November 2017 Updates
August 2017 Updatees
Nov 2, 2017 Update
Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General introduced Bill 23, the Alberta Human Rights Amendment Act, 2017 yesterday which will add "Age" as a prohibited ground of discrimination (see press release above). The critical aspect of this Bill was whether or not exemptions would be given to condominiums with age restrictions. After much debate and consultations with stakeholders, the government has introduced what we feel is a common sense solution to this issue. If this Bill is approved as is, the following standards will be enforced:
1) Condominiums will be allowed to maintain occupancy age restrictions for older adults (55+) without violating the amended Human Rights Act.
2) Existing age restricted condominiums that have a lower age restriction will be grandfathered for 15 years and will have the opportunity via special resolution to revise their minimum Age Restriction to 55 or older if they so choose.
CCI North Alberta President Anand Sharma indicated that “we would have preferred a complete allowance of age restrictions in the condominium industry and community, however CCI North Alberta believes this legislation will give condominium owners and corporations adequate time to adjust".
Kudos to our Co-Chairs of the Government Advocacy Committee, Anand Sharma and Hugh Willis for their dogged efforts in getting those affected with this legislation change engaged which resulted in being able to maintain a substantial portion of the existing framework. Special thanks as well to all of our CCI members as well as our allies in the condominium community who took the time to address their concerns with the government directly. Do not underestimate your role in helping shape the government's current position.
We will be holding an educational session on this issue and other legislation changes in January. Stay tuned for more details.
A recent court case in Alberta has ruled in favour of the inclusion of age under the Human Rights Act. This was due to a push by seniors advocate Ruth Adria whose intention was to protect seniors from blatant discrimination in our society.
One of the uninteneded consequences of this decision now means that occupancy age restrictions in condominiums will no longer be permitted unless the Alberta Government provides an exemption. The government is required to finalize the legislation no later than January 6, 2018.
CCI North Alberta surveyed its members and the public and found that over 75% of the 1300 surveyed supported age restriction allowances in condominiums regardless of whether or not they currently owned or resided in an age restricted condominium. Given that the current number of age restricted condominiums is believed to be less than 10% it is imperative that condominium owners unite and let the Alberta Government know that we wish to still have the opportunity of choice when making for most people their largest lifetime investment. If we do not act, age restricted condominiums, whether it be Adult only (18+), 45+(where the largest portion of age restrictions appear to be) or 55+ will not be enforcable.
Please join our our Hands off our Homes Campaign and review our "Points of Interest" page, Information card and postcard for the Minister. Contact your MLA as well as Alberta Justice that you support an exemption for occupancy age restrictions in condominiums. We encourage you to contact our office if you require additional literature to be distributed.
Friends, together we can preserve condominium living in Alberta that protects your investment, and allows for lifestyle choice.