CAO Announces Expansion Of The Condominium Authority Tribunal And The Launch Of Another Digital First!

Following the government’s amendments to Ontario Regulation 179/17, under the Condominium Act, 1998, effective October 1, 2020, the CAO’s Condominium Authority Tribunal can now receive applications for more dispute types. In addition to the current records-related disputes, owners, mortgagees, and condo corporations can now file applications with the CAT for disputes about provisions in the corporation’s governing documents related to:

“We welcome the CAT’s expansion, and we are so pleased to offer our enhanced dispute resolution service to owners, mortgagees and condo corporations across Ontario.” said Heather Zordel, Chair of the CAO’s Board of Directors. “To date, the CAT has issued 103 binding decisions and orders on records-related cases. These have been a catalyst for enhanced accountability and transparency related to the obligations related to access to records. Now, with the increased jurisdiction, the CAT will be able to resolve more disputes and bring further clarity regarding these issues in condos.”

The CAT’s Online Dispute Resolution System (CAT-ODR) is Canada’s first fully online tribunal, offering a three-stage dispute resolution process – Negotiation, Mediation, and Adjudication. The CAT-ODR allows individuals to participate online from anywhere in an innovative, user-friendly and cost-effective manner. The expansion of the CAT’s jurisdiction to handle disputes related to the corporation’s governing documents required enhancements to the CAT-ODR system, which now supports cases involving three or more parties, and the participation of witnesses and intervenors.

The CAT-ODR offers an “asynchronous” approach, which means that users don’t always participate in their case at the same time. This gives users the flexibility to balance their time and priorities by participating in a case at their own pace and on their own schedule.

“This is an exceptional milestone for the CAO. I am very proud of the team and their work over the past year and a half to prepare for the tribunal’s expanded jurisdiction,” said Robin Dafoe, CEO and Registrar. “The launch of the enhanced CAT-ODR system is another digital-first for the organization and achieves another one of our goals for bringing value to condominium owners and boards across Ontario.”

Previously, owners and condo corporations involved in these types of disputes had to go through costly private mediation, arbitration, or the courts. Now, thanks to the CAT’s expanded jurisdiction, these types of cases will come exclusively to the tribunal.

“The CAT is user-centric in its design and approach,” said Ian Darling, Chair of the CAT. “We understand the impact these disputes can have on condo owners and corporations and between neighbours. The CAT-ODR online system provides our expert mediators and adjudicators with an effective and adaptable tool to help resolve condo issues as early as possible and, where necessary, settle disputes.”

The CAO welcomes this expanded mandate increase to the CAT’s jurisdiction. We look forward to continuing to support Ontario’s condominium owners and corporations.

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