Bill 9 criticized by condo group, opposition parties

Bill 9, the government’s new condo act, is being criticized by opposition parties and the Northern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI)
Anand Sharma, president of the Canadian Condominium Institute Northern Alberta, says the proposed occupancy date regulation evens the playing field for condo consumers. (CBC)

The government’s new condo act is being criticized by opposition parties and the northern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI).

Bill 9 attempts to modernize legislation governing buyers, developers and condo boards.

CCI northern Alberta president Anand Sharma said the bill needs more work as it doesn’t go far enough. His group, along with the NDP and Wildrose Party, are calling on the government to put the legislation on hold.

“CCI north Alberta is fundamentally opposed to the ramming-through of this legislation which has been out for less than 10 days with little or no consultation with the public and condominium owners,” Sharma said.

Sharma is concerned that the government is leaving matters like insurance out of the legislation and putting them into regulations, which are not debated in public.

Sharma said that property managers need to be accredited and licensed by a third-party, arm’s length organization -- not the Real Estate Council of Alberta, as proposed in the legislation

“This legislation is too important to not be done correctly and we are here today to urge the government to stop this bill, look at this and fix this bill.”

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith said her party will put forward amendments to the bill.

“Some of the biggest investments a person will make is in their home,” she said. “And if this is going to have an impact on that principal asset they have, we have to be respectful of the fact that we might need to take a bit more time with this bill.”

Service Alberta Minister Stephen Khan said that CCI  will be welcomed at consultations into regulations that will be added to the bill.

Khan said there has been extensive consultation into the bill. He said Bill 13, a similar bill which made it through first reading last spring but died on the order paper before being passed,  did not raise many concerns with CCI.

He said that the amendments proposed by CCI deal more with condo boards and not with consumer protection.

“We feel that the consumers are very well looked after in this bill and we’re going to move forward with it,” he said.


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