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As of March 26th, 2021, the Alberta Government passed Bill 53 that allows for virtual meetings for Corporations; including Condominium Board and AGM owner meetings. Bill 53 was passed on March 24th, 2021 after legislation was introduced on March 9th.
British Columbia showed the way, with their Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, issuing an order on April 15, 2020, under the Emergency Program Act which allows strata corporations to conduct electronic meetings, including Annual General Meetings. This also allows for Special General Meetings during the provincial state of emergency.
Ask your Magnum York property manager for guidance on how to approach your virtual AGM.
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Alberta’s Virtual AGM & Online Meeting Legislation is Broad
Alberta’s legislation seems to be more sweeping, allowing thousands of Alberta corporations to hold virtual meetings, whether there is a state of emergency or not. It’s also broader than just Condo Corporations, it also applies to cooperatives, HOA’s, societies, non-profits, etc… In fact, there were five pieces of legislation being amended:
- Business Corporations Act
- Companies Act
- Societies Act
- Condominium Property Act
- Cooperatives Act
Magnum York has been helping Condo boards with online video conferencing for their virtual board meetings on an ongoing basis, using Zoom or Teams, and they’ve been very successful, not to mention efficient and time-saving for all involved.
We’ll apply a lot of those lessons learned in helping our Condo Board clients prepare for their virtual AGMs.
This is a great step in the right direction, but how does voting work in a virtual AGM?
Now that Alberta has legalized of virtual AGMs, there is one specific issue to be resolved: how do owners vote and what are the requirements for legal compliance?
Here is what is in Bill 53:
Clause (c) defines that people can vote electronically. HOW? They are leaving the corporations to decide, thus exposing risk for Condo Boards (collectively and individually) if you are not diligent in the approach.
We have some ideas already; if everyone has access to a computer with a video camera or a mobile phone, then technically it’s a lot easier. If you have some residents that can’t access technology, then there needs to be a way for them to participate, potentially with mail-in ballots.
There will be some legal opinions coming out very quickly, and we’ll apply our learnings in running virtual board meetings over the last year.
All in all, though, GREAT NEWS!
For full details of the proposed legislation on the Government of Alberta website, click here “Bill 53: Service Alberta Statutes (Virtual Meetings) Amendment Act 2021” https://www.assembly.ab.ca/assembly-business/bills/bill?billinfoid=11895&from=bills
The original release of the thinking behind the Bill 53 legislation: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm
2020 Was Unclear On Virtual AGMs
Virtual AGMs have been the tricky part for condominiums. Corporations were unclear on how to host AGMs with changing gathering restrictions due to Covid-19 over the last year. In our 2020 blog post:
… we discuss the ongoing challenges surrounding these restrictions. Our recommendation prior to Alberta’s new legislation? “Cancel or postpone your AGM.” However, that really can only work for a year or so, and therefore, officially adopting virtual AGMs is where we find ourselves.
Thankfully! As quoted on the Government website from CCI North:
“This is welcome and much-needed legislation for condominiums in Alberta. The ability to meet and function has been significantly reduced with the pandemic and these changes will modernize and enable condominiums to effectively conduct their affairs in today’s society.”Anand Sharma, president, Canadian Condominium Institute – North
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