Table of contents

Status: Bill 53 came into force on March 26, 2021
Ministry responsible: Service Alberta

Overview

Bill 53: the Service Alberta Statutes (Virtual Meetings) Amendment Act allows thousands of businesses, non-profits, societies, cooperatives and condominium corporations to meet and vote online, if their bylaws do not prohibit it.

The changes allow organizations to conduct such tasks remotely, using digital technology, if their bylaws do not prohibit it. Because such meetings could involve as few as a half-dozen people or as many as 100, the changes ensure that organizations can make their meeting bylaws work best for their memberships, rather than require a one-size-fits-all policy.

Why this was needed

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we suspended the requirement for specific organizations to hold in-person meetings in order to protect public health and safety. When the suspension rules ended in August 2020, many organizations voiced their desire to continue holding virtual meetings, rather than in-person, but found their bylaws didn’t allow it.

Our current legislation did not reflect the significant growth of technology that allows organizations to be able to meet virtually. The amended legislation now reflects the changes in technology and ways of meeting.

When changes take effect

Changes are retroactive to August 15, 2020, corresponding with the expiration of the Public Health Act on August 14, 2020.

Changing bylaws

If organizations want to meet and vote in person, or if their bylaws already allow for online meeting and voting, no changes are required.

If organizations want to meet and vote electronically, but their bylaws prohibit such actions, the bylaws need to be adjusted.

Key changes

Bill 53 amends the following legislation:

  • Business Corporation Act
  • Companies Act
  • Societies Act
  • Condominium Property Act
  • Cooperatives Act

Next steps

Bill 53 retroactively came into effect August 15, 2020.

Resources

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