Where is Accountability? by Adam Sloboda

Where is the Accountability? by Adam Sloboda
With more than one million condo owners in Ontario, one would assume that something as important as the Condo Act would be taken a bit more seriously by the Government. With so many individual’s having personal and financial stakes in the review of the Condo Act, where are those who speak for the little guy, the condo owner?
The current Ontario Liberal government has put into a place a review process that is not only lacking on information but also lacking on proper feedback outlets. In the current technological standard that we hold in Ontario, it is inexcus able for the Government to have such a low sample size. From over one million condo owners, the Government has chosen to place only 10,000 individual into a lottery. From that lottery, ONLY 36 individuals will be chosen to participate in focus groups. Out of a possible one million condo owners, does that sample really match the numbers? Does that sound like proper representation?
A greater outreach is needed to be put in place. Outside of the focus groups, the Government should have online options for feed back. Online forums, online surveys and information pages need to be put in place and promote to push condo owners for input. Talking to a group of such small size in this day and age does not make sense. Condo owners not only need politicians who understand their needs but also someone who is brave enough to stand up for their rights.

People in Ontario need to wake up to what is going on. The review of the Condo Act does not only affect Condo owner, Condo Dwellers and Developers, but also store owners, restaurant owners and other small business that make up the areas around Condos. Rather than making it a hunt for votes and one upping other political parties, what Condo Owners really need is a party who will look out for them. Accountability is hard to find, we just need to vote in politicians who do not run away from it.

Condos to Replace Princess of Whales Theatre

Courtesy 680 News Toronto:

Theatre producer David Mirvish and architect Frank Gehry unveiled plans, Monday, to tear down the Princess of Wales Theatre and replace it with a new condo complex.

The complex will feature three 85-storey residential towers, a 60,000 square-metre art gallery called the Mirvish Collection, a new campus for the OCAD University, and retail space.

It will stretch along the north side of King Street West from the corner of John Street, across Ed Mirvish Way and east to the edge of the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

“These towers can become a symbol of what Toronto can be. I am not building condominiums; I am building three sculptures for people to live in,” Mirvish said.

The three condo towers will create one of the tallest structures in North America.

Mirvish said the project will be done in three phases and will take up to seven years to complete.

Have your Say about this.

Do you agree with tearing down The Princess of Whales Theatre?

  • No (60%, 3 Votes)
  • Yes (20%, 1 Votes)
  • Don't Care (20%, 1 Votes)
  • Undecided (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Answers to Condo Owners Questions

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM CONDO OWNERS

We have been invited by Minister Best of The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Services to participate with “Building a Better Condo Act” which is a condo reform to ensure better protection and governance for Condo Owners.

Mention has been made on the importance of hiring a good property management company and how they may influence a well-maintained Condo and keep maintenance lower.  COA has submitted an extensive report to the Ministry.  It is important for Condo Owners to understand that the Property Manager only impliments decisions of the Board of Directors as the Contracted Property Management company employee.  Recommendations are extremely important however Condo Board Members need to be informed and aware that they have a fiduciary duty to comply to the Condo Act when making decisions on behalf of the Corporation therefore must accept responsibilities of their decisions and not leave it in the hands of their Property Manager.   The Board of Directors have too much power no doubt and many of them abuse the power and do not comply to the Condo Act.  The Condo Act is self-governed which is the largest single problem of the Act and it needs to contain diciplinary and a fine process for those who do not comply to the Act.  It is no different from the various other Acts in affect  Example… Traffic Act, Human Rights Act, Accessibility Act, Health and Safety Act.  As it stands now it leaves a wide open space for too much control and abusive power for bad Board of Directors and unfortunately the good Boards who run the affairs of the Corporation in compliance and in good faith are affected. Continue reading

Building a Better Condo Act

Stronger Ontario Building Codes to keep Condo Owners Safe

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, Kathleen Wynne has announced changes to strengthen the Ontario building code to help prevent balcony glass of newly constructed buildings from breaking and keep Ontarians safe in high-rise buildings.

http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2012/06/ontario-strengthens-requirements-for-balcony-glass.html

While this initiative is an excellent start, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing needs to address the inefficiencies of the New Home Warranty Program and Tarion Warranties for new construction and the limited 1-2 years warranties on existing buildings. These warranties do not protect the value of a $80 Million dollar condo building when the time period and list of coverages are similar to those of a single family dwelling. There needs to be a separate coverage to address multi-family residential condominium buildings. Continue reading

Maintenance Fees

FINANCIAL STRUCTURE OF A CONDOMINIUM

What determines your Maintenance Fee?

The Condominium Financials includes the operating budget, surplus of funds, contingency funds and the reserve funds of the Corporation.  The maintenance fee for each unit is assessed in relation to the square footage of the unit, parking and locker (if included).  The Budget will include all of the expenditures based on a fiscal year of operations. Continue reading