Earlier this year, the "Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act" (Bill 91) received royal assent, which, among other things, amended the Condominium Act, 1998 (Condo Act) to permit corporations governed under the Condo Act to send owners notices and other documents electronically without an owner's agreement/consent, hold virtual and hybrid owner meetings, collect votes through telephonic or electronic, and more without the requirement of passing a by-law.
Effective October 1, 2023, these changes replace the temporary measures for virtual processes, including virtual meetings, enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through temporary legislation, which is set to expire on September 30, 2023.
And while these amendments to the Condo Act are a step in the right direction and adjust to the industries evolving landscape, many Property Managers have begun to ask, what do these changes mean for my corporation(s)? Let's take a look at how these legislation changes will impact Ontario Condominium Corporations.
Annual General and Owners Meetings - Virtual and hybrid owners' meetings will be permitted, provided that all persons entitled to participate in the meeting can reasonably participate. Voting using telephonic or electronic means will also remain an option during these meetings without the need to pass a by-law.
The amendments also clarify that attending virtually or casting a telephonic or electronic vote (including before or during the meeting) means the person is "present" for the purposes of the Act, like counting toward quorum.
Electronic Voting - Owners will be able to vote through electronic means such as electronic ballots, voting by phone or fax without the need to pass a by-law. However, voting records, electronic or paper, must be retained for at least 90 days.
Board Meetings - Virtual or hybrid directors' meetings will be permitted, provided that everyone participating in the meeting can communicate with each other simultaneously and instantaneously.
In addition, boards will no longer require unanimous consent among directors before being able to proceed in a virtual or hybrid format as long as the condo corporation's governing documents do not have a by-law requiring otherwise.
Notifying Owners by Emails - Condo corporations will be able to communicate and send notices to owners electronically and will only be required to print and mail notices to owners who do not have an email on file unless prevented by a by-law.
In addition, unit owners who have an email on file with the corporation will no longer be required to provide an electronic consent form.
Please note that these amendments to the Act do not negate or override a corporation's existing by-laws, meaning if your corporation has a by-law or declaration provision that defines or limits how virtual/hybrid meetings and voting should be conducted, those provisions must be complied with unless repealed.
What does this mean for GetQuorum customers?
These amendments to the Condo Act mean that GetQuorum's Virtual meeting and electronic voting solutions will be permissible and available to our loyal and growing client base across Ontario for the foreseeable future.
However, while there will be no notable changes to GetQuorum's services due to these legislative changes, we will now only print to the owner without emails on file, saving the corporation money on printing costs, unless otherwise instructed moving forward.
For additional information and to review Bill 91, click here.
If you'd like to learn how solutions such as our Electronic Voting, Virtual Board Meeting and Hosted Virtual Meeting solutions can help your corporation run a successful meeting, get in touch with our team today.