Saturday, June 27, 2009

From the Maple Ridge Concerned Citizens

Amy Steele of the times nails it in the opening line of her latest
article regarding Northumberland Court when she describes it as a drawn
out saga.

What we at MRCCC have to add to this story is a discussion
about the other race that is going on over Northumberland Court, and
this race is around whether Steve Creighton will be around as the
administrator after June 30 to keep pursuing court actions against
the city over the other remedial actions imposed on Northumberland Court.

The initial court case, Kwasnica v Strata Plan NW8 - #076868, that
brought about a court appointed administrator was based around the idea
that an administrator would bring order to the complex, and this would
take a finite amount of time. When one looks at the last six months we
have a total of 7 police raids, two shootings, one arson attempt, and
who can forget the recent incident with the police tactical team being
called out while the helicopter circled overhead for a few hours.
Suffice to say after all that one would be hard pressed to say that
things are in order at Northumberland Court, and now the time imposed by
the judge to have an administrator is just about up.

Reading the oral judgment from case #076868 the term set by Judge
Melnick had the administrator in place until June 30 2009. Looking at
the calender that day is fast approaching. Why this matters is because
depending on whether the administrator is re-appointed by the courts or
the appointment expires will largely dictate how many more times
Northumberland Court ends up in Provincial court. It is baffling though
how much money has been spent, and looks to be spent, on court cases.
The question that constantly comes up is why is that money not being
spent on the remedial repairs?

According to Mike Kwasnica,who rents the two suites he owns at
Northumberland, the plan is to get the judge to put definite
orders/actions in to the new appointment of the administrator. His
belief is that if the judge will do this then if Athwal will not perform
these court orders Kwasnica and the Administrator will then take him to
court again to get these orders/actions enforced. Before all of this
though the administrator will have to enter into another race with the
city to get an injunction in court against the city remedial actions because
those are due July 31 09, essential one month from now. Now assuming
that Kwasinca and the Administrator can get definite orders put into the
appointment of the administrator they will still have to go through the
process of getting Athwal to perform the tasks and when Athwal does not
(see the case the city brought against Athwal regarding Morse Creek)
this will add another court case to show that he is not complying with
the court order. Assuming the two of them can show that Athwal is not
and will not perform the tasks they will then have to begin the process
of collecting the money to get the tasks done, which will be another
court case.

Once again, lots of time in court, lots of money being spent and nothing
substantial changing at Northumberland Court. If any readers are
wondering why Mike Kwasnica, who by the way was the one to step up to
stop the demolish last time, is fighting so hard to save Athwal's burnt
out suites the reason is he has plans to purchase them and rehabilitate
them and all of us are supposed to sit back until November 2011 which is
the time line he is giving that this will all be solved. MRCCC made
enquiries as to whether the community could have any say into this
re-appointment or at the very least present that it has an inherent
interest in how this complex is run and by who, but as has been the case
many times in trying to get a solution if you can't afford lawyers you
can't be heard by the court system.

So where does this leave everyone that is living in and around, and
experiencing the daily affects of Northumberland? As hard as this group
has been on the city they are the best hope all of us have that this
will be settled in the next few months as opposed to several years. The
recent action to push forward with the demolition is a good sign the
city is giving this situation the attention it has been lacking for the
last six years. There are still many questions to ask the city in
regards to how this situation has been handled, and why it was handled
differently then other similar situations, but for now what is most
important is a long term positive solution that will respect the rights
of all residents and help to promote a safer community that is not
constantly subjected to situations that are dangerous and harmful to
everyone around them. Let's hope the city keeps up the pace, this is far
from over and though still too early to say that the end of this whole
debacle is near, one may be able to say that actions are on the table so
perhaps there is a glimmer that by the end of August we will see a very
different, and hopefully more positive situation at Northumberland Court.

One final note. MRCCC is looking at putting together a meeting that
ideally will have both MLA's in attendance. This meeting will give an
over view of SCAN (Safe Communities And Neighbourhoods) legislation.
Several other provinces already have this legislation in place and it
has proven quite affective in allowing communities to get concrete
action taken on issues by going through the Provincial office of the
Solicitor General as opposed to criminal court.

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