CCI Toronto

CCI Toronto

September 09, 2011 17:18 ET

CCI Toronto Hosting Town-Hall Meetings With Provincial Candidates on Condo Issues

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2011) - The Canadian Condominium Institute, Toronto & Area Chapter (CCI-T), will be hosting town-hall meetings with key provincial candidates in 2 Toronto ridings on issues relevant to condominium owners. The meetings will be held in Willowdale riding at the Novotel North York Hotel on Tuesday, September 13, and in Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding at the Polish Association of Toronto on Wednesday, September 14. Both meetings will run from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

"The province has the greatest impact on condominiums of any level of government. It provides our governing legislation, it sets the framework for property taxation and, to a very large extent, it determines the relationships between the condominium community and the municipalities," says Bill Thompson, President of CCI-T and of Malvern Condominium Property Management.

"There are a number of initiatives CCI Chapters across the province have been pursuing at the provincial level on behalf of our members," says Lynn Morrovat, Operations Manager of CCI-T. "The outcome of this election will go a long way towards determining our success."

Thompson agrees: "One third of all new homes built in Ontario are condominiums, and the nature of the condominium community has changed dramatically. Yet, our governing legislation is now 13 years old, and property tax classes have never taken into account the differences between a condominium unit and a detached house. CCI has been pushing for change in both these areas, but if we don't communicate the need for those changes now by educating the major parties, it will be much tougher to get any meaningful change."

To address this communications need, CCI-T, in conjunction with other CCI Chapters in Ontario, has decided to hold a series of town-hall meetings in ridings across the province. "Our purpose is two-fold," says Morrovat. "First, we want to identify the concerns of the condo community for the politicians, show them why those concerns need to be addressed, and discuss CCI's initiatives. Secondly, we want them to explain for our members their positions on the issues, how they feel they should be addressed and what, if they are elected, they will do to move the process along. Ideally, each group will walk away with a better understanding of the other."

"The Condominium Act needs sweeping changes," says Armand Conant, Past-President of CCI-T and Chair of a Joint Legislative Committee set up between CCI and ACMO (the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario) that presented a legislative brief to the provincial government in June. "The best way of fostering that change process is for voters to make their voices heard, not just at the polls, but ahead of the voting, at meetings like these."

Thompson says that CCI-T has invited candidates from all recognized parties in each riding. "This way, we can have an open discussion with members of the parties most likely to form the next government," he says. "CCI's role in this is not to advocate for any particular party or platform, but to provide a forum for condo owners to learn how the candidates and the parties stand on issues of concern to them. We hope they will take that knowledge into account when they vote on October 6."

CCI-T is the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute, a national organization providing the voice of condominium on key issues. CCI-T has a history of advocating for the betterment of Toronto and area condominium owners and boards on key issues. Most recently, it has, along with other Ontario CCI Chapters, presented a brief to the provincial government outlining the need for change in the Condominium Act, and containing proposals for such change. CCI-T also hosted a forum for Toronto mayoral candidates in September 2010, with much the same purpose as the current town-hall meetings. CCI-T represents, through its membership, some 115,000 condominium owners in the Toronto area, along with many professionals and trades serving the sector.

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