Now that condominium corporations are starting to conduct their meetings virtually, questions are being asked about the requirement to record a virtual meeting, whether recording a meeting is contrary to privacy laws and whether owners are entitled to a copy of the recording.
Requirement to Record the Meeting
Remember when we had in-person meetings? Unless an owner, unbeknownst to the chair, recorded the meeting, recordings of meetings were never part of the procedures adopted by condominium corporations for owners meetings. There may have been the odd time, that a minute taker would audio-record the meeting for their purposes of ensuring accurate minutes, but where owners had requested that they be permitted to record the meeting, the usual response was NO!
Most virtual meetings are being conducted thorough platforms that will, as a default, record the meeting unless advised otherwise. If a condominium corporation does not want to have the meeting recorded, make sure to instruct the virtual meeting provider. It is important to remember, though, that for minute takers and corporations that may not have a minute taker for the meeting, the recording may be needed for the purposes of preparing the minutes of the meeting.
Are you Allowed to Record the Meeting?
The answer is yes. The Criminal Code provides that recording private conversations are allowed as long as one of the parties involved consents to the recording. Owners, however, should be advised at the start of the meeting, that the meeting will be recorded. Most service providers will start off the meeting doing an introduction to explain to owners how they can participate in the virtual meeting and will also advise that the meeting will be recorded.
Are Owners Entitled to the Recording?
It depends. If the recording forms part of the records of the corporation, an owner may submit a records request and the determination is made similar to other record requests. If it is not part of the records, then NO, owners are not entitled to the recording.
In our view, the recording is not a record of the corporation (unless the by-laws provide otherwise). The recording is more akin to a work product, used to ensure accuracy of the minutes, as opposed to a record itself. The minutes are indeed a record of the corporation and are, of course, subject to review by owners.