B.C.-wide building codes won’t work for Bowser/Deep Bay – RDN director

Bill Veenhof suggests it ‘erodes regional district authority’

Regional district directors are vying against the provincial government’s request to take hold of the B.C. building code.

A proposal came forward Tuesday evening at the regular Regional District of Nanaimo meeting asking board members to consider implementing a uniform B.C. building code, but director Bill Veenhof criticized the motion insisting it “erodes regional district authority” and “risks innovation and construction.”

Most directors rallied behind Veenhof and voted to send a letter to UBCM expressing their concerns over centralizing authority under the provincial government.

An RDN report stated the proposed changes would see the province as “the sole authority to set building standards” in an effort to “simplify construction sector compliance.”

“What it means is that essentially regional district building inspectors will be working for the province although we (regional districts) pay for it but they (building inspectors) will be swinging to the call of the provincial building code,” explained Veenhof, who represents the Deep Bay/Bowser region.

Veenhof said his “biggest concern” is in the case local government wanted to apply an alternative building method that doesn’t align with the B.C. building code they would “have to go on bended knee to the province.”

He cited frustration in dealing with the provincial government during the controversial seaweed harvest in Deep Bay.

“In terms of provincial willingness to accept responsibility and be responsible (for the seaweed harvest) it’s about zero and I’d much rather have it the way it is where we can be the authors of our own destiny to a certain degree within the building code regime.”

Director Julian Fell, who represents Coombs/Errington, echoed Veenhof’s sentiments. “The province will take control of all the options,” said Fell. “It is my experience with big bureaucracy that they move at the speed of glaciers — I’d like to see some flexibility (for local government) retained.”

However, town coun. Dave Willie expression optimism over the proposed changes.

“It would be great if they (building inspectors) had a common set of rules to share,” said Willie, noting the town has had a difficult time keeping their building inspector. “I think it’s a huge plus to enter into discussions of how to get there.”

Willie said he believes this could bring the cost of construction down.

Currently, the Local Government Act gives municipalities the power to regulate construction matters by adopting building bylaws and other regulations. According to the RDN report this has resulted in building code inconsistencies within and between local government jurisdictions.

The proposal from the province states: “through a uniform building code the province would take a stronger leadership role.”

According to the report over the past 25 years the B.C. building code has been subject to several provincial reviews. This proposal comes out of recent consultations between the province, local governments, professional bodies and the construction sector. In the case this proposal does go through, a two-year transition period has been suggested by the province to give local governments time to amend their bylaws to remove technical building requirements that conflict with the B.C. building code.

Just Posted

Man dead after reported early-morning hit-and-run incident in Parksville

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Retired Nanoose Bay teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Country music star Aaron Pritchett back in Qualicum Beach to play benefit concert

Singer to headline Thalassa restaurant fundraiser for Ronald McDonald house

Order in the chambers: Qualicum Beach votes for council code of conduct

Coun. Robert Filmer’s motion passes unanimously at town meeting

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read