Strata Alert: The Federal Election – What Strata Corporations Need to Know
By Alexander Chang, Associate: firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-685-1255
With the longest federal election in modern history now underway, some strata corporations may have questions regarding how they are can or should respond to campaign signage or canvassers.
It is an offence under the federal Canada Elections Act for strata corporations or their agents to prevent residents from displaying election signs in strata lots. However, the strata corporation may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election signs displayed in the strata lot.
What is reasonable in terms of restrictions on the size and type of elections may vary depending on the circumstances. For example, it is arguable that restricting a strata lot to a sign so small that nobody could possibly see it, may be an unreasonably restriction. This may be particularly true for strata lots on high floors.
To avoid committing an offence under the Canada Elections Act, a strata corporation considering restrictions on signage may want to make any restrictions minimal or consider just putting up with the signage until the election is over.
A strata corporation may prohibit displaying campaign signs on common property. Owners may not temporarily use common property for their exclusive use, such as displaying campaign signs, without the permission of the strata council pursuant to s. 76. However, a strata council receiving such a request may be better served by adopting a policy of denying all such requests in order to avoid the perception of taking a political stance that all the owners may not agree with.
Canvassers and Elections Officers
The Canada Elections Act also prohibits strata corporations and their agents from preventing canvassers or elections officers from entering the common property between 9am to 9pm. Strata councils, strata managers and employees of the strata corporations should be made aware of this so that they do not improperly deny access to canvassers and elections officers when requested.
The Canada Elections Act does not govern strata corporations with respect to provincial or municipal elections which are beyond the scope of this article.
WHAT WE DO: Lesperance Mendes advises and represents strata corporations and owners on all aspects of condominium government including disputes over cost sharing agreements and easements. For more information about our strata law practice, or to make an appointment with one of our experienced strata lawyers, please contact Paul G. Mendes, Partner, at PGM@LMLAW.CAor 604-685-4894.