While it didn’t get a lot of attention on the news, Bill 19 was announced by Alberta’s Minister of Service Alberta, Nate Glubish, on April 21, 2022. This Bill plans to amend the Condominium Property Act, with changes relating to chargebacks to owners for damage, voting methods, and a few other minor items. Stakeholders, including CCI, from across the province were involved over several months and countless hours of meetings with Service Alberta. While we at CCI didn’t get everything we were hoping for, there has been progress, and we can be hopeful that owners will see positive outcomes from this amendment.
One of the news articles about Bill 19 mentions how the new chargeback provisions will help Boards better recoup damage costs. I really wish this had been phrased as condominium corporations, not Boards. There is a sentiment by some people that Boards have too much power and these changes will cause grief for people who are inappropriately assigned chargebacks. I’ll go out on a limb and guess there are more nefarious owners out there than ill-intentioned Boards, so these changes should overall be a positive change for condo owners. There will always be potential for a few bad eggs that expose limitations in the Act and Regulations.
With these latest changes, one of the goals from CCI’s input was to make the new wording in the Act as clear as possible to minimize potential legal disputes and ‘grey areas’. In the words of lawyers who are CCI members – they have plenty of work to keeping them busy these days.
If you’ve been following along with the plethora of Condo Act/Regulation changes over the past 5+ years, you may be wondering about the status regarding a tribunal for condominium dispute resolution. This initiative is supposed to be the final phase of changes to the Act/Regulations. At the time of writing this article, the most recent communication from Service Alberta is that the tribunal will not be proceeding at this time. It simply isn’t in the current budget and the government has other priorities. We’re disappointed to hear this but can understand that forming a tribunal is a very complex matter. Personally, I’d like to see results and feedback from BC and Ontario’s condo tribunals, which are still somewhat in their infancy of implementation. A pause in the planning and rollout of an Alberta tribunal may actually result in more positive outcomes, if we can glean lessons learned and requirements from the other two major condo markets in the country. Even within CCI, there are many opinions about exactly what a tribunal would look like; some foresee the tribunal as a process that avoids the need for lawyers, however some believe lawyers would absolutely be engaged for representation in tribunal process.
On the CCI National front, we had a virtual conference on Saturday May 28, 2022. The topics that were covered included electric vehicles, how to keep delivery parcels safe, and keys to building harmonious neighborhoods. We look forward to November 23-25, 2022, when CCI National Leadership Forum/Conference meets in person in Kingston, Ontario! More information and registration will be coming soon, be sure to bookmark the link: https://cci.ca/events/2022/11/23/national-leadership-forum-conference.
June was eventful, as we had a couple of in person activities. CCI’s annual golf tournament was held on June 7th was held at Bearspaw Golf Club. The day of golf started a little soggy but with great anticipation and enthusiasm! Industry suppliers were matched up with condo board members and property/condominium encourage insightful conversation in the groups, providing value to both the vendors and condo clients. We held a Mix and Mingle Networking Event on June 23 at the Wild Rose Brewery, and the opportunity to get to know your peers and service providers. Turns out June was a lot of fun!
We look forward to September as we come together again at the Alberta Condominium & Real Estate Conference, September 16th and 17 at the Calgary Telus Convention Center and at our CCISA 2022 Annual General Meeting September 29th, which will be followed by a presentation on Alberta Builder’s Lien & Prompt Payment at the BWP: Calgary Plaza Hotel. Both of these events will take place in person.
I’ll conclude this message by bringing up inflation (yikes). What does your reserve fund study use for a predicted inflation rate as it relates to future capital costs? Historically, plotting 2% as an average over the funding plan has been the rule of thumb. I only ask this question to stimulate thoughtful consideration for your ownership groups. The current rate of increase is unsustainable over the long term, so one would assume it will come down. In the short term, perhaps owners want to be looking at cost predictions for any large projects in the next few years, and ensure you are well funded to weather this inflation storm.
CCI South Alberta Chapter, President