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Question from a downtown Toronto condominium Board member

Q: I am new to your magazine but I want to say that it is very informative. I have been a Board member for a high-rise condominium in downtown for the past five years. I thought I had a good grip on what was happening in the condo industry as I have taken many courses and try to keep up with things and I read a lot. Our Board decided to change cleaning services, as we were not happy with the current provider. When the property manager put out a request for quotes we didn’t get any responses. Not one. We now find out that our current provider is unionized with a so called, “Aggressive union” and that any new cleaning company that comes in to replace the old one has to become unionized with that same union even if they are not unionized. Our property manager says that this is the new law. I have never heard of it. Can you help shed some light on this for me please? Thank you.

A: Yes your property manager is absolutely correct and you are not alone in your frustrations. In a nutshell, Section 69.1 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act binds residential condominiums when changing service providers. The law was changed by the Liberal government and became effective in January 2018. They used similar wording that the Bob Rae NDP government used when he was in power in Ontario. This wording has dramatically changed the landscape of how buildings change service providers as the Collective Bargaining Unit of the outgoing company is maintained at the building that any new service provider must abide by. When the NDP government enacted this law, it was overturned by the newly elected PC government shortly after. To date, the current Ontario government has not changed this legislation. We wrote about this very topic in our Spring/Summer 2019 edition of Riskboss Magazine. Please visit our website archives section for a very detailed analysis of why the law changed and what the new law prescribes when changing service providers.

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