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OWNER E-MAIL ADDRESS WARS ( over the condo fence ) 2019/02/27 21:39  
Not legal advice.

A Feb 20/19 article by highly respected Ottawa condo lawyer ROD ESCAYOLA LLB ( Gowling WLG ) looks at the dust stirred up in condo law circles by the judicial "levelling of the playing field" amidst a NON-CONDO governance dispute at a Toronto jazz radio station.

That may include a window pried open for judicial intervention as "playing field levellers" where a besieged governance body looks somewhat oppressive in blocking shareholder remedies.

Should the usual "shareholder contact channels" - and withholding such under siege - be an allowable & exclusively governancer weapon ? Should courts get involved ?

Just imagine if such interventions really get going in condo/strata/Building Scheme governance challenges ! . . . .

1 - A prior CAFCOR topic concerned an apparently overlooked 2016 Small Claims decision rejecting a condo owner's claim to disclosuring of owners' e-mail addresses.

That decision pre-dated the amendments / "underways". And despite usual & often undeserved lack of deference from other judges for Small Claims decisions, it was written by a well-known national constitutional law advisor.

SEE : “E-MAIL ADDRESSES ruled withholdable WU v Carleton CC #383" http://ontario.cafcor.org/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=46&func=view&catid=2&id=18443#18443 . It discusses WU v Carleton CC #383 canlii 30525 ( ON SCSM ) issued April 20/16 http://canlii.ca/t/grsvx .

2 - JAZZ BUT NOT SO MELLOW :

In December 2018 dissident Toronto jazz lovers were able to convince Ontario's Superior Court of Justice to order - within seven days - the disgorgement of all voting members' E-MAIL ADDRESSES to the dissidents without their fellow supporting members' consents.

The Orders targetted the besieged management & Board of Toronto jazz radio station JAZZ FM 91. Press reports have described the station as a NFP not-for profit corporation under Federal law, heavily dependent on membership bucks. Contact to members was reportedly usually by e-mail.

In potential contempt the besieged management even tried a bizarre ex parte sneak attack to halt the overdue disclosuring without notice to the dissidents ( "We didn't understand the Order !" etc. . . )

Using the disgorged member e-mail list the jazz dissidents were then able to win a very close victory vote. They turfed the existing Board in late February 2019.

( Jazz FM 91 is again reportedly a Federal NFP not for profit. In contrast, Ontario's condo law is specialist legislation, not subjecting owners nor shareholders to such as section 307 of Ontario's Corporations Act, RSO 1990, c C.38 http://canlii.ca/t/532zg - “ Where list of shareholders to be furnished".

The laconic Orders pointedly - with greatest respect - do not appear to literally cite a clear & specific legislated authority to order the disgorgement. That's other than suffering & oppression . . . ho hum . . . )

3 - JAZZ MEMBERS' E-MAILS ORDERED DISGORGED TO DISSIDENTS BY Superior Court Orders :

# 1 Hemming v. JAZZ.FM 91 Inc., 2018 ONSC 7781 issued Dec 14/18 http://canlii.ca/t/hx1lk

# 2 Hemming v. JAZZFM91 Inc., 2018 ONSC 7783 issued Dec 21/18 http://canlii.ca/t/hwxb8

4 - Lawyer Rod Escayola's article “Are condo owners entitled to access the owners’ email list ?” Feb 20/19 http://condoadviser.ca/2019/02/are-condo-owners-entitled-to-access-the-email-list-of-other-owners/ condo-law-blog-Ontario

He again notes upfront that Ontario condo law requires disclosuring "as of right" of postal addresses / "addresses for service" BUT NOT of OWNER E-MAIL ADDRESSES. Condo owners may consent.

( But for those of us in the Wilder West of Building Schemes, anything goes. For most of a decade in my own example, our e-mail addresses have internally circulated to every POA plot owner without the sky falling. I don't recall any HOA vote for such . . A California state legal outcome similar to the jazz station's was raised at an American HOA forum; such involved a corporate fight over timeshare investments . . . )

5 - Media articles include :

Feb 15/19 Natl Post “Supporters' group succeeds in replacing board of beleaguered Toronto all-jazz radio station” by Barry Critchley https://nationalpost.com/news/toronto/barry-critchley-supporters-group-succeeds-in-replacing-board- of-beleaguered-toronto-all-jazz-radio-station

Oct 3/18 G&M “Jazz FM accused of committing offence after denying donor-member list of station contacts” by Simon Houpt https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/article-jazz-fm-accused-of-committing-offence-after-denying- donor-member-list/
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