July 31 2020
The Ontario Legislature has been hard at work since our last article, COVID-19 & Condos: Update #6 – Stage 3 Re-Openings and Condominium Meetings. In the intervening time period, Ontario has ended the state of emergency and enacted new legislation; that being the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 7 – Bill 190 (“CRRMOA”). What does this new legislation do and what does it mean for Annual General Meetings (“AGMs”)?
End of the State of Emergency:
As COVID-19 unfolded, the Province declared a state of emergency on March 17th, 2020, under the provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O., 1990, c. E.19 (the “EMCPA”). With this came Ontario Regulation 107/20, which temporarily amended provisions of the Condominium Act, 1998. These amendments, among others, extended the time period condominiums were required to call and hold their AGMs and permitted owners’ meetings to be held entirely electronically, absent a by-law permitting such.
With respect to AGMs, under the state of emergency, if the last day for a condominium to hold their AGM fell within the state of emergency, that condominium would be permitted to hold the AGM anytime within 90 days from the lifting of the emergency. Likewise, if the last day to hold the AGM fell within the period of 30 days after the state of emergency ended, that condominium would have 120 days to hold the AGM from the date the state of emergency was lifted. Confused yet?
The caveat to the extensions was that condominiums had no way of knowing or predicting when the state of emergency would end, and therefore, when they would be required to hold the AGM. We now have clarity on this.
On July 24, 2020, the Legislature enacted the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17. Section 17 of this Act effectively terminated the state of emergency. What now? Bring in CRRMOA. The CRRMOA came into force on July 24, 2020. This Act replaces the temporary amendments made to the Condominium Act, 1998 under the EMCPA and applies a “suspension period” to the time extensions for
AGM. This “suspension period” is 120 days following the end of the state of emergency.
What does this mean for your Condominium?:
All the timelines, extensions, suspensions and pieces of legislation can cause confusion on top of the already busy day-to-day of condo life. So, when is your condo required to hold the AGM? This can be summarized as follows:
- If the last day to hold the AGM fell between March 17 and July 24, 2020 – the AGM must be held by or before October 22, 2020.
- If the last day to hold the AGM fell or falls between July 24 and August 23, 2020 – the AGM must be held by November 21, 2020.
Okay, so we have to start planning the AGM, but what about the restrictions on in-person gatherings? The current restrictions of maximum 50 individuals indoors and 100 outdoors remain in effect. That said, during the suspension period, being between July 24 and November 21, 2020, condominiums may still hold their meetings entirely electronically, even absent a by-law permitting such.
The state of emergency has been lifted, but the effects of COVID-19 will be felt in the condominium world for the foreseeable future. If the deadline to hold the AGM fell between March 17 and July 24, 2020, the AGM must be held by October 22, 2020. If it falls between July 24 and August 23, 2020, the AGM must be held by November 21, 2020. That said, all owners’ meetings may still be held entirely electronically, and given the gathering restrictions and the still present risk of transmission, condominiums are encouraged to do so. In addition, should there be a second wave of the virus, all the more reason to opt for electronic meetings.
Written by Christopher Mendes, Edited by Fiona Burnett and Robert Mullin
*This article does not constitute legal advice, always consult legal counsel.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.