Queen's Park

Ontario aims to move new Condo Act this spring

Minister 'optimistic' Province will introduce modernized legislation during current session
Monday, February 23, 2015
By Michelle Ervin

The Ontario government is aiming to introduce a modernized Condo Act this spring, Minister of Government and Consumer Services David Orazietti said Friday in a phone interview. Specifically, Min. Orazietti said the government is targeting the spring session of the provincial legislature, which runs from Feb. 17 to June 4.

“I’m optimistic that in this session  the spring session  we will be able to move forward with the introduction of new legislation,” he said.

Min. Orazietti’s latest comments set out a clearer timeline for when condo owners and industry professionals can anticipate getting a first look at draft legislation. Last November, in a pre-recorded video speech at the ACMO/CCI-Toronto Condominium Conference, he said only that the new Act would be coming “soon, very soon.”

The government had originally planned to introduce a revamped Condo Act in the spring of 2014. The provincial election delayed these plans.

Min. Orazietti’s comments Friday suggested that the government is still grappling with how to deliver on calls for a dispute resolution system that provides an affordable and effective alternative to the courts.

“One of the challenges has been determining the process or the way in which the dispute resolution process will be funded,” he said. “But at the same time, I feel that if we were to move forward with only one component of the legislation  around the governance and transparency and condo manager licensing  without the dispute resolution component   that that would not be in line with the sentiments that were expressed by the vast majority of individuals in the consultation.”

Consultation took the form of a three-stage public engagement process, known as the Condo Act Review.

In stage one of the review, stakeholders identified five key areas for legislative reform: consumer protection, dispute resolution, finances, governance and management. Following stage one, the government committed to introducing licensing for condo managers, citing broad-based stakeholder support for such a move. In stage two of the review, working groups studied the five key issue areas and, based on their work, a 12-member expert panel made more than 200 recommendations for reform. In stage three, stakeholders were asked for their feedback on the stage two recommendations.

The Condo Act Review was completed in 2014. Since then, Min. Orazietti said, his office and ministry staff have been actively reviewing the recommendations and feedback. He reaffirmed that the modernized Condo Act is a ministry priority, as noted in his mandate letter from Premier Kathleen Wynne.

“I completely understand the sense of urgency around moving forward with the legislation,” he said. “We are moving as quickly as we can to bring this legislation forward while also ensuring that the legislation that is brought forward is well thought out, well planned and will result in the desired outcomes that the public expressed through the consultation process.”

Michelle Ervin is the editor of CondoBusiness.