The government has decided not to follow through on its election platform promise to review the leaky condo crisis in the lower mainland and CMHCs involvement and responsibility in said crisis. This story from todays Vancouver Sun:
“The Conservative government has shelved its election promise to conduct a review into a federal agency’s role and potential culpability in B.C.’s $1.5-billion leaky condo crisis, according to a letter sent by Human Resources Minister Diane Finley to a homeowners’ group.”
The promise to review CMHCs responsibility in Vancouvers leaky condo crisis was made by Stephen Harper when he visited Victoria in December. They now claim that promise can not be fulfilled because of court actions launched against CMHC.
According to internal documents CMHC was aware in the early 1980s that new federal building regulations could lead to severe damage to homes in coastal areas
“As I’m sure you can appreciate, it would not be appropriate for me to comment or to consider initiating a review into leaky condo issues while these matters are before the courts,” Finley wrote to Consumer Advocacy and Support for Homeowners (CASH), a consumer advocacy group that is seeking compensation for the thousands of B.C. residents whose homes and property values were devastated by moisture damage.
CASH president Carmen Maretic, in a letter sent Wednesday to Harper and Finley, said the Tories “knew or should have known” at the time of the campaign promise about a lawsuit filed against CMHC in B.C. on Dec. 6, 2005.
Critics have also noted that CMHC has been named in more than 30 other lawsuits. Former Liberal housing minister Joe Fontana and former Liberal industry minister David Emerson, now Tory trade minister, stated publicly in mid-2005 that the government couldn’t comment on CMHC’s role in the crisis because the issue was before the courts.
That didn’t stop Harper from including a promise to “review CMHC’s handling of construction regulations and ‘leaky condos.'” in his “Stand up for B.C.” election speech on Dec. 17th.
A press release accompanying the platform boasted that Conservative MPs “understand and have advanced the interests in British Columbia” on several fronts, such as pressing CMHC “to investigate how it failed to warn homeowners about potential problems with ‘leaky condos.'”
In an exclusive interview with The Vancouver Sun after the announcement, Harper said he’d consider compensation for condo owners following the review.
Here’s the full story.