Below items are based on the author’s best knowledge. If any doubt, please seek a legal advice.
At an Annual General Meeting, some voting cards were handed to someone else to vote. The question is if such voting cards could be transferred. The correct answer is that the voting cards are not transferable.
There was a case in which an owner had requested a secret ballot and the Property Manager did not bring a voting booth with them. The BC Supreme Court Justice that heard this case ruled that in order to conduct a secret ballot, voting booths must be used.
Attention should be drawn to some other things in these discussions such as:
If a previous council runs for re-election a vote must be taken pursuant to the Act. It’s not OK to say that they’ve been elected by acclamation. That’s an easy fix but in further discussion it was noted that when counting votes for the council election, all elected council members must receive a majority of votes from the votes cast. This being the case, there needs to be runoff elections. In other words, the Strata Property Act does not mirror our electoral system of “first past the post”.
If an owner present at a general meeting wants to leave and have their vote count, they must sign a blank proxy at the meeting, register that proxy and have the voting cards changed.
Anyone holding a proxy at a general meeting may not assign their proxy vote to anyone because they do not have the authority from their proxy even though our proxies give full discretion to the proxy holder.
A council or a council president should not hold a proxy for a caretaker unit. No one should act on behalf of a caretaker unit as all strata lots have certain entitlements to it.
A strata corporation or a council or a strata manager should not prevent an owner from voting at a general meeting simply because the strata lot in question is late in payment of either strata fees or other fees. However, the owners cannot vote if the strata lot is liened or the demand letter was sent out with statutory requirement being met (usually 21 days are given).
When a tie vote occurs, the chair of the meeting has the power to break the tie. Therefore, it is not a good idea for a property manager to chair a general meeting.
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