Bill 53: the Service Alberta Statutes (Virtual Meetings) Amendment Act allows Condominium Corporations, Residents Associations and Home Owner’s Associations (as well as businesses, non-profits, societies and cooperatives) the option to meet and vote online, as opposed to in person. Bill 53 received Royal Assent on March 26, 2021 and the changes are retroactive to August 15, 2020, corresponding with the expiration of the Public Health Act on August 14, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for specific organizations to hold in-person meetings in order to protect public health and safety was suspended until August 2020. Many organizations had since voiced their desire to continue holding virtual meetings, rather than in-person, but found their bylaws didn’t allow it. The amended legislation provides these organisations with more flexibility when it comes to meeting and voting online, allowing them the option of providing meeting notices, conducting meetings and holding votes using digital technology.
If Condominium Corporations, Residents Associations or Home Owner’s Associations want to meet and vote in-person, and their current bylaws allow for online meeting and voting, no changes are required. If the organisations want to meet and vote electronically, but their bylaws prohibit such actions, then the bylaws will need to be revised to align with the new legislation. However, if the bylaws do not specifically prohibit electronic voting and meeting, the bylaws do not need to be changed.
The changes that Bill 53 has made to the Condominium Property Act RSA 2000 c-22 are as follows:
Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (j.1):
(j.2) “electronic means” in respect of attending or holding a meeting, means a method of electronic or telephonic communication that enables all persons attending the meeting to hear and communicate with each other instantaneously, including, without limitation, teleconferencing and computer network-based or internet-based communications platforms;
Section 31 is repealed and the following is substituted:
Meetings of Board or Corporation
Manner and venue
31(1) Unless a corporations’ bylaws expressly provide otherwise,
(a) A person entitled to attend a meeting of the corporation or of its board of directors may attend the meeting by electronic means,
(b) A meeting of the corporation or its board of directors may be held entirely by electronic means,
(c) A person attending a meeting by electronic means under clause (a) or (b) who is entitled to vote at the meeting may vote by any electronic, telephonic or other method that the corporation has made available for that purpose, and
(d) A person attending a meeting by electronic means under clause (a) or (b) is deemed for the purposes under this Act to be present in person at that meeting.
(2) Meetings that are not held entirely by electronic means must be held at a location within the municipality in which the units are located unless an ordinary resolution to hold the meetings in another location is passed at a general meeting of the corporation.
For more information on holding virtual meetings, visit – Going virtual: Making meetings more modern (alberta.ca).
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact any one of our experienced condominium team.