Return to a “Modified” Stage 2: What Does This Mean for Condo AGMs?

As of 12:01 a.m. on October 10, 2020, Ottawa, Toronto and the Peel Region will be required to return to a “modified” Stage 2 COVID-19 response, which includes the shutdown of various facilities including the following:

  • Indoor gyms and fitness centres (i.e. exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms)
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor cinemas
  • Performing arts centres and venues
  • Spectator areas in racing venues
  • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks
  • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service

The government has also reduced the capacity limits for the following:

  • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained
  • In-person teaching and instruction to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc.
  • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages)

A complete list of businesses and facilities impacted by this update can be found here.

This reversion back to a “modified Stage 2” comes as a response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the province.

Gathering Limits

As many of our readers will remember from our previous blog post, the Ontario government implemented limits on meetings taking place in unsupervised venues, as follows:

  • A maximum of 10 people for indoor gatherings and;
  • A maximum of 25 people for outdoor gatherings.

Today’s announcement has broadened the above restrictions to include all meeting venues.

What does this mean for condo AGMs?

While earlier announcements of further restrictions on gatherings left some room for interpretation when it came to AGMs, the government has now made it clear that all Condo Owner Meetings and AGMs in Ottawa, Toronto and Peel – regardless of whether the Meeting or AGM is held in a venue which is supervised or unsupervised – are now required to adhere to the above restrictions.

This means that condominium corporations in the above regions (Ottawa, Toronto and Peel) are no longer permitted to hold in-person Owner Meetings or AGMs where the in-person attendance is greater than 10 for indoor gatherings – regardless of the location or venue for the meeting – and 25 for outdoor gatherings. With that said, electronic meetings continue to be an excellent alternative that we are continuing to rely on to conduct AGMs across Eastern Ontario. We are involved in chairing and hosting virtual meetings every single day, and the feedback on these types of meetings has been extremely positive!

On a final note, we would like to emphasize that Boards have the ultimate discretion when it comes to selecting the meeting option that is best suited for their condominium(s). That decision should be taken on a case-by-case basis and taking into account the size of the condominium, the nature of issues to be discussed during the meeting, and the nature of the community. The discretion to choose, however, must be coupled with the duty to comply with the new gathering limits in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible and to ensure the safety of residents.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in condominium law!