Another federal election has started which means we will start seeing door to door canvassing.
How does this impact on condominium corporations? Can management or security prohibit those canvassers from entering the building and going door to door?
Owners often raise concerns about individuals knocking on their doors and prefer to remain undisturbed. Unfortunately, when it comes to political canvassing, there is not much a condo unit owner can do other than not answer the door when someone knocks.
Section 118 of the Condominium Act, 1998 specifically allows entry to condo buildings by canvassers for federal, provincial, municipal and school trustee elections. This means that a condominium corporation cannot prohibit those individuals from entering onto the common areas and going door to door.
But what you can and should do is ensure that the canvassers are truly there canvassing for a valid candidate. Questions to ask:
- Do they have campaigns literature?
- Are they wearing campaign identifying items (eg campaign buttons, scarves etc.)?
- Ask them what they plan to do - knock on doors, leave literature, etc.
Once you are reasonably satisfied that they are true canvassers then you must let them in, assuming they are requesting entry at a reasonable time of day or evening.
It is probably a good idea to send out a notice to owners now, so that they understand when the canvassers appear at their door.