Ontario Law Blog: The New Forms Are “Freaking Awful”

Ontario Law Blog: The New Forms Are “Freaking Awful”

At roughly 10:45 p.m. on October 31st, the province released the new, prescribed forms that became effective November 1st.  Since then, condominium managers, boards of directors, owners and residents have had to work them.  It’s been frustrating for everyone.

In yesterday’s issue of Gardiner Miller Arnold’s (GMA) Condo Law Blog, Chris Jaglowitz reviews the new forms in a well-written, perceptive article entitled “Freaking awful”.  His opening line provides an insight,

“There’s no sugar-coating it. The new prescribed forms under the amended Condo Act regulations are generally terrible.”

We encourage all managers and directors to read the article.  Among many other observations, Chris points out the very real consequences of the badly designed proxy form.  He notes:

“In the AGMs I have chaired since the new form of proxy has been mandatory, the number of proxies submitted by owners has sunk like a stone.  If government intended to help corporations address owner apathy by making it easier to participate in meetings, it appears that the opposite effect has been achieved.  The form is dreadful and owners may be excused for wishing to avoid wasting their time to deal with it.”

Managers and boards are very likely going to have to make a much more concerted effort to get proxies if quorum requirements are to be met. That may involve inviting confused residents to the management office and walking them through the form – simply not practical in many sites.

We encourage you to read GMA’s Condo Law Blog article “Freaking awful” for its analysis of the new forms.

We also encourage you to read today’s Davidson Houle Allen LLP Condo Law News blog.  They have re-created the problematic forms in WORD and they are advising that:

“…it’s fine to delete irrelevant or inapplicable parts of the form. In our view it’s also fine to add words, as long as you keep the relevant prescribed wording, and as long as the added words don’t detract from the prescribed wording.”

We have asked DHA to provide us with their WORD forms. We will need a little time to review the WORD forms before we advise you on their usage.

As part of the Crossbridge learning curve we had to dissect and analyze all of the new government forms.  It became clear to us very early that the shortcomings inherent in the new forms required us to add extra education and produce detailed reference documents for our managers.  Crossbridge joins the growing number of managers, directors and owners looking for much needed “tweaking” of all the forms.