Increasing Attendance at the AGM

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! Perhaps your idea may be the key to a successful AGM for another condo in your community!

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CCI Ottawa Condominium Insurance Presentation

Nancy Houle will be speaking at the upcoming CCI Ottawa Insurance seminar, to be held on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014. The seminar will focus on what to do when your condominium corporation is faced with insured damage in a unit, the common elements, or both.

Nancy, along with Shelley Glover, an insurance broker, will go through the key issues and steps to consider when damage is discovered, and provide some practical tips to help you avoid common pitfalls in these situations.

The seminar will take place in the Adonis Room at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Drive, at 7:00 p.m. on February 19th. If you would like to attend the presentation, please contact the Canadian Condominium Institute, Ottawa Chapter at 1-866-491-6216, or view the online form.

We’d love to see you there!

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Amending a Motion

A confusing part of any condominium meeting arises if, during discussion of a motion that has been properly moved and seconded, an amendment to the main motion is proposed. What should happen next?

The steps are as follows:

  1. Someone (not the person who moved or seconded the main motion) must make a motion to amend the main motion, and set out what the amendment should be. This amendment must then be seconded (again not by a person who moved or seconded the main motion);
  2. The amendment must then be discussed and voted on. [In general, for an amendment to pass, this requires the same level of voting approval as is required for the main motion.];
  3. If the amendment is passed, it then becomes part of the main motion;
  4. Further discussion, if any, continues on the main motion;
  5. The main motion is then voted upon.

One other idea that can sometimes shorten the amendment procedure is as follows: If the mover and seconder of the main motion both agree to accept a proposed amendment, then the amendment can be immediately incorporated into the main motion. The main motion (including the amendment) can then proceed in the usual way.

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Lawyers, Guns, Money – 2014 Seminar

John Peart and Jim Davidson will be presenting CCI Ottawa’s annual seminar entitled “Lawyers, Guns and Money”, on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

This will be a review of current condominium law (twelve of the key condominium law decisions over the past year). It’s always a lively discussion!

The seminar will take place at the Nepean Sportsplex (Capone’s Ballroom – Entrance 4) at 7:00 p.m. on January 29th. If you would like to attend, please contact the Canadian Condominium Institute, Ottawa Chapter at 1-866-491-6216, or visit the CCI Ottawa website to view the registrartion form at

We’d love to see you there!

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Quorum – Board Meetings

What is the quorum for a Board meeting? Unfortunately, Section 32 (2) of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) is not all that clear.

A quorum is the minimum required attendance (at a meeting or other assembly) for the transaction of business. In the case of a condominium Board meeting, as long as there is a quorum in attendance, decisions can then be taken based upon a majority of the votes cast by the attending directors. As far as concerns the required quorum, Section 32 (2) of the Act states as follows:

A quorum for the transaction of business is a majority of the members of the board.

So for example, if there are five members of the Board, a quorum is three.

But what if there are two vacancies on a “five-member Board”, leaving only three members on the Board? Does the quorum then become two (ie. a majority of the remaining members of the board)?

In my view, the answer is “no”. I say this because Section 34 of the Act states that the Board cannot transact new business unless a quorum remains in office. This tells us that a quorum isn’t a majority of the remaining directors, but rather is a majority of a full board.

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