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Harv
Harv, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 832
Experience:  LLB
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Dear sirs In BC Canada, the strata property Act has the

Resolved Question:

Dear sirs:

In BC Canada, the strata property Act has the following indication regarding how council members are voted:

Strata Property Act
CHAPTER 43
Part 4 — Strata Corporation Governance
Division 1 — The Council
.Election of council

25 At each annual general meeting the eligible voters who are present in person or by proxy at the meeting must elect a council.

Please tell me whether my interpretation, which in fact is what happening in our building's AGM, is correct:

1. A voter present by proxy gives the right to the proxy holder to make decision on the voter's behalf - vote for members to sit in the council even if the voter had no idea who this member is.

2. There are 40% of the voters present in proxy by the same proxy holder (in our case it's the council's chairman). Therefore, his votes can be overwhelming. Is this legal?

Thank you!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Harv replied 3 years ago.
Yes, it is legal.

Section 292(2)(g) of the Strata Property Act authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations "respecting the person who may be proxies, the number of proxies they may hold, the circumstances in which they may be proxies and restrictions on their powers as proxies". Perhaps unfortunately, as of yet, there are no such regulations passed by the provincial government.

So unless the written proxy itself contained such a limitation, there is nothing to restrict the use of the proxy under these circumstances.

The issue of proxy validity under the Strata Property Act was judicially considered last year in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. See paragraphs 55 and 56 of the court decision at the following link:

http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2009/2009bcsc473/2009bcsc473.html

I trust that answers your questions. If you require further clarification I would be pleased to provide it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. However, the reason why I asked the question 1, is because I have just learned that, according to another building's strata council, proxies can not be used for voting new Strata Members at AGM. Do you mean that such information is not supported by strata law; and, proxies can be used for voting new Strata Members at AGM?
Expert:  Harv replied 3 years ago.
I am not quite understanding your follow-up question but if you are asking whether new 'owners' can vote by proxy at the AGM, the answer is yes. There is no distinction between new and old owners - an owner is entitled to vote.

If you are asking whether proxy votes can be used to elect new strata council members, then the answer is also yes.

That is, of course, unless the bylaws of your particular strata corporation say something different about that issue. The standard bylaws do not contain such a restriction.

I hope that assists.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The question is about the birth of new strata council members each year in the AGM. Every year there will be council members who finished their 2-year term (our council has 7 members). Attendance of the meeting will nominate themself to fill the vacancies; and owners will vote for new members, as they see fit, to join the council. We always allow owners who hold proxies to vote for new members with the proxies thay have, although the proxies were given from people who had no idea who they are voting for. I suppose this is a right thing. But all of a suddence, a strata council of other building told me this is not lawful. I therefore want to get a professional confirmation. Thank you in anticipation of your reply.
Expert:  Harv replied 3 years ago.
It may be that the other strata corporation has something in their bylaws prohibiting the practice. However, there is nothing in the legislation that would prevent the use of properly drafted proxies in the context you are referring to.

I hope that assists.
Harv, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 832
Experience: LLB
Harv and 2 other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you

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