Snowbird board members meet on Skype

A.A. writes:

Dear Paul:

Our board is made up of five directors, three of which are snowbirds for five months of the year, they are holding board meetings electronically. Is it legal?

Paul replies:

Dear A.A.:

This is a great question. The short answer is “yes”. However (there is always a however) certain conditions must be met.

The Manitoba Condominium Act states that:

103(1) A board may provide for attendance at a meeting by telephone or another form of communications system that allows concurrent participation if

(a) authorized by the condominium corporation’s by-laws to do so; or

(b) all the directors consent to doing so.

First, concurrent participation means that all board members attending the meeting must be able to hear each other at the same time. Since board members need to debate courses of action, it is important for all members to hear their colleagues’ points of view and be able to ask questions.

Second, the corporation’s bylaws must authorize such meetings to take place or all the directors, must agree to the electronic meeting.

The necessity for a quorum remains the same as for voting procedures adopted by the board.

Even though it is an electronic meeting, minutes must still be kept and adopted at future meetings.

Keep in mind that although electronic meetings are allowed as described above, decisions by simple email are not, because emails do not allow for concurrent participation. Any decision made by email between board members for the sake of expediency must be ratified at the next board meeting where they can debate the matter again before it is ratified.

The Act, states: 100(1) A board may transact business only at a meeting at which a quorum of the board is present”.

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