The buck-passing has gone on long enough. Someone has to answer for the leaky condos threatening to cause homelessness, and already causing despair.
Marina Estates residents are the latest B.C. citizens to be left out in the cold in the wake of the Housing Protection Office's freeze on loan pay outs and, sadly, they are but a few of the thousands facing a serious dilemma across this province.
But it seems as though those in the highest levels of government are too busy defending themselves to come up with solutions.
As reported on publiceyeonline.com last February, Housing Minister Rich Coleman wrote the Times Columnist to state the British Columbia's leaky condos fiasco is "not a result of the building code. They were caused by deficient materials and installation which did not comply with the code."
This despite a 1998 commission of inquiry into the quality of condominium construction in B.C. found a "lack of provincial monitoring to ensure accurate interpretation" of building codes. It also stated "building science, public and private sector professionals, including developers, general contractors, builders, architects, engineers, and municipal inspectors, were either unaware of how to employ the appropriate technology, or deliberately failed to create appropriate building designs ensuring that construction was of adequate quality."
The commission concluded that: "The building process has been undertaken in a largely unregulated, residential construction industry, driven to the lowest common denominator by ruthless, unstructured competition."
The response from our own MLA Joan McIntyre amounted to "be patient."
Unfortunately the rot in the Marina Estates complex is not getting the message, nor, undoubtedly, will the contractors who must get paid.
And is council for the District of Squamish dragging its feet on this? They received a letter from Marina Estates strata council weeks ago and only one council member seemed amenable to discussing the issue.
A few years ago the Marina Estates strata council discussed whether the District of Squamish can be sued for approving "shoddy workmanship" and whether such a suit has ever been successful, according to strata meeting minutes. The answer to both was yes.
Could it be that the district fears its own culpability in this as well? If so, all the more reason to act quickly and decisively before the first elderly resident loses his or her home.
It's not even remotely a cliché that these residents are the people that built this town and this province. They deserve better than to be left out in the cold.