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Ontario working on extending virtual AGMs beyond September 30?

As our readers know, Ontario condos are allowed to hold virtual AGMs and to secure voting through electronic means pursuant to an exception in place under the Condo Act.  These exceptions were initially implemented in response to the pandemic and were set to expire in December 2021. Thankfully, they were later extended to September 30, 2022.

Since then, we have breathlessly been awaiting for either an extension of these measures or for the implementation of more permanent changes to the Condo Act to permit this new and efficient way of doing condo business to continue.

We were about to blog about our concerns over the fact that the September 30 deadline is fast approaching…. Indeed, at the expiry of this deadline, condos without a by-law permitting it will no longer be able to hold virtual AGMs and will no longer be able to gather votes electronically.  Since condos need 35 days to pass a by-law permitting these , we were quickly running out of time.

The  good people at the Ministry must have read our minds.  In a short, but somewhat cryptic message, we were advised today that they are working on options to potentially extend the effective period of these temporary measures beyond September 30.

Where does that leave us?

AGMs before October 1: business as usual

If your AGM is before October 1st:

  • you can hold it virtually and you can gather votes electronically even if you don’t have a by-law authorizing it.
  • You can also continue to send your notice of owners meetings electronically even to the owners who have not signed a consent to that effect.
  • You can also continue to hold your board meetings virtually even if all directors do not consent to it.

AGMs after November 1: wait and see

If your AGM is after November 1st, you can afford to wait and see.  Indeed, if you need to eventually adopt a by-law to permit virtual meetings and electronic voting, you should have enough time to do so even after Ontario lands on what it wants to do.  One of three things will happen:

  • Ontario may extend the grace period, allowing us to continue with business as usual;
  • They may implement regulation permanently permitting virtual meetings and electronic voting;
  • Let these measures expire.

We should really know in time for you to decide whether you need to pass a by-law if you don’t like how the cookie crumbled.

AGMs in October are the issue

The problem is if your AGM is in October… Unless the province extends the Sept. 30 deadline in the next 2 weeks, you should consider adopting now a by-law authorizing virtual meetings and electronic voting.  If you don’t act now, you may run out of time…

More info to come

The Ministry is promising to update us as soon as more info is available….   So more to follow…

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