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New Cap on AGM Size as Ontario Rolls Back Limits on Social Gatherings

As the number of COVID cases are creeping up again, Ontario is lowering the limit of social gatherings in some areas of the province. This may have an immediate and direct impact on whether you can hold an in-person AGM or not.

Update (Sept. 19, 2020): the gathering limits referred to in this post are now applicable across the province.

Also, consider our more recent post: Do Social Gathering limits apply to Condo AGMs.

Reduced size of social gatherings

As some Corporations were considering holding in-person AGMs (either because of their small size or by encouraging proxy attendance), Ontario has just announced that, starting tomorrow, social gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoor (or 25 outdoor) in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel region. This new reduced limit will apply to ‘unmonitored social gatherings and organized public events’. Specifically, the announcement confirmed that this would apply to functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residence, backyard, parks and other recreational areas. The announcement did indicated that there may be exceptions for banquet halls and convention centres, but it is unclear whether this would apply to condo AGMs (held in such banquet halls and convention centres).

The Premier also announced that those in breach of these restrictions risk fines of up to $10,000.

The upshot of these latest restrictions is that, in our view, condos in Toronto, Ottawa or Peel region will not be able to hold in-person AGMs (unless they expect less than 10 attendees (or 25 if they hold it outside). In our view, this new restriction, combined with the Province’s earlier announcement that they would not grant any further extensions to the postponement of AGMs, means that most condos have to hold their AGM virtually – which is not that bad, by the way. Our experience is that virtual AGMs can be held openly and smoothly.  We are getting very positive feedback.

Deadlines to hold AGMs

Check our Post-Covid AGM calendar to know what is your new AGM deadline.

Do you need a by-law?

If your AGM is scheduled to be held before Nov. 21, you can hold it virtually without having to adopt an electronic by-law. If your AGM is scheduled for after that date, you need to have in place a by-law allowing you to hold the meeting virtually and allowing you to gather electronic votes.

There is still time to adopt your electronic by-law.  Ask us about how to adopt them using our electronic proxy, without the requirement to hold a meeting.

Book your AGMs early

It is becoming increasingly difficult to book virtual AGMs with the main service providers, although they may still have day-time and weekend availability.  Check with them quickly to reserve your spot!

We also provide virtual AGMs services with electronic voting on our own platform. Check our availability if you’re in a bind.

 

Updated Sept. 19, 2020