Canvassing in strata buildings

With the federal election underway, strata corporations are required to oblige canvassers.

Re: ‘Aggressive Politics’ letter to the editor (The NEWS, Sept. 24).

The canvassers who came to my strata-owned apartment building earlier this month were polite and non-aggressive. Instead of opening the door with the phone entry system, I directed them to a council member who, together with another council member, escorted the canvassers through the building.

The Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9) applies to all strata corporations during a federal election. Under section 81 (1) of the act, strata corporations cannot restrict reasonable access to the property for the purpose of canvassing or distributing election material between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Under section 486 (2) of the Act, anyone who contravenes subsection 81 (1) is guilty of an offence.

Under section 322 (1) of the Act, no strata corporation may prohibit the owner, tenant, or occupant of a strata corporation from displaying electoral signs on his or her strata lot, although under subsection (2) a strata corporation may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election advertising posters and may prohibit the display of election posters in common areas of the building.

Anyone who is guilty of an offence under subsection 486 (2) above is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both.

With the federal election underway, strata corporations are likely to encounter political canvassers requesting access to their buildings and the posting of election signs in strata lots. They are required to oblige. Strata corporations that prohibit access to canvassers risk a fine, a possible prison sentence, or both.

Gloria Martins, Vancouver Island Strata Owners AssociationParksville

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