Gateway Gazette

Band-Aid Fix for Condominiums Not Enough

New Act lacks input from owners, relies heavily on undebated and yet to be developed regulations

EdmontonThe Canadian Condominium Institute, North Alberta Chapter is voicing its concerns with Bill 9 the Condominium Property Amendment Act, introduced by the Government of Alberta on December 1, 2014.

Despite nearly five years of consultation, and two revisions of the legislation, The Alberta Government continues to fall short on protecting condominium owners and addressing long standing issues in the industry. CCI North Alberta says the province has ignored their call for consumer protection measures and strict Builder/Developer accountability.

Anand Sharma, President of CCI North Alberta, indicated that, “The public has had no time to provide input on Bill 9, the most important pieces of legislation to impact condominium in nearly two decades and personally affects those living in condominiums”.

“Key policy issues that needed significant changes such as insurance, property manager accreditation and training, and document disclosure to owners are not detailed in legislation. These critical issues will be legislated behind closed doors and outside the Legislature where elected officials and the public have input,” said Sharma.

CCI North Alberta will be proposing amendments to the legislation in the following areas:

1.       Section 26 : Voting Procedures and Processes

2.       Section 30: Financial Reporting

3.       Section 29: Convening of Meeting to Elect First Board

4.       Section 39: Contributions and Accountability of Problem Owners

5.       Section 31: Rules and Regulations Set by Board of Directors

6.       Section 43: Bank Account Information

“These amendments are just a few examples of necessary changes to Bill 9, and we are asking that the bill be deferred until the spring to allow condominium owners to provide input” added Sharma.

CCI North Alberta is pleased with the Act’s provisions for a tribunal that will address some issues facing condominium owners.

“We have been asking for a disputes resolutions model that would allow owners to seek resolutions outside of the court system, and we are pleased that the Alberta Government has responded with the establishment of a tribunal,” stated Sharma.

Changes advocated by CCI when Bill 13 was previously introduced included adding financial reporting requirements back into the legislation and dropping provisions that would force a Board of Directors to return unused special assessment funds back to the owners. CCI North Alberta is pleased that both issues have been addressed in Bill 9.

CCI_logoThe Canadian Condominium Institute-North Alberta is a non-profit organization with a mandate to educate Condominium directors, owners and professionals in North Alberta.  As the voice of condominium owners and boards, CCI North Alberta represents and advocates on behalf of its nearly 20,000 members and condominium owners to all levels of government.

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