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The Canadian Condominium Institute - North Alberta Chapter (CCI-NAC) requests the proposed private member bill respecting the application of human rights legislation to condominiums not be rushed through without prudent consideration and thorough consultation. CCI believes that any proposed law that is rushed and not carefully considered will have unforeseen and unwanted impacts on condominium corporations, unit owners and residents in Alberta.

There is debate in Alberta as to whether the Alberta Human Rights Commission is able to regulate the actions of Alberta’s condominium corporations. The Courts have stated that condominium corporations in Alberta are not bound by the human rights legislation as such prohibits discrimination against any person or class of person with respect to accommodation or facilities that are customarily available to the public. (Condominium Plan No. 931 0520 (Owners) v. Smith, 1999 ABQB 119 and Condominium Plan No. 9910225 v Davis, 2013 ABQB 49).

Despite the possible inapplicability of human rights law in Alberta, Unit Owners are not bereft of protection. The Condominium Property Act, RSA 2000, c C-22, protects unit owners from “improper conduct” which includes:

67(1)(a) the conduct of the business affairs of a corporation in a manner that is oppressive or unfairly prejudicial to or unfairly disregards the interests of an interested party.

However, the issue is not whether the current statutory regime provides sufficient protection, or whether the ability of unit owners to make choices respecting their own property and homes needs to be subject to human rights legislation. Rather, CCI-NAC’s concern is the imposition of significant and fundamental changes to the law without:

  • Consultation with industry participants such as developers, unit owners, condominium managers, the CCI-NAC and other industry participants; 
  • Careful consideration of the impact on existing law; 
  • Careful consideration of the impact on proposed amendments to the law, such as the impact on the creation of a Tribunal for condominium matters; and 
  • Fulsome participation and involvement of the government and staff as would be the case in a government sponsored bill. 

The Condominium Property Amendment Act, 2014 (as of yet un-proclaimed) was the result of extensive and lengthy consultations, reviews, and discussions with industry participants (developers, managers, board members and unit owners). The input of the public was significant. While the Amendments are as of yet un-proclaimed, the Government has again re-instituted the consultations to review possible changes and amendments. In contrast the private members bill is rushed, involved virtually no consultation and is the subject of near unanimous opposition from industry participants.