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R-E-S-P-E-C-T :Tribunal tries to get its propers by imputing WITHHOLDING REASONS ? Anvari v CCC 95 2021/04/03 11:30  
Not legal advice, as usual.

ONCAT Ontario's Condominium Authority Tribunal has just issued an adjudication suggesting a "creative" attempt to bring a ( disdainful ? dismissive ? ) records-withholder into range of ONCAT's mosquito-level punishments.

( Of course it doesn't change that ultimately an ONCAT Records-Disclosure Order can be later converted into a Court Order subject to contempt proceedings for defiance. But such may arrive way too late for a records requester to make timely use of them eg for upcoming AGM or requisition process . . )

Authored by ONCAT's Chair himself after an upfront dismissive shutdown by some other records-withholders, this time it is the Applicant's own version of Reasons for refusal that get imputed against the condo corporation as grounds for the refusal. ( as in : 'Because you have criticized us we're not releasing those records ! ' . Note : this might or might not actually have been said to him originally. We're talking Ottawa. Don't forget also that - widespread - most governancers are unpaid & many lower managers may be getting worked to death for peanuts . )

That's in lieu of Reasons for Withholding cited NOT bothered submitted by the nominally upfront responder but no-longer-participating condo corporation.

Just to be clear, the Applicant had sought but had been refused copies of disclosurable records. BUT here accepted by ONCAT's Chair is the Applicant's own version of whatever his condo corporation's reasons for withholding such.

AND then mirabile dictu ONCAT's Chair next rules those ( imputed ) Reasons constituted invalid grounds to withhold and should be deterred by a ( ? mere mosquito bite ? ) award of $2,200.

Xcprt :

[1] . . . (the Applicant) requested two contracts from Carlton Condominium Corporation No. 95 (CCC95). CCC95 refused . . .

[2] The Respondent minimally participated in the hearing.

At the beginning of this hearing they posted messages confirming they were aware of the case and participated in clarifying the issues to be decided.

They failed to participate after the initial hearing stage although they were given opportunities and had been advised that the hearing would continue without them

Although the Respondent stopped participating, I was satisfied that they were aware of the case, their responsibilities as a party to a case and timelines in the hearing, so I proceeded with the hearing in their absence.

. . . [4] The Applicant requested two contracts: the contract for the security contractor and for the current Condominium Management provider. . . . used the mandatory Request for Records form on October 30, 2020.

. . . .[6] CCC 95 did not offer any reasons in the hearing for refusing to provide the record, but the Response to Request for Records Form (which was provided by the Applicant) stated that the records were refused because the Applicant had previously complained about the Security and Condominium Management Services provider.

[7] This is not a valid reason to refuse to provide access to the records. I find that the Applicant is entitled to the Records.

The Applicant requested electronic versions of the records, so they must be provided at no cost to the Applicant.

. . . [12] Previous CAT decisions have established that one of the purposes of assessing a penalty is to deter future similar action.

In Tharani Holdings Inc. v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 812, 2019 ONCAT 3 the Member concluded that the Respondent : “willfully disregarded, or was willfully blind to, its legal requirements relating to the Applicant’s request for records.

In this circumstance, I find that a penalty of $2000 against the Respondent is appropriate.”

In Tharani the total number of records requested was higher than this case, but the Respondent’s disregard for their responsibilities is similar. I award a penalty of $2000.

[13] The Applicant requested $200 be awarded in costs to reimburse their Tribunal application fees. The Applicant was fully successful in their case, so I will award $200 in costs. . ." - unquote

Anvari v. Carleton C.C. # 95, 2021 ONCAT 24 issued March 30/21 Member: Ian Darling, Chair
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