Over the past few months, many condominium corporations have put their owners’ meetings on hold waiting to see whether things would get back to “normal” soon.
When the first emergency orders were declared, there was a lack of clarity as to whether the orders allowed all owners’ meetings to be delayed. It soon became clear that turnover meetings, requisitioned meetings and meetings required due to lack of quorum on the board, could not be delayed and that meant determining whether they could proceed with a virtual meeting and electronic voting platforms.
After a series of emergency orders and the enactment of Bill 190, we now know the following:
AGM’s, but not Turnover meetings or Requisitioned meetings, are permitted to be delayed. As of today’s date, here is how you determine when you must hold your AGM:
- If the last date to hold your AGM is prior to June 30th 2020- you can hold your meeting prior to September 30th
- If the last date to hold your AGM falls between July 1 and July 30th2020, you can hold your AGM prior to October 30th
Holding Owners Meetings Virtually with Electronic Voting
All owners meetings may be held virtually (online) and electronic voting may be used, without a virtual meeting and electronic voting by-law, for a period of 120 days from the end of the emergency period (for now the emergency period is set to end June 30th). Currently, this means that meetings can be held virtually using electronic voting up until October 30th, 2020.
Virtual Meeting and Electronic Voting By-law
Since we don’t know what will happen after the 120 period following the end of the emergency period, we are recommending that all condominium corporations pass a virtual meeting and electronic voting bylaw so that virtual meetings and electronic voting is an option after the pandemic ends. Those condominium corporations that already have an electronic voting by-law will still need a by-law to hold a virtual meeting in the future.
When to Pass a Virtual Meeting and Electronic Voting By-law?
Best time to vote on this by law is prior to October 30th 2020. If you are holding an AGM, add it as an agenda item. If you are not planning on holding an AGM prior to October 30th, do a special owners meeting to confirm this by-law. Remember, you would be holding the by-law meeting virtually and would use electronic voting to do the vote on the by-law. The vote required to confirm this type of by-law is a majority of those that have voted electronically and are present virtually at the meeting as long as you have a minimum of 25% of the units represented. Any proxies received should be converted to an electronic vote by your electronic voting provider and would be part of the electronic vote.
How do Proxies work with E-voting?
I am an advocate for the abolishment of proxies and would prefer that proxies never be submitted by owners since a direct electronic vote ensures that owners are voting for themselves. However, our current legislation allows proxies and electronic voting providers have adapted their platforms to accommodate proxy votes. So, until proxies are abolished, electronic providers will still need to accommodate them. Here is how CondoVoter handles proxy votes:
- All proxies are required to be submitted at least 48 hours before the meeting.
- Directed proxies (voted proxies) are inputted into the system and will show as an electronic vote for the unit owner who submitted the proxy.
- Non-directed proxy- this is a proxy that gives another person the right to vote for them. The proxyholder will be given the ability to vote electronically for that unit owner.
- A unit owner who decides to withdraw their proxy can do so simply by logging on to the platform and changing their vote. The proxyholder will no longer have the ability to vote for that unit.
Nominations from the Floor
Similar to an in-person meeting, at a virtual meeting, there can be nominations from the floor. Candidates will still need to meet the requirements of candidate disclosure and will either be asked disclosure questions by the chair, or if the electronic platform offers this feature, can upload their candidate disclosure form in real time at the meeting, directly to the voting platform.
Times are changing. The old electronic voting system did not permit owners to change their votes once their vote was cast. Now, owners are permitted to change their votes up to the close of the vote. The chair can decide when the voting ends and the electronic votes will be tallied in real time so that the chair can report the results.
So what’s next?
Hybrid meetings may be the way of the future. How this will also play out is yet to be determined. For now, condominium corporations should focus on holding their AGM’s and getting a virtual meeting and electronic voting bylaw in place.
Resources on Virtual Meetings and Electronic Voting
The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO)
The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO)