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Changes to how the Condo Act will deal with owners’ email addresses

On April 3, Ontario introduced proposed amendments to the Condo Act to enhance flexibility for condo corporations wishing to implement certain virtual and electronic processes.  We already blogged about this.

In this context, the province is seeking your input on proposed changes to the Condo Act‘s general regulation and specifically on how to treat owners’ email addresses.  This is what the province proposes:

  • Owner’s email address would (in certain instances) be added to the corporation’s record of owners kept under section 46.1.
  • From this point forward, the corporation would be able to use this email address to send various notices and other things required to be given to owners.
  • An owner’s email address would automatically be added to the records of the corporation if the owner provides their email, in writing and for any purpose.  To me, this means that any time an owner sends an email to the corporation, their email address can automatically be added to the records of the corporation.
  • Owners will be permitted to opt-out of electronic communications from the corporation if they make that specific request, in writing. Stated otherwise, the corporation will be able to communicate with owners by email (including sending notices and other things provided for by the act) unless the owner opts out.
  • However, other owners accessing the list of owners through a records request would not have access to the email addresses of other owners (but would continue to be entitled to access the name, unit number and postal address of their neighbours).

I must admit that I have flipped flopped on this last point (of whether owners should be able to access their neighbours’ email address).  In my view, an owner’s email address should be treated the same as their mailing address.  Other owners should either be entitled to access both (postal and email address) or none. I don’t understand the logic of providing my neighbours with my postal address but not with my email address.  What’s the point of giving access to the postal address? Is it to allow neighbours to communicate with me? Then give them my email too.

I realize that some will argue that sharing one’s email address raises privacy concerns.  How is that different from sharing my address of service (along with my name and unit number)? If you want my view, unwanted emails are far easier to deal with than a visit at my door!

Finally, I find that owners wishing to communicate with their neighbours (think of someone running for the board) are at a great disadvantage without their neighbours’ email addresses. Most owners will use their neighbours’ email address responsibly.  And for those who won’t, they are easy to block…

Anyways, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Ontario seeks your input

The province is seeking your input on these (and other) proposed changes.  Here’s a link to more info on this consultation process.

April Webinar
EV Stations in condos
Wed. April 3 at 5pm
CPE credits: 1.0
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