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No power means no home for Britannia Beach man

Problems for Britannia Beach resident Harry Sanders began in 2004 and two years later the 81-year-old war veteran is without power and unable to live in the trailer he calls home. As a former employee of the B.C.

Problems for Britannia Beach resident Harry Sanders began in 2004 and two years later the 81-year-old war veteran is without power and unable to live in the trailer he calls home.

As a former employee of the B.C. Museum of Mining, Sanders' mobile home was located on the site's property for 13 years; however, in November 2004 he was issued a notice he would have to move due to highway construction.

"I received a notice from the museum that they could no longer charge me pad rent as I was on the roadway," he said.

Britannia Bay Properties, the group in charge of the development in Britannia Beach, told Sanders they would help with the cost of moving his trailer to a new location. Sanders chose an area located approximately half a kilometre south of Britannia Beach on Makin Pulp and Paper gravel pit and he was moved there by Britannia Bay Properties at no cost.

"We moved Harry [Sanders] there, we paid for that, we paid for decks to be put on the trailer and lent him a generator until he got power," said Bill Baker of Britannia Bay Properties.

However, the power to Sander's trailer never came and two weeks after moving his trailer to the gravel pits, a fence was erected around the site.

Tony Mahood, Makin Pulp and Paper property manager and son of owner Ernie Mahood, said Sanders was originally granted permission to move on to the property as a favour.

"It was a temporary arrangement," said Mahood. "He had no place to go.'

Mahood said there were problems with Sanders living on the property.

"The biggest problem was a security issue. He was letting people into the property that weren't supposed to be here," he said. "I was trying to do the guy a favour and it just blew up in my face."

Sanders said he went to arbitration to be given a key and to have power connected to the trailer. According to Sanders, he was successful in this process and was given a key, but he was not given power.

"So I went to the RCMP but they couldn't help me with getting the people to listen to the arbitration and they said I had to do to the Supreme Court," said Sanders. "Well, that's too expensive. I am a senior vet on a small pension and it's pretty hard to pay yourself out."

Shortly after Sanders received an eviction notice from the property owners to vacate the area in seven days.

"Well seven days isn't long enough to move a trailer, so I went to arbitration on Dec. 23 to have the notice extended," said Sanders.

The decision on this arbitration has not yet been made. In the mean time Sanders has left the trailer because of freezing temperatures and no power.

"The trailer is quite livable but without power it can be pretty cold," he said.

His mobile home is still on the property and Sanders has gone to live with his daughter temporarily while the issue is resolved.

Jim Carpick, a lawyer with Owen Bird Law Corporation, representing Makin Pulp and Paper, said his client did follow the guidelines of the arbitration and the problem lies in the fact that proper means for supplying power to the trailer do not exist.

"The fact my client was ordered to supply power is inaccurate," said Carpick. "They were ordered to switch an unconnected power box on but my client was not ordered to supply a connection that never existed."

David Turner, of Edwards Kenny and Bray Barristers and Solicitors, is working with Sanders on his second arbitration, along with lawyer Jonathan McLean. He is working on the second arbitration with Sanders and said as decision from the courts is past due.

"The arbitration was made Dec. 23, and they are supposed to take 30 days so we were expecting a decision in January and I don't know what it is taking so long," said Turner.

Sanders said a solution to the problem would be to have the people at Makin Pulp and Paper purchase the trailer off him to use it for their own use.

"If they bought the trailer off of me they could have someone manage the site," he said. "It would be very difficult for me to find another spot for it at this point."

Mahood said Sanders' solution could be a possibility under the right terms.

"Yeah, we are looking at that," he said. "As long as he is happy with not getting much for it because the trailer's not worth much value."

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