Ontario issued, last week, an update on the various extensions that had been granted with respect to AGMs during the pandemic. The message is clear: extensions are over and AGMs must be held!
Extensions during the pandemic
You will recall that, during the pandemic, the Condo Act had been amended to allow corporations to:
- Postpone their AGMs
- And/or hold virtual AGMs even if they don’t have a by-law permitting it.
These exemptions applied during the period of emergency, which ended on July 24, 2020.
Deadline to hold your AGM
Last week, the Province confirmed that they would provide no further extensions to hold annual general meetings:
Annual meetings are an essential component of the democratic functions and self-governance of corporations. They also represent an important opportunity for owners, members or shareholders to raise issues and to monitor the fiscal health, performance and governance of their corporations.
Now that the period of emergency is formally over, and now that the Ministry has confirm that no extensions would be granted, your AGM must be held by a set (and fast approaching) deadline.
Check our Post-Covid AGM calendar to know what is your deadline to hold your AGM.
As of now, you have until November 21 to hold a virtual AGM without a by-law in place permitting it. For now, after that date, you will require an electronic by-law to be able to hold virtual AGMs. The message from the Ministry does indicate that the “ministry is exploring changes that would extend the in-effect period of the temporary amendments related to virtual meetings”.
Your guess is as good as mine as to what that means exactly, but there’s hope that an extension may be provided or that some legislative change is coming down the pike.
In the meantime, there is still time for you to adopt an electronic bylaw. These will allow you to hold virtual (or hybrid) AGMs for years to come, in addition to providing you with a perfect tool to implement proper protocols and safeguard to ensure that:
- your virtual AGMs are transparent and secure;
- the platform you use provides you with adequate record keeping and meaningful real-time owner participation.
These by-laws can be adopted by a reduced majority, which makes them easy to adopt.
We have developed an electronic proxy, which makes it even easier to adopt these by-law without the requirement to hold a formal meeting. Quick and simple, with owners submitting their proxy from the comfort of their home with a few clicks. Ask us about it.
Still time to book your AGM
While we really don’t want to branch off into IT Services (we like to do what we do best: lawyering), to help with the AGM bottleneck that has been created by the pandemic, we offer virtual AGMs services with electronic voting on our own platform. This will allow more corporation to hold their AGM within the mandated deadline.
While there is still time to book your AGM with us, the cat’s out of the bag and we only have a few spots left before Nov. 21.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’re in a bind.