Condo construction in Victoria using a concrete ground floor with wood construction above, 2018. Strata condominium ownership continues to grow in urban B.C. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

COVID-19: B.C. strata councils can go online for meetings

Annual general meetings require the same notice, reports

As with schools, municipal councils and other meetings in the coronavirus pandemic, B.C. strata councils have been authorized to take their meetings online via phone or video exchange.

With strata councils dealing with insurance increases and other financial matters at annual general meetings, B.C.’s public safety ministry has authorized electronic meetings for regular, special and annual meetings, whether the strata corporation has a bylaw allowing that or not. The temporary change under the Emergency Program Act conforms with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order prohibiting meetings of more than 50 people during the COVID-19 emergency.

Video conferencing systems like Skype or Zoom can be used, with alternatives for owners without access to a computer. Strata owners can designate a proxy to represent them, attend by phone or in person as long as the two-metre physical distance is observed.

“While restricted proxy meetings are a good option, the strata council may choose the best means for their strata, as long as it allows everybody to communicate with each other during the meeting,” the ministry said in a bulletin.

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Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condo Home Owners Association of B.C., notes that Strata Property Act rules on notice, financial reports and voting.

“The requirements for notice such as the time periods, what must be included in the notice, including the exact wording of resolutions that require a three quarters, 80 per cent or unanimous vote, the genda requirements in your bylaws, mandatory reports and financial statements must all be included,” Gioventu writes in his latest bulletin to CHOA members. “Owners cannot be expected to approve budgets without financial reports, and items such as the annual insurance report must also be considered.”

B.C.’s housing ministry has a COVID-19 information page here that covers meetings, strata fees, cleaning and resources for strata housing in the pandemic.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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