The City of Calgary have adopted a by-law imposing the use of face masks in indoor public spaces as of August 1, 2020. The big question is: Do these apply to condos? And what should condos do?
The bylaw requires the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and public vehicles. The bylaw mandates that face coverings be worn in the following places:
|Public transit||Buses, shuttles and CTrains|
|Public vehicles for hire||Taxis, Ridesharing businesses, Vehicles for hire|
|Public indoor spaces||Malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, churches|
|City of Calgary facilities||Recreation centres, City Hall, City of Calgary buildings|
There are some exceptions to this new mask wearing obligation and they are as follows:
Please note: Proof is not required if someone has an exception. Businesses are also not expected to deny services as not everyone is required to wear a face covering.
Only Business Operators/Owners are required to display a sign in public entryways that a face covering needs to be worn. You can obtain a sample of a sign from the City of Calgary at:
Failure to wear face covering where required can result in a penalty of $50 to the person and failure of a business to post signage can result in a penalty of $200.
Does This Apply to Condos? – The short answer is No as the common area of Condominium Corporations are not for the public but for invited guest of residents of the building or contractors doing work for the Condominium Corporation.
What Should Condos Do?
Whether these expressly apply to condos or not, it would be in the best interest of the Condominium Corporation to protect themselves by adopting a policy or rule requiring the wearing of face masks when on or going through common property. Should there be a flare up in a condo complex, then the Board of Directors could state that they have done their precautions by requiring the use of masks while on common property.
The adoption of a formal rule or policy does normally require a 30-day notice to owners and tenants before it can go into effect. However, the Condo Corporation may be able to rely on section 73.6(2) (a) (b) of the Condominium Property Act Regulations which states:
Notification of new rule
73.6(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), at least 30 days before a new rule is to come into effect, a corporation shall
(2) A corporation may establish a rule that comes into effect immediately on notice being provided to, or served on, all the persons referred to in subsection (1) in accordance with subsection (1) if the rule
(a) addresses a safety concern, a security concern or an emergency, including an emergency resulting from one of the circumstances set out in section 20.1(1)(a) to (g), and
(b) ceases to apply when the safety concern, security concern or emergency no longer exists.
Certainly, a rule would meet the requirement of the “City’s Bylaw” but these are more difficult to enforce. At this stage, we see little to no downside to adopting (at least) a mask wearing policy and recommend that Corporations seriously consider it.
If the Board of Directors wishes to pass a motion to adopt a rule or policy on wearing a face mask on or through common property, please reach out to your Property Manager for assistance.