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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #9

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    Dear Strata Councils,

    It is with great relief that we can finally write to you with some optimistic news.  As you are likely already aware, the Province has announced lifting of certain restrictions which will have significant impacts on you, your families, and of course your Strata Corporations.

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #8

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    Dear Strata Councils,

    It has been seven weeks since our first blog post about COVID-19, and a great deal has changed since that time.  Below are the latest material updates on COVID-19 and Strata Corporations:

    • Electronic Annual General Meetings Part 1 – As we wrote about in Update #7, the Province implemented a Ministerial Order which allows all Strata Corporations to hold Annual or Special General Meetings via electronic means.  Previously, only Strata Corporations with an explicit bylaw were permitted to do so.  However, there are significant drawbacks to holding General Meetings electronically for all but the smallest of Strata Corporations- some of those drawbacks might be insurmountable.  Tony Gioventu of the Condominium Homeowners Association wrote about electronic Annual General Meetings, as did our colleagues at Clark Wilson LLP.  Because of the practical complications associated with holding a General Meeting entirely electronically, we continue to recommend holding those meetings by way of Restricted Proxy or postponing for the time being. 
    • Electronic Annual General Meetings Part 2 – As more Strata Corporations are calling AGMs during COVID-19, we are developing best practices based on actual experience.  Near the top of the list of issues to resolve is how meaningful discussion on resolutions/budgets/elections can take place without an in-person meeting.  Most Strata Corporations are opting for a period of feedback/questions to be submitted electronically after the AGM notice goes out and before the meeting occurs.  We thank our clients for understanding that this process needs to be undertaken by the Strata Council, who are generally the ones who answer questions at General meetings.  While your PM will attempt to assist with gathering facts, and our firm will facilitate the delivery of feedback and questions, ultimately it will be up to Strata Councils to address the questions and feedback submitted by Owners in advance of your AGM so that those Owners can feel comfortable submitting their proxy appointment form. 
    • Limitations – The folks at Lesperance Mendes have published this excellent Strata Alert discussing the implications of the suspension of the Limitation Period, which notably does not apply to BC Civil Resolution Tribunal Matters. In short, if you are considering an application on behalf of your Strata Corporation and it is nearing the 2 year Limitation Period expiration, you should not expect an extension at the CRT.  
    • Relaxing Restrictions – Health and government officials here in BC have begun to openly discuss the relaxation of current societal restrictions.  Ontario and Quebec have started to release guidelines on how their provinces will “reopen”. That said, no blueprint has been offered on what that would look like here in BC or how it might impact Strata Corporations.  We hope that more clarity will be obtained in the coming weeks and that we can begin to assist with the process of returning operations to something resembling “normal”, with the understanding and expectation that there will be a new normal which will look quite different from the previous.  
    • No Restrictions on Moves – our weekly calls with BC Housing and industry experts has made it very clear that moves in and out of strata falls under essential services and Strata Councils are not to place restrictions on them whether due to transaction (sale of the strata lot) or a change in tenancy. We are awaiting a summary guide from government on this and other issues that will provide clarity to those living in Strata Corporations and we will pass along that information as soon as it has been published. 
    • Fire & Life Safety Inspections – as with the above item, industry stakeholders are in contact with Technical Safety BC regarding how best to proceed with inspections of Fire Systems and other Life Safety related systems. These inspections are considered a priority and, while most fire inspection companies are still addressing common area inspections (in some instances, virtually), in-suites are generally not being performed.  There is expected to be messaging coming from Technical Safety BC on strata corporation responsibilities during the epidemic regarding these systems and others that overlap in some way (i.e. elevator emergency back-up service and maintenance, Make Up Air Unit maintenance, and others that are integral to building safety systems).

    Thank you as always for reviewing the above information.  For those interested in more information, we encourage you to visit the COVID-19 section of our website where this and our previous communications are posted. We also recommend that you share the link to the site with Strata Lot Owners since it has a lot of useful information and answer many of the questions they might have during this time.

    Stratawest Management

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #7

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    Dear Strata Councils,

    We’d like to provide you with the latest updates on COVID-19 and it’s impact on Strata Corporation operations:

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #6

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    It is hard to believe it’s been a month since our first email update to you. We’d like to begin this message by wishing all of you and your families the best possible holiday long weekend- whether you’re celebrating Easter, Passover, something else or nothing in particular.  We hope you’re able to rest and relax this weekend, perhaps even visit with friends and family (from a respectful social distance) and enjoy the beautiful weather here in the Lower Mainland.

    Some updates from us:

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #5

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    Since we last wrote to you, a number of developments have occurred that we would like to update you on:

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #4

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    It is clear this situation will require Strata Councils and Owners to be far more involved in the day-to-day operations of your Strata Corporation in order for things to run as well as possible under the circumstances and for the health and safety of everyone. There is more information to pass along that is easy to digest, so we continue to do what we can to prioritize and distill it for you.

    With that in mind, here is our latest guidance regarding developments with COVID-19 as they relate to Strata Corporations:

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #3

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    The past week has been incredibly trying for all of us, but we are also extremely proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time as circumstances continue to shift rapidly. Below is an update that includes a summary of what you can continue to expect from our team as well as some action steps we would recommend that you take in the short-term.

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #2

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    We recognize that some of you are wrestling with important and urgent decisions around general meetings, pending CRT actions, finances and other items.  While we are preparing another memo to you on a variety of matters, we are trying not to inundate you with information all at once.  Below are a few links, and attached are a few documents, which directly address some of the questions we’ve been fielding. 

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #1

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    We will be posting updates based on information we receive from the authorities on any developments with COVID-19 that are relevant to Strata Corporations and our firm.  Below is our first update.

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  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Planning

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    With the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, global populations are on alert causing reactions among general populations from lower risk countries including Canada.

    Currently, public health authorities in BC and Canada are not recommending testing or assessment for individuals who have not come into contact with someone showing symptoms.  This may change as the scope of the alert widens.

    For the immediate future and as a preliminary measure, we are asking clients and service providers to avoid visits to our office.

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