Monday, July 27, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

Hard to say if this can be considered an update. The reason being is that since the demolition of 11731 Fraser St, otherwise known as the burnt out building, very little has happen in regards to the other remedial actions at Northumberland Court. Put another way, the majority owner has not performed any meaningful repairs at Northumberland since the repairs were mandated by the city back in April.

The plan as explained by the director of bylaws is to wait until the expiry date of the remedial actions (July 31st) and then sometime after that the city will once again go down to Northumberland and inspect the suites owned by the majority owner. Once this is done they will once again put the report to council at which time council will vote as to whether or not to uphold the remedial actions they have already imposed. Chances are they will uphold them which then means the majority owner can try and take this to court, or the city will begin the process to get bids on repairs to the 11 damaged suites.

Keep in mind that if the city elects to do the repairs the bill will be footed by the taxpayer until such a time as the money owed can be collected. As to what the plan is regarding the buildings with tenants and what will happen with those tenants during the repairs the plan from the city is wait and see. Likewise in the event that the remaining suites have disturbed asbestos, the city is going to wait and see.

The problem with the wait and see attitude is that when there is no plan to follow the city is just as likely to allow the situation to carry on as it has for the last five years. Questions as to whether any of the Athwal suites will have functioning furnaces, as is required by the BC building code, seem to be in limbo.

What this all means is that hopefully people have had a chance to rest up during the summer break because unless something radical happens on either the Athwal front, or the city front it looks like this situation will still be on-going well into the winter.

On the management front unless things have changed strata corp NW8 will be back in provincial court on July 29 2009 to see who will be in charge. It seems this one is a lose lose situation for everyone in the community. On the one hand it may be returned to Athwal and no further proof is needed of his ability to manage. The other choice is the court appointed administrator and everyone around NW8 knows what a job he has done over the last 14 months.

So while council waits for another report, the courts wait to decide who will be in charge of NW8, the rest of wait to have our neighbourhood back and watch for the corner in the horizon that we all hope will be turned and this neighbourhood will finally have the same rights as every other neighbourhood in Maple Ridge.

If anyone has questions you are all encourage to phone bylaws director Brock McDonald at 604-467-7370 and enquire about things such as timelines to completion and whether the other suites, that have disturbed drywall, will also be tested for asbestos before repairs are undertaken.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Agricultural Plan received in the normal manner

Another plan, another day. As they say in Brazil: "Same shit, different flies."

The dreary pro-development community will face off again against the dreary environmentalists.

Don't worry, nothing will come of this that can harm anyone. Our agricultural heritage is safe. Mainly because this District has such a reputation for the ineptitude of its planning department that no developer (no serious developer) will ever come near the place.

We are, it seems clear, protected by the lackluster performance our council and staff. Sure, the mayor and four council members will make statements that sound eerily as though they wish to pave over this north east corner of the Fraser Valley. Our other two members will make the standard counter arguments. And so it goes. Mid-summer, hot-hot-hot.

The Agri-Plan as it has been named was unveiled at a recent workshop. The public are informed that next week they can comment on it. The developers are off playing golf somewhere, the realtors are selling houses. The Pitt Polder team will show up - and one or two others.

The feeling we get is that this community has turned its back on the endless stream of 'information meetings' that cast irritatingly in our path as we negotiate the flat economy.
Twenty-five people showed up to review the public transport show put on by Translink. Twenty-five out of 73,000. So much for public interest.

That is not to say that the District is totally useless. Good things come out of Haney Place once in a while. True, expectations are low. Where the District fails spectacularly is in its communications with the public. At every level one hears nothing but complaints.

It will be interesting (sort of) to follow the life of the Agri-Plan. The Mayor says it is a step in the right direction. Is it really? A step? In the right direction? How does he know this?

If it is like all the other plans that preceded it then I'd like to think of it as a step in no direction at all. If today's Maple Ridge is the destination set by some previous 'step in the right' direction then one wonders where we got off the path?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tightening inventory should have an upward effect on home prices

Take for example any town in rural England. The one I saw on TV in Cornwall last night for instance. The owner of the house for sale states that house values have doubled and trebled in recent years owing to the fact that no further development has be allowed in the area. This is the opposite way to how things work in North America. And Maple Ridge being a typical wannabe small-town on this continent follows the pack on policy and open up sub-division after sub-division on the realtor-promoted myth that the 'market demands this type of housing'.
All the realtors are doing are pandering to their clients who continue to remove thousands of acres from our agricultural and green spaces without any end in sight. There is no need for this and strong arguments exist to simply putting a stop to it. A moratorium on further housing in Maple Ridge would result in:
1 House prices rapidly rising, making it harder, not easier, for people to move to Maple Ridge
2 Our aim should be to slow growth and perhaps even reverse growth if we are to maintain our environment
3 We need to maintain and improve our environment because it is our only - only - asset
4 Maple Ridge has nothing else to offer its residents than a reasonably stable and clean inventory of rivers and forests and lakes
5 If people want to come to Maple Ridge because of our green spaces then it makes no sense to destroy them
6 In short ' less' in the case of Maple Ridge, could be much, much 'more'.
For those who wish to live here, we must encourage them to inhabit the areas already ruined by civilization; our downtown would be a good place to start. There are so many worn out homes for our past in this town that one could almost develop an industry around restoring them or tearing them down and replacing them with new homes.
It is not too late to save Maple Ridge from itself. The only thing holding us back is the lack of vision on the part of our politicians and planning department. The realtors and owners of potentially divisible land will of course protest such a concept, but one has to accept that they are in the preservation business in that their only goal is to preserve their asses. While doing so they totally ignore what is best for the wider community.
Once a development fence is thrown around this town the better. People will want to live here not for what we have done, but for what we have not done. Which is to blindly follow every other town in the Fraser Valley along a path which ultimately will end in that 'paved paradise' that Joni Mitchel so famously sang about.
No new builds puts an upward pressure on existing values and higher property taxes will follow. That is the price of living in a special place. It also means an increasing purse for the town's treasury without the additional cost of creating infrastructure where there is none.
We already know that our jobs lie beyond our borders, as does the bulk of our retail needs. Keep it this way. Smart Centres (talk about an oxymoron) and Walmart have grand plans for the Albion; they should be and I hope will be rejected outright. The absolute last thing this town needs outside of the downtown is a large and destructive regional, or even local, Mall. One cursory glance at the host of scruffy malls already in existence will leave no doubt in the observer's mind that Maple Ridge 'does not do malls' with any degree of success.
The truth is that we do very little with any degree of success so we are better off folding our hands behind our back and doing nothing at all. At least, in this way, we will not ruin what remains of what may have been a once charming and quaint north east corner of this greying valley.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Put an end to developing Maple Ridge

It seems that Golden Ears Bridge has exposed Maple Ridge's little green secret to the rest of the world.

The fact that we have a well-earned reputation for being backwards in almost everything we do has meant that the developer/investor hoards have been kept at the gate. In the past this may have been viewed dimly by our community. Only now do we see the benefit of being a backward backwater. How do we know this?

For a start just take a look at the steep increase in tourists visiting Maple Ridge this summer [assuming the Tourist Board has it numbers right]. The attraction of Maple Ridge so far is that it is underdeveloped.

So much effort is put expended by the likes of council members such as Al Hogarth [he should not be picked out over others, but he does invite the comment publicly] on tearing up more and more green space and paving over agricultural land that one wonders what planet he is living on.

In today's world where all but the most self-serving and stupid politicians are fighting to reduce the carbon footprint, decrease reliance on the auto and fight tooth and nail to preserve what little natural resources are left on earth, the idiots in an undeveloped district like Maple Ridge continue to behave as though this were 1955 not 2009.

Maple Ridge could - if we were smart - achieve so much by simply doing nothing. No further applications should go forward to the Agricultural Land Commission. If you live on a farm you should be be paid to farm as opposed to to divide and profit. If you live in forest consider yourself a forest dweller. If you want to move here consider that you may have to live in one of our existing old neighbourhoods or perhaps in a downtown high rise.

We don't need to study the Albion. Leave it as it is.

Whonnock to Mission should be declared out of bounds for any future growth or development.

We missed the development boat over the past few decades. We should be thankful for that. Visitors can come and look, but don't touch. Those in our community who continue to fight for clean rivers and promotion of agricultural preservation, public transport, population densification and responsible development should now stand up and run for council and point Maple Ridge in an old direction, backwards, back to a time when communities were simply livable and livably simple.

When the boot is on the other foot, sock it to them!!

Radio Haney got into a little scuffle with the editorial staff of the TIMES this week. Briefly RH wrote a letter objection to the TIMES opinion that perhaps a barrier should be put around the fountains in what passes for Spirit Square on 224th street. RH compared the barrier proposal to preventing more skateboard parks being built or street hockey being banned. RH was aiming at drawing a comparison, but apparently failed to do so.

Long story short; the editor accused RH of 'putting words in our [the TIMES] mind.'

How cool is this? The public and politician's consistently complain that the NEWS and the TIMES misquote them. Now we the public [well one of us anyway] is accused by journalists of putting words in their mouths.

RH loves accusation and wears it with pride.

Our response below (it is unlikely that it will be published):

Harmless Fun, July 17, 2009; "Editor's Note" If nothing else my repartee with your editor has raised the issue of design in Maple Ridge. I am not sure who approved the design of Spirit Square, but I do know that if the editor of the Times and a few other design-savvy citizens had banded together then we might have come up with that open classical look that so many of us would have applauded. A quick glance around Maple Ridge and even the less than pernickety design aficionado will soon learn that design has always been been and remains this District's most obvious weakness. Good design all the way, from our awful lack of urban planning down to our public buildings and scruffy downtown remains and embarrassment to sensitive individuals such as your your editor and I.
I digress.

You will forgive me for suggesting that you or your publication may have fought against street hockey and more skate parks (it sort of fits in with need to put a barrier around our carbuncle of a fountain). Silly me. How churlish. In is objection however, he states:"Mr. Andrup has also put words in our mouth, saying that we are somehow against street hockey and skate parks."

The sweet irony. A reader putting words in the mouth of a newspaper.? Our mayor and council will take some comfort that the TIMES will never stand accused of such an effrontery.

Harmless Fun in Haney.

Claus Andrup

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Suicide by drowning in the Alouette River

Was it my imagination or did I read somewhere today that there was no apparent cause of the deaths of thousands of fish in the Alouette River this May past.

Guess they must have drowned? Or are we once again being submerged in bureaucratic bullshit?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Northumberland "Court"

Tuesday, July 14th represents the last meeting of council of Maple Ridge for the summer of 2009. The next meeting is not scheduled until September 08. Though there has been progress at Northumberland Court it would be nice to have a clear picture of what the city plans on doing in the event the remedial actions that were imposed in April are not fulfilled.

Even though there is still two weeks to get all of the remedial repairs done it is unlikely given the main player involved that this will actually happen. The last statement could be proven wrong but given the history of delays and stalling by the majority owner of Northumberland Court, as well as the saga started by the same owner who created the problem that lead to the court imposed clean up of Morse Creek , very few people are counting on the remedial repairs being completed by July 31st.

Though it may seem far away in four months we will enter the winter season and if it is anything like last season the question remains will any of the rented suites actually have a functioning furnace? What will happen with suites 6 & 7 where the city report states “New access cut into floor at bottom of stairs with temp bracing only for cut joist. Bottom of floor joist notched in same area causing floor joist to be over spanned and potential failure” What happens in regards to dealing with the mold that has been found in all suites and the recent issue of disturbed asbestos. Given that there are numerous references in the city reports to altered and damaged walls in the other suites and those suites contain the same disturbed building materials that are known to hold asbestos.

There has now been some measurable progress on some of the issues around Northumberland Court the goal from but beginning of this movement has always been to ensure long term positive change, and at this point if the city backs down from the remedial actions this goal will never be achieved. This is not to say that the city is backing down, but as has been learned during the last several years of dealing with this issue now is not the time to back off the pressure on the city or the provincial government.

There are still outstanding questions as to what is the written rules around the suspension of the business license of Jack Athwal, why the situation of the damaged buildings at Northumberland Court have been dealt with in a different manner than other damaged buildings, and what parts of the Strata Act of BC prevent the city from taking any meaningful action at Northumberland Court for so many years.

There is a separate issue going on around who will be in charge of Northumberland Court after July 29th 09, but that will be decided by the courts and not Maple Ridge city council. When more information is known about who will be in charge of Northumberland Court this will be distributed to all who are interested.

At this point in this saga it is important to focus on what is going to happen with the remaining remedial actions that are due in the next few weeks. As always everyone is encouraged to attend council meetings and also encouraged to ask whatever questions they feel are appropriate. With that said a few members have already mentioned they will be in attendance at tomorrow nights council meeting and will attempt to get the following questions on the table and answered:

What has the city done to ensure that the Maple Ridge business license suspension is being honoured by the province, in particular the Ministry of Economic and Income Assistance?

Has the city forwarded its reports on the condition of the Northumberland Court suites to the Ministry?

Can the city discuss the plan, if any, to assist tenants of Northumberland Court during the remedial repairs?

In the event that the remedial actions are not undertaken by the majority owner on his remaining ten suites will the city hire an independent contractor or undertake the repairs through city staff?

Has the city prepared an estimate of what the repairs will cost, and where in the annual budget the money will be allocated from?

Two final notes.

The question period is not until the end of the agenda so unless you want to sit through the entire council meeting a safe time to show up is around 7:45.

The other note is that MRCCC is planning a meeting in September to allow for an overview of where things are at, what was accomplished and not accomplished, what still needs to happen, and how this type of situation can, ideally, be prevented from happening in the future.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What choice words will Bob Mugabe have for the President of United States this week?

Obama stood up in front of all Africans today and said: "Brothers, get ye hence and fix thine selves." Gone are the days of the white preacher. And not a minute too soon.

One cog in the wheel turned slowly in favour of democracy. One cog turned slowly away from the self-absorbed so called leaders of Africa, those concerned more with the appearance of leadership than leadership itself.

Suddenly African leaders have been thrust into a world where they will be judged on merit. Some, perhaps many, among them will heed the words of this disarmingly honest yet strict disciplinarian who has shown up on their shores from Chicago. A man who can claim above all that he has the right to admonish the foibles of the likes of Bob Mugabe and numerous others if, for no other reason, that it is from this great and wondrous continent that he can claim his ancestry.

What a day. What, as Obama might word it, 'a moment'. Another moment in the life story of this man who seems destined for many more occasions such as this. What next one wonders?

I wonder this; will Mugabe continue his infantile name calling of his peers (I don't believe he thinks he has any, but that is another story) and come up with an inappropriate name such as 'that silly little boy from Chicago' or something equally simple minded? Mugabe at times like this wears his inferiority complex large.

The west has failed to achieve in decades what Obama may - just may - have achieved in this moment. This so, so intriguing moment. This moment where Africans may be tempted to believe 'yes we can.' In a sober moment one could add; yes we can, if our leaders give us the freedom to do so unencumbered by fear, tribalism, religion, sexism, racism and freedom of speech.

"It is up to Africa" message the most sensible yet

US President Barack Obama, on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa since taking office, has said Africa must take charge of its own destiny in the world.

Mr Obama also told parliament during his one-day stay in Ghana that good governance was vital for development.

Major challenges awaited Africans in the new century, he said, but vowed that the US would help the continent.

The US president's trip comes at the end of a summit of eight of the world's most powerful nations, held in Italy.
Ghana was chosen as the destination for the president's visit because of its strong democratic record.

"We wanted to make sure to come to an African country after the G8 and after my business in Moscow to emphasise that Africa is not separate from world affairs," Mr Obama said after meeting President John Atta Mills in the capital, Accra.

"What happens here has an impact everywhere," he said.

Africa's choice

Speaking to parliament shortly after that meeting, Mr Obama wore a broad grin as he was greeted at the podium by a series of rousing horn blasts from within the chamber.

Development depends upon good governance. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans
US President Barack Obama

"Congress needs one of them," he joked, before turning to more serious matters.
"I have come here to Ghana for a simple reason," the US president said: "The 21st Century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Ghana as well."

Delivering a message that "Africa's future is up to Africans", Mr Obama conceded that the legacy of colonialism had helped breed conflict on the continent.

"But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants," he added.

He praised Ghana's own progress, governance and economic growth, saying Ghana's achievements were less dramatic than the liberation struggles of the 20th Century but would ultimately be more significant.

"Development depends upon good governance," Mr Obama told legislators. "That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long.
"And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans."

'Yes you can'

Expanding on his message, Mr Obama said four key areas were critical to the future of Africa and of the entire developing world, citing democracy, opportunity, health and the peaceful resolution of conflict.


Andrew Harding, BBC News, Accra

The speech has gone down extremely well. This is a country that has been enormously proud to play host to Mr Obama and referred to him as a brother. People say endlessly that he is part of the family and they are expecting a great deal of him.

It was a very broad-ranging speech but Mr Obama has an ability because of his heritage, his Kenyan father, to reach out and speak to Africans in a way that I think most foreign leaders would find very difficult.

There are very few barriers for Mr Obama in this conversation that he is trying to initiate with Africans and I think that this speech will have ticked many, many boxes.

This is Mr Obama trying to link Africa into the international community. He hailed Ghana's democratic society, calling for strong parliaments, honest police, independent judges and a free press across Africa.

However, there were some blunt words directed at other countries, many of which have been undermined by despotic leaders and corrupt politicians.

"Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions," Mr Obama told his audience.
"No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny."

He pledged to continue strong US support for public healthcare initiatives in Africa, and called for sensible use of natural resources such as oil in the face of the threat of climate change.

"Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at war," Mr Obama added. "But for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. He described wars as a "millstone around Africa's neck".

"You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people," Mr Obama said, describing freedom as Africa's "inheritance" and urging the continent to beat disease, end conflict and bring long-lasting change.

In an echo of his presidential election campaign, he drew his speech to a close with a version of his trademark slogan: "Yes you can," he told the gathered legislators.

Tight security

On the streets of Accra, many billboards welcoming Barack Obama have been erected, including one showing an image of the president and wife with the words: "Ghana loves you".
People have poured into Accra for a glimpse of the president during his 24-hour stay in Ghana.
But security is tight for the president's visit, and few ordinary Ghanaians will have the chance to glimpse the first African-American President of the United States.

Barack Obama's speech was welcomed by Ghanaians of all ages

Mr Obama is expected to visit the Gold Coast Castle, a seaside fortress converted to the slave trade by the British in the 17th Century. He will be accompanied by his wife, Michelle, a descendant of African slaves.

Mr Obama arrived in the capital late on Friday, fresh from the G8 summit in Italy where heads of state agreed on a $20bn (£12.3bn) fund to bolster agriculture - the main source of income for many sub-Saharan Africans.

The visit to the slave fort will be a poignant moment for the country's first African-American president and for his wife Michelle, whose ancestors are believed to have come from West Africa.

Friday, July 03, 2009

No waterfront plans for Maple Ridge

It seems many, many years since we presented the notion of Port Kanaka to the District of Maple Ridge. A bold plan no doubt.

At the time we researched other developers, planners and architects who had similar thoughts for their communities. We took a look at the Sawyer's Landing proposal in PItt Meadows; and we took a look at what was planned for the waterfront at Fort Langley.

It is now 2009, a few years later. Sawyer's Land is all but complete. The incredible waterfront development in Fort Langley is coming to an end. Maple Ridge? Sweet bugger all.

Fear of success continues to hold Maple Ridge in a vice-like stranglehold.

Another day in Court.....Northumberland Court that is

The following is courtesy of Maple Ridge Concerned Citizens.

Radio Haney

Another sunny day in Maple Ridge means another day in provincial court dealing with the ongoing saga that is Northumberland Court. As opposed to last Friday which was an internal Northumberland court case, this court case was Northumberland Court vs the city of Maple Ridge.

To be more precise this was essential Mike Kwasnica and Steve Creighton vs Maple Ridge, because they appear to be the only ones trying to save the burnt out building (11731 Fraser st). Now it is quite confusing why two people who do not even own the suites would fight so hard for their survival and it seems the answer has come out during the court case today.

As it stands Kwasnica and Creighton are arguing that the building cannot be demolished because of the following reasons:

The insurance issue, ongoing since 2006 is still not settled and demolishing the building would create a situation that would end the insurance issue. It was asked why no one has photographed or document the shape of the building for the insurance settlement and surprise, no one had an answer for this.

Demolishing the burnt out building would also end another court application that the administrator of Northumberland has against Northumberland. Put another way, a case that Kwasnica and Creighton have against Athwal over repairing or not repairing the burnt out building would not go forward because there would be no more building. This became clearer when it came out during the proceedings that there is a foreclosure order that is going to be heard, presumably on July 29th over the four burnt out units that comprise 11731. The important thing here is what the units are currently valued at before they go into foreclosure and according to what was heard in court today those units are currently valued at $1000.00 a piece. So, hypothetically say someone with an interest in Northumberland Court such as Mike Kwasnica who already owns two suites, or Steve Creighton who is in defacto charge of Northumberland Court were to succeed in getting the suites into foreclosure it would only be one other step to then purchase these same units. It may sound far fetched, but Mike Kwasnica has openly stated he is interested in the units and feels they are completely capable of being rehabilitated. The province has shown they will fund units at Northumberland regardless of the condition they are in (no heat, mold, sewage water in crawl spaces – see the reports by the city) so really at a $1000.00 a pop they will be paid off in two and half months and it is back to business as usual for Kwasnica, Creighton and Athwal.

Even if the units are not rehabilitated the land they sit on is quite valuable and after allowing them to be run into the ground and dragging our entire community with it those three still stand to profit.

Notice none of the reasons above at all tie into the communities need for safety nor the tenants or other owners needs for housing. This is said because one thing that came out loud and clear during this court appearance is that there is no interest in the housing aspect, social or otherwise, at Northumberland. This is all about who gets final control over a large piece of downtown property that is already zoned for a multiple home development. No matter that this development may be a decade away, all of us are expected to sit back and have our rights trampled so Kwasnica Creighton and Athwal can carry on there fight and make as much money off the suffering of our community as possible.

There is quite a bit to add regarding today in court and unfortunately the most important bit of information is missing because no one from mrccc was able to be in court at 3 pm when the verdict was read.

If Kwasnica and Creighton are successful there will be a summary trial some time in September to decide if the city is right to impose the demolition order. If the city is successful there will be a large back hoe rolling into Northumberland Court sometime in the next ten days. Everyone is encourage to contact the city to enquire what the outcome of today's case was. It is your right as a citizen of Maple Ridge to find out the result of a court case (S-093620) that directly affects everyone in this city.

Ideally more about the court case in an upcoming update, many interesting things were said. A couple of quick favourites from today's case. According to the lawyer for Kwasnica and Creighton 11731 should not be torn down because there has been only one incident at the burnt out building since Creighton came on as administrator, as well, sit down for this one, 11731 is in no worse shape, and looks no worse, then the other buildings at Northumberland Court.

It is safe to say that a number of people will be looking forward to hearing the rumble of metal treads in the between Fraser and 224th st sometime this month.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Latest Jack in the Beanstalk Talk

In what was a very brief meeting before a judge Tuesday morning, Steven Creighton the administrator originally appointed in 2007 to bring order to the way that Northumberland Court was run has had his appointment extended until July 29th 2009.

This can be read two ways. The first is rather straight forward in that the tenure of the court appointed administrator which was supposed to end June 30th, has now been extended another thirty days so all of us living in and around Northumberland Court get thirty more days of Creighton's rule as opposed to Athwal's rule. Going by how Northumberland has been run in the last five years its hard to tell the difference from one to the other so not much will change on that front.

The other way this situation can be read is that the remedial actions imposed by the city regarding the condition of the suites and Northumberland Court will be fought by Creighton instead of being fought by Athwal, and this matters to a certain degree.

Having Creighton around puts Athwal in a better position in the long run as he now has someone else fighting his battle to avoid doing the remedial repairs. This leaves Athwal in a good position to not do the repairs, and if it is true he has a building permit before the city he can play that it is the administrator that is pushing this battle not himself, and as has been his line for so many years, he's an upstanding business man who is not treated fairly by his tenants or the city.

An extension of the appointment of Creighton also creates an extension on the time he has to get in front of a different judge and get an injunction against the city against performing their demolition order on building 11731. The biggest point here, and an apology for the repeat from the last update, is that this morning there was one court appearance. On July 29th there will be another court appearance for the same issue. The injunction about the building demo will yield at least two court appearances and possible more, so where is the money coming from?

Going to court is not cheap and neither is rehabilitating 16 units of one complex, particularly when some of those units have structural damage, as well problems with asbestos that will require the use of a hazardous materials team to clean it up. This whole mess just keeps getting more and more expensive and speaks to the notion that different levels of government could have, and should have stepped in long before things got to the sorry state they are in.

On that note it is clear that the BC government is still funding Athwal to run his slum housing. Why our tax dollars are going into the pocket of an individual who has admitted on television that this at this complex he is a slumlord one can only wonder. Perhaps instead of wondering though, anyone with the time should take the opportunity to contact our two Maple Ridge MLA's.

Two questions to ask would be:

'Why is the provincial government not respect municipal bylaws and decisions by continually funding Athwal?'

'What mechanism is the provincial government using to track the money they are putting out the door for housing, and what fail safes to they have in place to ensure that money for an individual to use for housing is in fact being used for housing at the location designated, and by the individual designated?'

Micheal Sather can be reached at


Office:Room 201
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4