From the Spring 2017 Issue
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Condominium Corporation Obligations under AODA
Dear Ms. Werbicki:
I read the article that Laura McKeen and Emily Crawford wrote with interest as it is an issue we’ve been dealing with for several months [Pet Policies and Service Animals, CM magazine winter 2016].
We wrote to Minister Jaczek [Minister of Community and Social Services] several times to ask for assistance in interpreting the legislation and to offer constructive improvements.
[We asked for clarification on a number of issues including]:
- A clear…definition of disability, showing the scope, boundaries and limitations of the definition and where the assistance of service animals is deemed appropriate;
- A clear…definition of Service Animal;
- A clear…definition of Therapy Animal/Comfort Animal and confirmation if Therapy/Comfort Animals are considered to be Service Animals and therefore fall under AODA;
- Certification of Service Animals – We have several “service animals” on our site that we know are owned by people who are using the loose definition of disability to their advantage. Several of these animals are left alone in the units all day while the owners go to work or shop; and
- Does the legislation apply to condominium corporations, particularly since we have a legal obligation under the Condominium Act to enforce our Declaration that stipulates that no pets are allowed on the premises? Ms. McKeen and Ms. Crawford answered this question in their article but I don’t think the answer is a simple “yes” as they intimated as many factors have to be considered.
Please don’t construe any of this to be a statement against the rights of the disabled. We are just trying to find a balance, get clarity and to understand our rights and obligations, the rights of owners who are not disabled (but may be allergic to animals) and the rights of the disabled.
Would you consider writing another article that outlines the other issues that condo corporations face?
Geoff Carpentier, President DCC 210
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[Editor’s note: we will consider an article on the potential for abusing provisions in AODA in an upcoming issue of CM magazine.] Please direct your correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org or on our website