It’s December, and at this time we begin to hear familiar grumblings “Where has the year gone?” 2022 continued to be challenging for condominium corporations, unit owners and managers as issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact much of our daily lives. If it wasn’t the Omicron variant, it was the third, fourth, fifth+ waves that caused concern.
Changes to the Condominium Act took effect on January 1 that expanded the CAT’s jurisdiction.
New pandemic restrictions closed indoor amenities for a time but by April these had been lifted. Provincial elections were held and by year-end we continue to wonder whether mask mandates will be implemented again.
Here, in chronological order, are some of our key highlights for 2022. Was it a bah-humbug kind of year for you? Or will you be toasting in the new year on a high note? Either way, we will soon see what 2023 has in store.
A look back at highlights from 2022
- Changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 took effect January 1, 2022 – amendments to the Condominium Act included an expanded jurisdiction of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) stemming from revisions to section 117 regarding nuisances, disruptions and problematic resident behaviours. The prescribed nuisances include odours, smoke, vapour, light and vibrations. If complaints related to any of these nuisances cannot be resolved directly between the corporation and resident they can now be brought to the CAT.
- Condominium Authority Tribunal’s Rules of Practice – Related to the point above, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) revised its rules of practice effective January 1, 2022.
- The COVID-19 pandemic continued to take centre stage – In its response to the Omicron variant, the Ontario government introduced new restrictions in early January 2022. For condominiums across the province this meant closure of indoor recreational amenities such as gyms, billiard rooms, pools, saunas, meeting rooms and event spaces.
- Condo Authority Tribunal (CAT) issues new user guides – As the only fully online dispute resolution system, in late January, the CAT released a series of user guides to help users understand and navigate the CAT’s online dispute system.
- Province announced gradual easing of some public health measures and restrictions – Between February and March, the province began to ease some health measures and restrictions, including the mask mandate and proof of vaccination requirement. Condominium corporations were required, however, to comply with any advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, including physical distancing and ensuring compliance with vaccination policies. Corporations were required to assess their individual circumstances and implement safety measures as appropriate for their community.
- Provincial elections held in June – Despite record-low voter turnout the Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford cruised to a majority government for their second term.
- Government of Ontario amends Condominium Act to allow virtual meetings and e-voting without by-law – In August, the Government of Ontario made regulatory amendments under the Condominium Act, 1998 which extended the effective period of temporary legislative provisions permitting condo corporations to call and hold meetings virtually without the need for a by-law. The effective period of these temporary legislative provisions was extended (again) to September 30, 2023. This extension also applies to electronic notices relating to meetings.
- Five-year anniversaries for both the CAO and the CMRAO – In 2017, the province designated two new regulatory authorities to address continued industry requests for more information and for increased consumer protections. Congratulations to the CAO that celebrated its 5th anniversary on September 1 and to the CMRAO that celebrated its 5th anniversary on November 1.
- Updates to the Ontario Planning Act – October 25, 2022,the government of Ontario introduced Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022. No doubt there will be more to come in 2023 and beyond.
- Towards year-end, regular annual condominium events resumed – Slowly, we began to see a return to regular in-person events as condo conferences, luncheons, etc. were once again scheduled.
From all of us at Lash Condo Law, season’s greetings, happy holidays and Happy New Year. Let’s all continue to stay safe and watch out for one another.