Do you care about strata owners' rights?
Letter to NDP Housing Critic Mr. Eby
Dear Mr. Eby,
Your efforts on behalf of renters in BC are commendable. However, I want to remind you that strata owners in BC are also numerous and need a voice in the BC legislature. In our province, 30% of taxable properties are strata properties. In Victoria and large parts of the lower mainland (Burnaby, Langley, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Richmond, Vancouver, White Rock) over 50% of taxable properties are strata properties with some as high as 60%. At the end of 2013 there were 570,000 strata units in the province.
The case for reviewing and updating the Strata Property Act (and other legislation affecting strata ownership) has been made by me and others since 2008. Since then the government has made a few piece-meal amendments, with some of them being introduced before an election only to be withdrawn or repealed subsequently. Furthermore, the government has so restricted committee reviews of its strata legislation changes as to make such reviews closed to public participation. One bright spot on the government's rather sparse strata agenda is the Justice Ministry's implementation of the new CRT to resolve strata disputes. However, the government brought the CRT into effect without addressing the important question: "what should be changed in BC strata legislation to make disputes less numerous?". This question has still not been addressed by a government that continues to evade a comprehensive review of strata legislation, not even recognizing that the last such review was done in 1998. Much has happened in the number, size and complexity of BC strata developments since 1998 exposing legislation inadequacies to anyone paying attention.
Although the official opposition has reacted to government strata legislation changes at the time, it does not appear to have invested in private members' bills or other proposals for improving BC strata legislation. Looking at the Legislature's records going back to 2001 I find a huge number of private member's bills from opposition members but not one of them was about the rights of strata owners.
What is the official opposition doing to give strata owners a voice in the BC legislature?
Footnote: The above letter was sent to Mr. Eby on September 27 and has not received a response of any kind. If you wish to send him your own letter, his email address is email@example.com
- Deryk Norton
- Strata Advocate
- Mill Bay, BC