Virtual Annual Meetings: New Guidelines for Board Members
Bob Dylan probably didn’t have Virtual Annual General Meetings (AGMs) in mind when he wrote that song, but he was certainly right.
Annual General Meetings in Alberta are mandated for communities. They must be held once a year and at least within 15 months from the last one. These in-person meetings involve voting on new board members and are open to community residents along with board members.
AGMs are open meetings to ensure effective governance and compliance, address community issues and provide a democratic process for people to have a say in their community.
So what happens when government and health mandates restrict public and in-person gatherings to limited numbers? We go virtual.
Federal and provincial laws have changed to allow for virtual AGMs so community by-laws will need to be modified to accommodate a virtual platform. As we all know technology is great, but can present some roadblocks like:
- less passion and impact that a virtual platform may create versus in-person discussion
- the risk of glossing over certain issues because questions are submitted online and could be screened
- questioning the effectiveness of proxy voting in a virtual environment
- AGM meeting notices will be sent out in accordance with the Condominum Property Act
- A call for new board volunteers
- Tamper-proof virtual voting and proxy voting
- Sharing meeting minutes within the mandated timeframe
- Data storage in compliance with the Condominum Property Act
- Low-cost alternatives without sacrificing quality of the meeting
Is a virtual AGM better than a traditional one?
There’s no right answer to that question. While boards are unfamiliar with hosting virtual AGMs, we’re here to help mitigate any pitfalls and help navigate the challenges. As an experienced management company, we’ve encountered many problems and always find an effective solution.
For example, we’ll create a login for each participant so proxy voting can be eliminated. Condo owners can log into the teleconferencing room from any device and location to join discussions, express their opinion and vote.
All submitted questions will be publicly available before the AGM begins, eliminating screening. Questions raised during the meeting will be posted on a public message board everyone can see.
AGMs create healthy communities by allowing open dialogue. Times they may be a-changin but we’re always ready to change with them.
Contact us today to help you host your AGM safely and effectively.