Ontario Extends the Period Allowing Virtual AGMs, Electronic Notifications and Remote Board Meetings
As many of our readers know, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government had amended the Condominium Act to allow corporations across the province to hold their AGMs virtually, even without a bylaw permitting it. However, as the state of emergency was ended on July 24, 2020, this exception period was scheduled to end on November 21, 2020. After that date, condos wishing to hold a virtual AGM were going to be required to have a by-law permitting it.
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This fast approaching deadline created a crazy frenzy, with corporations scrambling to secure a virtual platform to hold their AGM before the November 21 deadline. The problem was accentuated by the fact that many corporations were trying to hold their covid-postponed AGM before the same deadline.
As dates were rapidly booking up with service providers, things got a wee bit crazy! That’s one of the reason why we launched our own virtual platform, to try to ease off the bottle neck and accommodate virtual AGMs and electronic voting.
Ontario extends the period of exception
Well, today, the Government of Ontario made regulatory amendments to several pieces of legislation, including the Condo Act, which extends the exception period and allows condos to hold virtual AGMs without the requirement of a bylaw.
As a result, the new deadline to hold a virtual meeting without a bylaw is May 31, 2021.
As we are seeing COVID-19 rates on the rise again, this news could not have come at a better time, as it will allow more Corporations to continue to hold their AGMs and meetings of significance, without physical gatherings and the associated risks of virus spread.
Board Meetings and electronic notices to owners
This extension also applies to virtual/remote board meetings, which can continue to be held even without the unanimous consent of everyone on the board.
Corporations will also be able to continue to serve notices onto owners by electronic means (even for owners who have not filled out and returned a consent for same).
AGM Deadlines have NOT been extended
However, this amendment does not apply to the deadline to hold your AGMs! We have a blog on this very topic already.
Check our our calendar to confirm the deadline to hold your covid-postponed AGM.
People distancing is still required
All corporations need to adhere to the protective measures and restrictions that have been put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The provincial social gathering limits apply to condo AGMs. Now is not the time to play COVID-Roulette by defying these or trying to find loopholes to hold your meetings in person.
Now that you have more time to hold virtual AGMs, you have no excuse not to hold them safely.
Do I still need an electronic by-law?
The next question on your mind may be: do I still need an electronic bylaw allowing me to hold virtual AGMs and allowing for electronic voting?
Except you have more time to do so. Adopting this by-law now prepares your corporation for the future. With this by-law in the books, you’ll have the option and flexibility to hold virtual AGMs even beyond this new extension. Why go through the anxiety and stress of the next looming deadline? Repair your roof on a sunny day.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the situation with COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve. As such, stay tuned for more updates as they come in, and make sure to consult your lawyer for any legal questions, COVID-related or otherwise.