The information package

Some condo board incumbents do not want to lose and losing is always a possibility with a democratic system.

To give the incumbents an edge, election tricks can be found in the AGM information packages that are mailed to the owners. In most condos, the owners voting by proxy greatly outnumber the owners who attend the meeting so the incumbents, aided by the property management, may look for an edge by playing games with the AGM information package.

Due to the large number of proxies, it is common for the election to be decided before the AGM starts so challengers who rely on getting support at the AGM have already lost before they give their speeches and the ballots are collected.

Meeting notice
The board or the management company should send out a notice to all owners stating that the AGM will be held on a certain date and that there will be an election for the required number of directors. The notice should state if any of the open positions are for the owner-occupied position.

Finally, the notice should state that any owners who wish to be a candidate should inform management, in writing, by a certain date and their names and their resume will be included in the AGM information package.

However, they may ignore election etiquette and just include the names of the incumbents and any new candidates that they want to win.

Altering a resume
At a Scarborough condo, where the vast majority of owners were Chinese, the board altered a candidate's resume that was part of the AGM Information Package by removing the Chinese text from his resume that could be read by 65% of the owners that can't read English. After he complained, a second information package was mailed to all the owners.

Proxy forms

This notice, which was posted on the elevators at an Etobicoke condo, though most likely was written with good intentions, was not correct.

Candidates who do not inform the office in time, will not have their resumes included in the AGM information package, but ideally, the proxy form will not have any names written on it. It should be up to the owners to write in the names of the candidates they want their proxies to vote for in the blank spaces provided.

Acceptable, but not ideal, is when the names of those who submitted their names as candidates have their names listed on the proxy form, (in alphabetical order), and blank spaces have been included so that candidates can add their names to the proxy and canvass other owners for their proxies.

Also acceptable is when an undeclared candidate makes out his own proxy form, using the sample form on the ministry's website, or has stroked out the names that were pre-printed on the management company's proxy form, fills in his name, photocopies the form and canvasses for proxies.

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