Do you have a virtual meeting and electronic voting by-law?
If not, you should start the process now before the deadline of September 30th, 2022; otherwise, you may find that after September 30th 2022, you may not be able to hold a virtual meeting and won’t be able to do advance or real-time electronic voting.
Although we are hopeful that the September 30th, 2022 deadline will be extended, or better yet, the requirement for a by-law eliminated entirely, we still need to prepare for the possibility that after September 30th, 2022 condo corporations will require a by-law in order to hold virtual meetings and to permit electronic/telephonic voting.
It is hard to believe that after more than two years the Ministry would bring back this requirement to put a by-law in place when virtual meetings and e-voting have had a positive impact on condo governance and accessibility for owners in attending and voting at owners meetings – but let’s be prepared.
So what should condo corporations now?
For those condo corporations that have a virtual meeting and electronic by-law in place, you are in good shape. If there is no extension for the requirement for a by-law, you will continue to be able to hold your meetings virtually and still permit your owners to vote electronically or by telephone.
If you don’t have a by-law, you will need to get on it right away and take the following steps:
- Book your meeting date to be held before September 30th, 2022
- Get a by-law drafted by your legal counsel and hold the board meeting to approve the by-law
- Send out the Preliminary Notice at least 35 days before the meeting date
- Send out your Notice of Meeting with a copy of the by-law to the owners at least 15 days before the meeting date
- Hold your meeting before September 30th, 2022 and vote on the by-law
- If you achieved the required quorum of 25% of voting units at the meeting and the vote in favour of the by-law was a majority of those present in person, by proxy or advance vote (remember, this type of by-law has a lower threshold to pass than most by-laws), the by-law can then be registered and your by-law will be effective from the date of registration.
Agreements to Receive Notices Electronically
After September 30th 2022, unless this date is extended, all notices that are sent to owners for meetings can only be sent to owners if they have agreed/consented to receive notices by email. This cannot be changed by a by-law.
If the September 30th date comes and goes and nothing further is done to extend the date or amend the Condominium Act to change this requirement, condo corporations are back to collecting owners agreements to receive notices electronically.
Hopefully we will see a permanent change to this requirement. We have heard from many managers that the thought of having to produce those 30+ page AGM packages to send to owners is something that they thought they would never have to deal with again.
To assist anyone wanting to get the by-law in place before September 30th, 2022, CondoVoter is offering complimentary virtual meetings, fully hosted and moderated. In addition, they will include an email campaign for the collection of consents/agreements from owners to send electronic notices. This is complimentary until September 30th. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are still hopeful that we soon see positive announcements over the coming weeks – all working towards greater accessibility for condo owners and strengthening condo governance procedures for our condo communities.