CAO incorporated

The Condominium Authority of Ontario was incorporated in July 2016.

Yet, the ministry—as far as I can tell—never informed the public about this nor did it inform us on who are the four appointed directors.

In early October 2016, I found this article on the Internet.

Conant appointed a founding director of Condominium Authority of Ontario
undated article

Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant has been appointed a founding/first director of the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO).

The newly established, non-government, not-for profit organization that eventually will be an Administrative Authority, will provide numerous resources to, and services for, the condo industry including education and information about condominiums, be a resource to the whole industry, provide director education, administer a registry of, and data about, condominium corporations and oversee a specialized tribunal to adjudicate certain condominium disputes.

Conant, partner and head of Shibley Righton LLP’s condominium law department, says the Condo Authority will be a distinct non-profit legal entity operating at arm’s length from the government and assumes complete control over its financial, operational and legal responsibilities under its operating statute.

He says it’s expected the CAO will be primarily financed from a monthly fee per condo unit (hoped to be in the range of $1) collected by each condo corporation as part of its annual operating expenses. There will also be a user fee for those who wish to pursue disputes before the tribunal and possibly a fee to access the condo registry data.

The CAO is being introduced as part of Bill 106, Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (PCOA) — the government’s comprehensive reform of the existing Condominium Act, 1998 and the first overhaul of Ontario’s condo law in more than 15 years. Once proclaimed into law, the PCOA will amend the existing Condominium Act, 1998 and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.  Bill 106 also enacts the Condominium Management Services Act (CMSA), the legislation for the licensing and regulation of condo property managers, and made amendments to other relevant statutes. While Bill 106 received Royal Assent in December 2015, the various changes to the current Condo Act and the new CMSA are not yet legally in force until their respective  regulations have been passed and the legislation proclaimed.

“The Condo Authority will operate as a self-funded, non-government organization to be an Administrative Authority, and will provide different services for the industry. It’s similar to how the VQA administers Ontario's wine appellation system,” explains Conant. “As part of Bill 106, the government is setting up two separate administrative authorities — one is the Condo Authority, which I’ve been asked to sit on, and there’s also the Condominium Managers Licensing Authority.”

The CAO’s largest role will be setting up a separate tribunal for condominium disputes, which include disputes between condo owners/residents and condo corporations. It is also hoped that there will a very substantial online information, facilitation and dispute resolution mechanism available to the public, all with the goal to reduce disputes — but if a dispute proceeds then the goal is to have it dealt with in a more cost-efficient and speedy manner.

“Both the Tribunal and the online tools will be huge and require a fair amount of work to set up,” he tells

Conant says the CAO was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in July and the four founding/first directors have already held several board meetings and are working hard to get it up and running and then certified by the government as an Administrative Authority.

“It’s going to be a lot of work with a very compressed and short timeline but it will be great once operational, providing tremendous services and benefits to the condo owners, corporations and the whole industry,” he says.

When I read this article, I see the word "industry' repeatedly but not the phrase "consumer protection".

Hours after this page was posted on the Internet and after a couple of my readers e-mailed the Ministry to complain about the lack of transparency, the Ministry—at 5:29 pm on the Friday of a long weekend—sent out this
news release;

Making Progress on Condo Reform Implementation Building Ontario’s Condo Law
We want to provide you with an update on the implementation of the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015.
As you may be aware, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015, received Royal Assent on December 3rd, 2015. The Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015, marks the first overhaul of the province’s condo law in over 16 years.

Earlier this year, the Ministry brought together two advisory groups consisting of experts in corporate governance, administrative authorities as well as experts from the condo sector. These groups provided their expertise to assist in setting up two not-for-profit corporations: the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) and the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO). First directors are in place for the two corporations that are anticipated to be designated as the two new administrative authorities, for the condo sector, in 2017. The directors are primarily focussed on operational matters necessary for the corporations to receive their designation. If and when designated, the CAO will be responsible for administering and enforcing parts of the Condominium Act, 1998 and the CMRAO will be responsible for administering licensing of condominium managers and providers under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015.

The Ministry also held targeted stakeholder consultations to receive input into developing regulations to support the new legislation. The Ministry plans to post the proposed regulations on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry for public comment later this Fall.
Condominium Authority of Ontario
The CAO is working towards being designated as the administrative authority under the Condominium Act, 1998 to allow it to do the following: provide public and condo director education, make information about condo corporations publicly available, and be responsible for administering a Condominium Authority Tribunal intended to help resolve most common disputes in a cost-effective manner.  The first directors of the CAO are developing the necessary governance and operational infrastructure to ensure that the CAO will be prepared to deliver its mandated programs and services if and when designated.
CAO - First Directors
Tom Wright, Chair
Tom Wright is the current chair of the boards of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario and the Ontario Film Authority. Mr. Wright has delegated administrative authority executive experience stemming from the Real Estate Council of Ontario where he served as the Chief Executive Officer and the Registrar. He was also the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario. He was the chair of the condominium authority advisory working group.
Genevieve Chornenki
Genevieve Chornenki has worked as a mediator, arbitrator, and dispute resolution consultant since 1989. Ms. Chornenki serves on the National Appeal and Audit Committee for the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Institute of Canada and the Chartered Mediator Accreditation Committee at the ADR institute of Ontario. She was founding chair of the ADR Section at the Ontario Bar Association and the recipient of its first Award of Excellence in alternative dispute resolution in 1999.  Ms. Chornenki holds a Master of Laws in ADR and was a member of the condominium authority advisory working group.
Armand Conant
Armand Conant heads the condominium law department of the full service law firm of Shibley Righton LLP, has practised condominium law for over 25 years, teaches courses on condominium law and has written numerous articles. Mr. Conant’s executive experience comes from serving as the former president of the Canadian Condominium Institute (Toronto) and being on the Boards of several other not-for-profit corporations. He was also on the expert panel group during the Condo Act Review and was a member of the condominium authority advisory working group. Mr. Conant is also an engineer and is bilingual, having obtained his Masters of Law from the Sorbonne in France.
Frank D’Onofrio
Frank D’Onofrio is currently the Distinguished Public Servant in Residence in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University. He is also a member of external advisory groups at Seneca College and at Service Canada. Mr. D’Onofrio was in the Ontario Public Service for 34 years, which has included a number of senior executive positions at the Ministry of Transportation and ServiceOntario.  In 2012, he was appointed deputy minister and chief executive officer of ServiceOntario until his retirement in 2014.
Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario
The CMRAO is working towards being designated as the administrative authority under the new Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (CMSA), which wasSchedule 2 of the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015. It is anticipated that it will administer the CMSA, including licensing of condo managers and condo management providers. The first directors are developing the necessary governance and operational infrastructure to ensure that the CMRAO will be prepared to deliver its mandated programs and services if and when designated.
CMRAO - First Directors
Aubrey LeBlanc, Chair
Aubrey LeBlanc is the current vice-chair of the interim board of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario. Mr. LeBlanc has extensive executive experience from serving on boards of directors for associations in the building industry and is the former Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of Tarion. He is employed as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Ontario Building Officials Association and, as a volunteer, is the immediate past-president of the Consumers Council of Canada and the chair of the Consumer and Public Interest Panel of the Standards Council of Canada. Additionally, Mr. LeBlanc is the former Chief Operating Officer of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.  Mr. LeBlanc was part of the expert panel for the Condo Act Review and was a member of the condominium management regulatory authority advisory working group.
Joan Andrew
Joan Andrew worked in the public sector for 36 years, serving as the deputy minister of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration from 2005 to 2009 after working as assistant deputy minister in a variety of Ontario government ministries. Ms. Andrew held the post of Distinguished Public Servant in Residence at Ryerson University from 2010 to 2015, and is currently the vice-chair of the Niagara Parks Commission, a member of the Community Impact Committee at United Way Toronto & York Region, a member of the editorial board at the Mowat Centre, and sits on the board of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC).
Gail Beggs
Gail Beggs has over 30 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service, including serving as deputy minister of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources and as the deputy minister responsible for the Ontario Secretariat for Aboriginal Affairs. Ms. Beggs has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Clean Water Agency and as the chair of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Ms. Beggs currently serves on the board of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the board of trustees of Forests Ontario, and the Government Relations Committee of DeafBlind Services Ontario. Ms. Beggs was the chair of the condominium management regulatory authority advisory working group.
John Oakes
John Oakes has 42 years of experience with condominium management. Mr. Oakes is a former president of the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario and has taught classes on condominium law and property management. Mr. Oakes was involved in technical consultations on reserve funds for Bill 106, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015.  Additionally, Mr. Oakes was a member of the condominium management regulatory authority advisory working group.
Interim Executive Leader
Robin Dafoe
In order to assist these corporations with undertaking the work to prepare for designation, the Chairs have identified Robin Dafoe as the interim executive leader for both organizations.
Most recently, Robin was the Director of Corporate Policy and Tribunal Relations at the Ministry of the Attorney General, where she successfully worked with administrative justice executives across three clusters of 18 Ontario adjudicative tribunals on modernization goals across the Ontario tribunal sector. Prior to that she was the Director of the College of Trades Implementation within the former Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, where she successfully led the implementation of the Ontario College of Trades, a new regulatory body for modernizing apprenticeship and trades certification in Ontario. Her previous experience with independent bodies and governing boards includes her work as Chief Administrative Officer/Director, Corporate and Public Affairs at the Education Quality and Accountability Office, Corporate Secretary to the first Board of Directors for Legal Aid Ontario, and Chief Administrative Officer/Director, Corporate Services at the Ontario Heritage Trust. Robin has a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Psychology from Carleton University, a Masters of Business Administration from Shulich School of Business, York University and a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall, York University.

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