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Condo board can install security cameras at its discretion without owner approval

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Our condo board of directors sent out a notice to that security cameras were being installed. No information was given about the cost and owners were not advised whether they are entitled to vote on the installation. Doesn’t the Condominium Act require the board to provide that information? We don’t believe that the cameras are necessary for our security.

The installation of security cameras constitutes an addition, alteration or improvement to the common elements. The Condominium Act requires the board to send a notice to the owners describing the addition, alteration or improvement, setting out its estimated cost and how it will be paid. It also requires that the board tell owners they are entitled to requisition an owner’s meeting to vote on the alteration.

Security cameras can be installed, without an owners’ vote, if the board deems it necessary for safety.
Security cameras can be installed, without an owners’ vote, if the board deems it necessary for safety.  (Dreamstime)

The Condo Act provides, however, that the corporation — by resolution of the board and without notice to the owners — may carry out the addition, alteration or improvement in certain circumstances. That includes if, in the opinion of the board, it is necessary for the safety or security of the persons using the property.

Therefore, even if many owners disagree, the board’s opinion that the cameras were necessary for security is all that is needed for the corporation to carry out the installation — without providing the notice to the unit owners that would otherwise be required.

I am an owner and resident at a townhouse condominium. I have been attending the sessions prior to board meetings at which owners are invited to raise matters and concerns. My questions about problems with the board’s procedures, in regard to proxy forms, are answered by the president with responses such as “it’s with the lawyers,” or “we will discuss it at the board meeting later,” or “maybe you’ll get a reply soon.” My written and verbal communications with the president have been ignored. What can I do?

If the disagreement relates to requirements of the Condominium Act — and not to the requirements of declaration, bylaws or rules — the matter cannot be referred to mediation under the Condo Act. It must be referred to court for the issuance of a compliance order.

In your situation, the disagreement may well relate to the obligation of the directors under the Condo Act to act honestly and in good faith. You could maintain that the directors have failed to act honestly and in good faith by not answering your questions that have been properly raised prior to the directors’ meetings, and by the failure of the directors to reply to your verbal and written requests submitted to the president.

If the judge rules in your favour, you could request the court to order that the condominium corporation reimburse you for your legal costs relating to the court application. You could even request that the directors be personally responsible for reimbursing you as a result of their failure to act honestly and in good faith.

Gerry Hyman is a former president of the Canadian Condominium Institute and contributor for the Star. Reach him on email: gerry@gerryhyman.com

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Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre reopens for Mooseheads’ season opener

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The home of the Halifax Mooseheads will reopen next month to host the team’s season home opener, although the experience will be different as a result of COVID-19.

The Scotiabank Centre will reopen on Oct. 3, after its reopening framework was reviewed by Nova Scotia’s public health and occupational health and safety departments, the company operating the centre and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team announced on Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to be reopening and welcoming our fans back to Scotiabank Centre,” said Carrie Cussons, the president and CEO of Scotiabank Centre.

The centre will be following all standard health and safety guidelines related to the wearing of non-medical masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing, the company said.

But there will be additional protections put in place as well in order to limit any possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

Scotiabank Centre will be divided into separate zones of up to 200 people with set washrooms, concessions and entrance/exit points for each zone.

The organization also announced that tickets will be sold in groups of up to 10 within the same bubble, respecting the province’s guidelines on gatherings.

Fans and attendees will be required to wear a non-medical mask at all times, except when they are consuming food or beverages, the Scotiabank Centre said.

Tickets will also be mobile-only in order to minimize close contact between individuals.

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Candidate slate set for Halifax election as mayoral race grows to three candidates

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The slate of candidates for the Halifax Regional Municipality’s upcoming election has been finalized and it’s now officially a three-horse race for the municipality’s mayoral seat.

Incumbent mayor Mike Savage will face off against Coun. Matt Whitman, the current representative for the Hammonds Plains–St. Margarets, and political newcomer Max Taylor.

Whitman and Savage have previously announced their plans to run but Taylor’s inclusion in the race was a last minute surprise.

On his campaign’s Facebook page, the 22-year-old says his platform is “simple”

“Get out and vote. I don’t care who you vote for, I care that you vote,” he writes.

One of the more notable aspects of Taylor’s presence in the race is his status on social media platform Tik Tok.

He’s built a following of more than 600,000 people on the platform and his videos have generated more than 20.6 million likes.

What that will do for his candidacy is up in the air, but he’s sure to bring a youthful energy to the process.

 

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Here’s what Toronto’s new 57-storey skyscraper will look like

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The corner of Bay and Harbour may be getting a new 57-storey office tower perched atop the heritage Toronto Harbour Commission Building.

Updated plans for The Hub — a skyscraper from multinational corporation Oxford Properties — have been submitted, and if approved, will see a building designed by London-based firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to 30 Bay Street.

The project near Toronto’s waterfront which was initially proposed in 2018 will add around 1.4 million square feet of office space to the neighbourhood. The building’s west side will also be directly connected to The PATH network.

The Hub will also sit overtop (but only lightly touching) its next door neighbour: the six-storey Toronto Harbour Commission Building, which was built in 1917.

Nicknamed “The T”, the historic building was sold to Oxford in 2017 for $96 million. Fun fact: The T is also reportedly haunted by the ghost of a janitor.

It’s not entirely clear how the interior of the old Commission Building will play into The Hub’s commercial workspace, but the design of the 57-storey building shows the strategic use of four columns to allow for distance between the main building and The T.

The two buildings will be connected by a “finely detailed glazed atrium.”

Windows will stretch from floor to ceiling in the four-storey lobby, which will be home to restaurants, retail spaces, meeting and event spaces, and maybe a fitness facility.

Floors five to eight of the podium will see larger office floors.

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