MINISTRY UPDATE: What the Proof of Vaccination Requirement Means for Condominiums

As we mentioned in our September 16, 2021 blog, we reached out to the Ministry of Health to ask for clarification on whether the new provincial regulations requiring proof of vaccination to access certain businesses and organizations apply to residential condominiums.

In response, the Ministry has advised that:

“Facilities/amenities in condo buildings that are not open or accessible to the public are likely not public settings or facilities that would be subject to proof of vaccination requirements.

However, these organizations may implement their own rules respecting use of gyms or meeting or event spaces. These organizations may wish to consult their legal counsel if they are considering such a measure.”

Notably, this is in line with the information set out in the Ministry’s FAQ document respecting the new legislation (available here – see question 36 respecting condominiums).

The difficulty that we’ve all encountered, of course, is that the legislation is not clearly worded on the point, and it seems the Ministry has also identified this difficulty. For example, if condominiums were specifically exempted from the proof of vaccination requirement, it would have been helpful to specifically state that in the regulations. Presumably, this is why the Ministry’s response is qualified by the word “likely”.

This said, while the legislation may not be as clearly worded as we would have liked, in our view, the province is not intending for the proof of vaccination requirement to apply in condominiums. As such, we maintain our original opinion that, at this time, condominiums are not obligated to enforce proof of vaccination polices. The bottom line is that based on the Ministry’s response, the province certainly doesn’t seem to be planning to enforce this legislation against condominiums.

Beyond that, as we also reported previously, condominiums may consider passing a Rule establishing vaccination policies for residents using certain amenities. But in our view, and based on the Ministry’s response, this remains a gray area. So, until more guidance is given, condominiums should consult with their legal counsel before pursuing this option.

Stay safe and stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on vaccination requirements!