Ontario Government Confirms Recent Changes to the Condo Act Respecting Deadlines for AGMs and Virtual Meetings
The Government of Ontario has recently passed Bill 190, COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020. Schedule 5 of Bill 190 confirms that the changes that were previously set out in the Order of the Lieutenant-Governor, issued on April 24, 2020 are now codified as Part IV.1 and the new Schedule to the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”).
As our readers may recall from our previous blog, these recent amendments extend the deadline for condominiums to hold their AGMs, allow meetings to be held by electronic or telephonic means, authorize electronic voting at owners’ meetings, and ease certain service requirements by allowing notices and materials respecting meetings to be given electronically. [See also our chart outlining the relevant changes and affected provisions of the Act].
Importantly, the new subsection 71.02(2) of the Act specifies that these temporary measures will apply for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency and will remain in effect for a period of 120-days after the emergency ends. Consequently, condominiums will have an additional 120 days after the date on which the emergency is terminated to conduct virtual/electronic meetings without having to pass a by law. Once the “emergency + 120 day” period has elapsed, the temporary measures will no longer apply and condominiums wishing to conduct virtual meetings will have to approve a by-law to that effect.
Regarding the required timelines to hold AGMs, subsection 45(2) of the Act is suspended and the new (temporary) subsection 45 (2.1) allows meetings that were supposed to be held during the emergency to now be held no later than the 90th day after the end of the declared emergency. Similarly, subsection 45 (2.2) authorizes meetings that were initially scheduled within the 30-day period after the emergency to now be held no later than the 120th day after the emergency is terminated. In order to assist our readers and to illustrate how these new provisions will operate, we rely on the scenarios below using June 2, 2020 as the hypothetical date on which the emergency will be terminated:
- Condominium A’s Meeting was to be held by June 30, 2020. The Declared emergency ends on June 2, 2020. Condominium A would have until September 30, 2020 to hold the meeting
- Condominium B’s Meeting was to be held by May 30, 2020. The Declared emergency ends on June 2, 2020. Condominium B would have until August 31, 2020 to hold the meeting
- Condominium C’s Meeting was to be held by July 15, 2020. The Declared emergency ended on June 2, 2020. Condominium C would have until July 15, 2020 to hold the meeting. However it could still be held electronically, and notice could be provided to owners electronically.
- Condominium D would like to have an electronic meeting of the owners to pass a by-law (to permit electronic meetings and voting). The meeting date is set for October 15, 2020. If the declared emergency ended on June 2, 2020, the meeting could not be held electronically because the date for the meeting falls outside the 120 days after the declared emergency ended.
Lastly, condominium corporations and Boards must keep in mind that section 71.03(1) of the Act allows the Lieutenant-Governor to “make regulations prescribing further periods of time” with respect to the temporary measures that apply during the emergency period. In other words, additional changes could be made to the timelines mentioned above as the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly.