Ontario’s Declared State of Emergency is Over… Now What Happens with Condo AGMs?
On July 24, 2020, Bill 195 – An Act to Enact the Reopening of Ontario (Flexible Response to COVID-19) – was passed. This legislation, as discussed in our previous blog, officially ends the declared state of emergency but allows the Premier to extend emergency orders every 30 days for the next two years. The purpose is to ensure the smooth continuation of the province’s gradual reopening process now that the emergency period has ended.
In the condominium industry, now that the declared emergency has ended, the time periods for AGMs to be held within begin to run as set out in the temporary changes to the Condominium Act. The points to be aware of are:
- If your AGM was required to be held during the emergency period (i.e. between March 17, 2020 and July 24, 2020) then it must occur by October 22, 2020 (i.e. within 90 days after the end of the emergency period on July 24, 2020).
- If your AGM was required to be held within 30 days after the emergency period (i.e. between July 25, 2020 and August 23, 2020) then it must occur by November 21, 2020 (i.e. within 120 days after the end of the emergency period on July 24, 2020).
- Meetings that take place before November 21, 2020 (i.e. within 120 days after the end of the emergency period on July 24, 2020) can still be held electronically (even if a bylaw has not yet been passed to allow for electronic meetings), and notice can still be given electronically.
- Any meetings that are scheduled after November 21, 2020 cannot be held electronically unless a bylaw is passed to allow for this type of meeting, or the Lieutenant-Governor extends the timelines in the temporary provisions of the Condominium Act.
The following examples confirm the impact on condominium’s that were to have a meeting during the emergency period and those that are to have a meeting in the coming months.
- Condominium A’s AGM was required to be held between March 17, 2020 and July 24, 2020. As the declared emergency ended on July 24, 2020, Condominium A has until October 22, 2020 to hold the meeting (i.e. within 90 days after the end of the emergency period).
- Condominium B’s AGM is required to be held between July 25, 2020 and August 23, 2020. As the declared emergency ended on July 24, 2020, Condominium B would have until November 21, 2020 to hold the meeting (i.e. within 120 days after the end of the emergency period).
- Condominium C’s AGM is to be held by August 24, 2020 (i.e. after the end of the emergency period). As such, Condominium C would have until August 24, 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 November 23, 2020. As the declared emergency ended on July 24, 2020, the meeting cannot be held electronically because the date for the meeting falls outside the 120 days after the declared emergency ended (i.e. it falls passed the November 21, 2020 deadline).
Condominium corporations and Boards must keep in mind that section 71.03(1) of the Condominium 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.
We also note that, although the state of emergency has ended, the restrictions (on gathering sizes, amenities that can be open, face masks, etc.) remain in force and will likely continue to evolve over the coming months.