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Janet Cangiano v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 962 - 2018 ONCAT 7 - 2018-07-19

Corporation:

JCMTCC 962

Date:

2018-07-19

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Entitlement to Records
Fees, Costs, Penalties

Summary:

In the case of Janet Cangiano v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 962 (2018 ONCAT 7), the Condominium Authority Tribunal ruled that the Applicant was not entitled to receive un-redacted copies of proxy forms submitted at the Respondent's Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on November 16, 2017. The Respondent refused un-redacted copies based on privacy concerns and offered redacted copies for a fee. The Tribunal found that legislative provisions, specifically Section 55(4)(d) of the Condominium Act, 1998, and Section 13.11(2)4 of Ontario Regulation 48/01, excluded the release of personal information on proxy forms without a by-law permitting it. The Tribunal ordered the release of redacted records with a fee limit of $27.60.

Verdict:

In the case of Janet Cangiano v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 962, the applicant sought un-redacted copies of proxy forms from the condominium's Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Tribunal ruled that the applicant is not entitled to receive un-redacted copies based on the privacy protections outlined in the Condominium Act, emphasizing the legislative intent to safeguard owners' personal information. The Tribunal ordered the release of redacted records upon payment of a specified fee, highlighting the importance of balancing transparency with privacy considerations in condominium-related records access.

Takeaways:

Privacy Protection: The decision in Janet Cangiano v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 962 emphasizes the privacy protection provisions within the Condominium Act, 1998. The Tribunal ruled that an owner is not entitled to un-redacted copies of proxy forms containing personal information unless a by-law permits, highlighting the legislative intent to safeguard owners' privacy.

Interpretation of Legislation: The decision underscores the Tribunal's adherence to the clear and specific provisions of the Condominium Act and its regulations. It rejects a broader interpretation suggested by the Applicant's counsel, emphasizing that any changes to the audit of election results should be addressed through legislative amendments.

Practical Avenues: The ruling suggests practical alternatives for the applicant to address concerns, such as going door to door or convening a meeting with owners to discuss potential irregularities, showcasing the importance of exploring alternative solutions within the existing framework.

Costs Consideration: The Tribunal, in line with its commitment to accessibility, refrains from awarding costs to the respondent, recognizing the self-represented status of the applicant and the absence of exceptional reasons for cost recovery.

Clear Order: The order provides a clear directive, outlining that the respondent must provide redacted proxy forms to the applicant within 30 days upon receipt of the specified fee, reaffirming the enforceability of the Tribunal's decisions.

Recommendations: 

Educate Owners on Proxy Form Privacy:
Encourage condominium corporations to educate unit owners about the privacy considerations associated with proxy forms. Develop communication strategies to inform owners that the personal information on proxy forms, including details about specific units or owners, is protected under the Condominium Act, 1998, and its regulations. This proactive approach can help minimize disputes related to requests for un-redacted proxy forms.

Facilitate Clear Communication on Records Requests:
Promote clear communication between condominium corporations and unit owners regarding records requests. Ensure that condominium corporations provide detailed explanations, in writing if necessary, about the redaction process and associated fees when responding to requests for records. Transparent communication can help owners understand the limitations imposed by privacy laws and the need for certain information to be redacted.

Explore Legislative Amendments for Election Audits:
Advocate for a review of the Condominium Act, 1998, and its regulations to address concerns related to the audit of election results. Explore the possibility of introducing legislative amendments that provide clearer guidelines on how owners can audit elections effectively without compromising privacy considerations. Engage with stakeholders, including condominium owners, legal experts, and policymakers, to contribute to the development of more comprehensive and practical regulations in this regard.

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