New proxy forms, same old games
Ontario condos are required to use the Ministry's new standard proxy
form. This new form was intended to prevent proxy fraud. However, the
new form is so complicated that many condo owners will not be able read
or understand it.
A second problem is that the old tricks and games that the property
managers and board of directors have not been eliminated. Until CAT
expands beyond just dealing with Requests for Records, owners who
suspect proxy fraud still have to take on the costs and risks of a
court application if they wish to challenge the use of proxies.
The games I am now seeing include:
"Our manager printed the proxy on coloured paper, so nobody can
photocopy it and run around getting signatures."
This seems to be common trick with some condo management companies
it has not gone away with the new government mandated proxy form.
Owners don't understand that they can download the approved forms off
the Internet. These proxy forms must be (or should be) accepted by the
person chairing the owners meeting.
This instruction sheet published by a large property
management company, for an AGM held in July 2018, states that a proxy
holder cannot vote for any candidates that are nominated at the AGM
If you read the third option under:
"Please check only one of the three
boxes below:", you can see that this option gives the proxy holder
all the voting rights that the owner would have if they had attended
the meeting in person.
I take this to mean that the proxyholder is to be given ballots as they
have all the voting rights as if they were the owner.
No room to add names
Another trick I am seeing is that the distributed proxy form lists the
candidates that have announced that they will be candidates but the
form does not leave any blank spaces if the owner wishes to vote for a
different person who, for whatever reason, did not state their
intention of running in time to be added to the proxy form.
The listing of only two or three names on the form may give owners the
impression that the listed names are the only persons that the owners are allowed to vote for.
I saw one set of instructions where property management stated that the
owners could cross out the names of any candidate that they did not
want to vote for but they did not state that the owner was free to add
the name of an alternative candidate.