic information certificate.
- To specify additional disclosure obligations under subsection 29 (1) (f) and 29 (2) (f) of the Condominium Act, and any related time periods for those additional obligations.
- To govern the manner in which required information is presented at a meeting of owners, and identifying additional material to place before the owners at the meeting.
- To govern the manner in which an individual may notify the board under clause 45.1 (1) (a) of the act, and the manner in which an owner may provide material to the board under clause 45.1 (1) (b) of the act.
- To govern additional materials that are to be included in a preliminary notice or notice of meeting sent by the condominium corporation.
- To specify the method of electronic communication the condominium corporation can use in relation to communication by the corporation under the Condominium Act and the accompanying regulations.
- To govern the manner in which an owner may be present at a meeting of owners or represented by proxy.
- To allow for voting by telephonic or electronic means under s. 52(1)(b)(iii) of the Condominium Act.
- To specify additional records that must be maintained and to increase required retention periods.
Board Meetings by Teleconference
Boards will be entitled to hold Board Meetings by teleconference or other method of concurrent communication.
Stay tuned for our next blog in this series about the new Regulations.
The Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) for a condominium corporation is a very important event. In some cases, it is the only time in the year when the owners gather to conduct the affairs of the condominium. The role of the AGM Chair in conducting the meeting, and going through the business of the meeting, cannot be understated! Furthermore, as far as elections and voting is concerned, certain key principles must be kept in mind.
A recent case of the Ontario Superior Court (YCC No. 42 v. Gosal) has provided confirmation or guidance in relation to the role of the AGM Chair, and certain key principles governing elections at AGMs:
- The Chair’s role is concluded when the meeting is complete. Any subsequent challenge to the meeting process is a matter for the Courts.
- Any concern which an owner may have about a proxy (including validity of a proxy) or voting rights at a meeting of owners should be expressed promptly, and normally at the meeting in question.
- An election should only be set aside if the voting results can be shown, on a balance of probabilities, to be inaccurate. An allegation or possibility of a problem is not sufficient to set aside an election.
- The votes, or proxies, in question which are challenged must be shown to have a material impact on the election results, in order for a challenge to be successful.
The by-laws of most condominium corporations state who should chair meetings of owners. Most by-laws call for the corporation’s President, if available, or alternatively the corporation’s Vice-President, to chair owners’ meetings.
Occasionally, the persons listed in the corporation’s by-laws as potential chairs for a meeting of owners may be unable or unwilling to act as chair. [For example, it may make sense to choose another chair for a meeting which has been called to consider removal of the President or Vice-President from the Board.] In these situations, the owners at the meeting can appoint someone else to chair the meeting.
This process starts by someone proposing a person as chair (in the form of a motion). There must then be a seconder in support of the motion. A discussion may follow, before the vote is taken. The motion is decided based upon a majority of the votes cast. If a majority does not vote in favour of the motion, another person can then be proposed and the process continues until a chair is selected.
Even though the snow is flying, we all know that spring will soon be upon us! For many in the condo community, the arrival of spring also means turning our minds to preparation for the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and considering how to entice owners to attend the AGM. To assist in your planning, we have pooled some ideas from our clients, which we hope will be helpful!
- For those condominiums who know that there is an abundance of coffee lovers among the ownership, consider purchasing a gift certificate from your local coffee shop. Advise owners in the Notice of AGM that a draw for the gift certificate will be held at the end of the AGM.
- If you have a group of owners who love to bake, consider asking those owners whether they would volunteer to bring baked goods or other tasty treats to the AGM. Again, advise owners in the Notice of AGM that tasty treats will be available during the meeting.
- In the event that your condo has a social committee, consider asking the social committee whether it would be interested in hosting a gathering of some sort following the AGM. Include an invitation to the gathering in your AGM package.
If your condo has an interesting or unique way of attracting your owners to its AGM, please let us know by emailing email@example.com! Perhaps your idea may be the key to a successful AGM for another condo in your community!