Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has just announced an increase in consumer protections for condominium communities, to take effect this fall. These reforms result from the government’s public consultation process.

The new regulations include the improvement of communications between condo corporation boards and owners, new disclosure requirements for directors in order to avoid conflicts of interest, mandatory training for condo directors and mandatory education requirements for condo managers applying for a general licence, and clearer rules for access to condo corporations’ records and participation in owners’ meetings.

In a nutshell, the Ministry is addressing transparency, and I applaud this step. Education is hugely important today, especially when you consider that some of our condos encompass up to 700 units. Our condo boards represent a lot of people, so their responsibility is tremendous. For the most part, owners who put their names forward to serve on the boards are well intentioned, but they may not have the insight and acumen to adequately address the decisions that have to be made. These new regulations are comforting when we think about the sustainability of our condo residences.

With condominiums representing the highest and best use of our urban land, there will only be more high-rise living in the future. More transparency, education and regulations will increase owners’ peace of mind and improve their already high quality of life.