Condominium Meetings During the Pandemic – An Update
As explained in our previous blog, the public health measures in effect across the Green, Yellow and Orange regions (including in Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington) include the following:
- Gathering limit for certain organized public events and social gatherings (such as barbecues):
• 10 people indoors
• 25 people outdoors
- Gathering limit for organized public events and gatherings
• 50 people indoors
• 100 people outdoors
Here’s what we think this means for “in person” condominium meetings:
In-person condominium meetings
- If the meeting is held at an “event establishment” (with the event establishment organizing and staffing the event), the indoor limit is 50 and the outdoor limit is 100.
- If the meeting is organized and “staffed” by the condo (either on the condo property or at some other establishment), the indoor limit is 10 and the outdoor limit is 25.
- For indoor meetings: Attendees must also be physically distanced and wearing masks unless they are all from the same household.
- For outdoor meetings: Attendees must be physically distanced or wearing masks unless they are all from the same household.
Here’s a colour coded visual which may help!
Other options are as follows:
You can of course hold a virtual meeting (with electronic or telephonic attendance and voting). This is permitted, even without a by-law to authorize such, through May 31, 2021. Beyond that date, you will need a by-law to authorize virtual meetings (unless the date is extended again!).
You can consider a “hybrid” meeting (where persons can attend or vote either virtually or in person). In our view, even when virtual meetings are permitted, it’s up to the Board to decide on the meeting and voting methods that will apply in a given case (whether in person, virtual or hybrid).
Whatever approach you choose, attendance and voting by proxy is of course always an option. Some of our condominium clients are holding meetings where more or less everyone attends and votes by proxy.
You can also consider whether or not to permit “advanced electronic voting” and you can also consider whether or not to permit “mail-in ballots” (with authorization by by-law). There is growing opinion that these voting methods are permitted by law. [See for example the CAO Owners’ Meeting Guide.] Even so, we still have some concerns about these methods. We are still reluctant to recommend these voting methods except for non-controversial business and/or where you don’t expect any amendments to be proposed.
Who would have predicted that meeting could be so tricky?!
Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in condominium law!