From the Fall 2020 Issue
ACMO’s Welcomes New Directors at Its First Virtual AGM, End to COVID-19 Temporary Changes in Condo Law, Masks in Condos, and Reporting Energy and Water Use
ACMO’s Welcomes New Directors at Its First Virtual AGM
On July 24, 2020, ACMO held its first-ever virtual Annual General Meeting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency orders prohibiting large gatherings, we were unable to hold our meeting in person. As has been the case for many Condominium Corporations, holding our first virtual AGM with electronic voting was unchartered territory and not without a few minor technical glitches. Despite this, the meeting was efficient and professionally presented.
The membership was well represented with 141 individuals participating in the video conference and 216 members participating via proxy for a total of 357 members, far exceeding the requirements for meeting quorum. There were five open positions on the board of directors to be filled through an election process. Sixteen nominees had
the opportunity to introduce themselves and give a 2-minute presentation on how ACMO can remain viable and relevant to the members in light of the challenges facing the industry. Attendees voted for their choice through electronic means and quickly learned the results within a few minutes.
The following members were elected to ACMO’s Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on Friday, July 24, 2020:
- Craig McMillan
- Eric Plant
- Juliet Atha
- Laura Lee
- Daniel Perez-Arteaga
These new directors join the following board members currently serving their 3-year term:
- Vincent Bennett
- Katherine Gow
- Dean McCabe
- Audrey McGuire
- Catherine Murdock
- Harry Nielsen
- Gabriela Shand
- Sean Wilde
Thank you to all the enthusiastic and talented RCMs who accepted nominations to the board and participated in the nomination process.
The ACMO Board of Directors wishes to extend thanks and appreciation to Deborah Bechard, Kevin Middleton and Michael Feherty, who finished their term of service with the ACMO board.
End to COVID-19 Temporary Changes in Condo Law
To help condo communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, on May 12, 2020, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 190, which amended the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) with a number of temporary changes, retroactive to March 17, 2020. The temporary changes included delaying condo corporation AGMs depending on the deadline when it should be held and when it fell during the emergency period, holding owner’s meeting by telephone or electronic means, delivering meeting-related materials to unit owners and board meeting notices by electronic means, and moving a meeting without the need to send an updated Notice of Meeting if one had previously been sent.
These changes remained in effect for the duration of the Ontario’s Declaration of Emergency, plus an additional 120-day transitional period following its end. The state of emergency ending on July 24, 2020 with the passing of Bill 195. This also ended the amendment to the Act (Bill 190), setting the timeline and deadlines for holding an AGM.
Under the new Bill 195, limiting public gathering to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors for areas in Stage 3 is still in effect. This makes it difficult to hold in-person AGMs. So, this means that condos have a limited period of time to pass their electronic by-law if they want to keep holding virtual AGMs and keep voting electronically.
The new deadlines to hold AGMs are as follows:
- For a fiscal year that ended between September 17 and December 31, 2019, your AGM must be held by October 22, 2020
- For a fiscal year that ended in January 2020, you have until November 21, 2020 to hold your AGM
- For a fiscal year that ended in February 2020, you have until August 31, 2020 to hold your AGM.
- For a fiscal year that ended in March 2020 or later, you must hold your AGM within 6 months of the end of the fiscal year.
Toronto Mandates Masks in Common Areas
On July 29, 2020, as Toronto and Peel Regions were given the green light to enter Stage 3 of reopening Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto passed BY-LAW 664-2020. This new by-law came into effect on August 5, 2020, and makes it mandatory for anyone entering, exiting, or remaining in common interior areas to wear a mask, with the exception of young children or people with underlying medical conditions or disabilities. The common areas include lobbies, elevators, laundry rooms, meeting rooms, and any other common-use facilities. Signage must be posted at all entrances.
Benchmarking to Reduce Your Condominium’s Energy and Water Costs
Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) requires buildings 100,000 sq. ft. or larger to report their energy and water consumption to the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM) by July 1 of each year. Due to the challenges created as a direct consequence of COVID-19, ENDM will accept the submission of 2020 reports (2019 data) from building owners until October 1, 2020.
Additionally, ENDM has amended O.Reg 506/18 to delay the roll-out of the EWRB program to buildings between 50,000 and 100,000 sq. ft. until 2023. This will allow smaller building owners three additional years to prepare for compliance with the EWRB regulation. However, ENDM will continue to support voluntary reporting for smaller building owners who are looking to track their energy and water consumption.
Visit the EWRB webpage at ontario.ca/page/report-energy-water-use-largebuildings to find out if your building is required to report, and to access resources that can help you successfully report and benchmark your energy and water usage. Update your contact information to ensure that you have the latest EWRB information and available resources to support you during reporting.
Energy Star Treasure Hunt for Commercial Buildings and Condominiums
Once you have reviewed your building’s benchmarking data, you can investigate potential quick and low-cost opportunities to reduce your building’s energy and water consumption. Making a few affordable fixes can add up to big savings. To get started, you could try using the ENERGY STAR® “Energy Treasure Hunt” checklist. You can download it from the website at www.energystar.gov/buildings/about_us/campaigns/treasure_hunt/treasure_maps
During an Energy Treasure Hunt, teams tour a facility searching for quick fixes that can help them reduce their energy use and create big savings on their bills. Hundreds of organizations have held these hunts and lowered their facilities’ energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Use the Commercial Building Treasure Map checklist as a guide during your search, as many of the cost-saving opportunities could apply to your condominium. Are you and your crew ready to find the treasure buried within