Inspections at suspected grow ops are ‘flawed,’ says civil liberties group:
Electrical and fire safety inspection programs used in Richmond and around the region are flawed, according to the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
“Our allegation is simply this is an end run around the warrant process,” said policy director Micheal Vonn.
Vonn said if police suspect someone is breaking the law, they’re required to obtain a warrant before searching someone’s home. In the case of Richmond’s inspection program, municipal inspectors can obtain administrative warrants under the Community Charter—if a homeowner denies access.
“An end run around the warrant process would be when a municipal inspector—on the basis of what would not constitute reasonable grounds— ostensibly for the purposes of safety, does the thing the police can’t do. It’s using the back door into what is not permissible through the front door,” said Vonn.
The District of Mission is the “poster child” for what’s wrong with such programs, said Vonn. In that community, residents have brought a class action lawsuit against the district.
“People have lost their homes where no grow-ops were found. The ramifications of these programs when you log in suspicion of grow-op to a police database, or you have a district that takes it upon itself to inform banks that might be holding your mortgage that they have conducted such an inspection, people have lost their insurance and their ability to re-mortgage…” she said.
While some such problems may not have surfaced in other jurisdictions, Vonn said the “entire foundation” of inspection programs are nonetheless flawed.
Said Vonn: “The kinds of abuses and concerns that have been generated about these programs have certainly not given us any cause to think that we we’re wrong.”
IMHO this is typical of how Gov’t operates.
It has increasingly evolved into an inherently useless entity, but in the backwash of the revelation of its incompetence, the majority of its Bosses, ie we the taxpayers, they actually set up situations to cover up their incompetence whereby they simple act like mad dogs against innocent people.
There was a grow-opp epidemic(and believe me, I have seen many after the fact….both my ex neighbours aka tenants of the owners had them), and the authorities were exposed as impotent. Well , it was obvious that the system encouraged it via the light or non existent sentences..whereby those who had grow-opps had a high probability of setting up a grow-opp and after a few harvests, could literally retire. The owner of the house would be stuck with MAJOR repairs. Then it got to the point the growers were buying new homes , with cash, and after a few harvests had paid off the home. fixed it up..and moved on.
However, given the pressure by the public to remedy the issue…the Gov’t brain trust decided a methodology based on electric power useage. Much like the Gun Laws..whereby overnight via lobby group pressure…..millions of Canadians who had legally owned guns for years were deemed criminals at stroke of a pen…..apparently some Surrey Fire Chief came up with the idea that IF a given properties historical power usage exceeded a certain amount (I recall it was approx 10% increase ? ), the laws were written that the owner/tenant of said property was literally deemed a criminal until proven otherwise , and this was justifiable grounds to sick a team of civil servants without warrants to search ones property.
Now, this might be OK if say and RCMP officer knocked on the door and stated he had the legal authority to check for a grow -opp..ie after say a 5-10 minute tour of the house he made a decision and then left.
However, once one brings a larger entourage of civil servants, that’s when it gets really UGLY.
WHY are they tagging along?
IMHO, its simply an ass cover and a gravy train.
If it was RCMP only…then what would happen is enough false alarms would occur.
However as many are aware…..once “inspectors” are involved…they cannot come home without some “trophy”.It would be EMBARRASING for an inpsector to say they could not find anything up to code….
However: re-focus…the ORIGINAL agenda was to go after Grow-Opps.
I’ve noted a solution…”RCMP Only”
If their is a larger entourage of civil servants..then it reeks of cover-up and revenue generation.
As I have submitted numerous times…Gov’t has evolved into an US versus THEM “line in the sand”.
I recall a news story whereby a person bought a home, the property had a swimming pool that the previous owner had de-commissioned and filled in. However, the new owner wished to re-establish the pool, so dug out the fill and rehabilitated to pool to working condition.
However, this would obviously register as a increased used of utilities…… and the “Grow-Opp army ” was sent in and made this person life a miserable hell.
There are numerous other examples…..
The point is…why does the average law – abiding citizen have to be subjected to this….???
QUOTE from another article:
Homes tapped for inspections face a $4,200 fee if a grow-op is found. In this case, the city waived the inspection fee, suggesting the homeowner contact B.C. Hydro regarding the inconsistent meter.
No, it is my understanding that if no grow-opp is found, that does not end the matter , as the Electrical Inspector could notice things that he says need to be upgraded or fixed. Thus the Grow-Opp allegation is a Trojan Horse for an army of bureaucrats to stick their nose in your business.If they find no grow-opp, but say an electrical connection the inspector doesn’t like….then the whole invasion of privacy was warranted in THEIR minds…they came home with a trophy. Or reducto ad absurdum why not bring every possible bureauracy into your home ie plumbing,framing, etc. ….OR is that their ultimate aim after the initial right to invade your home.
As the article above notes……there is a LOT of collateral damage as a result of this , as usual…..ILL ADVISED ” hammer to kill a flea ” approach by Gov’t. People can’t insure their homes….or re-mortgage…..these are the types of situations that Gov’t should be fully aware of BEFORE they initiate what ultimately amounts to face- saving ass -covering tax dollar wasting draconian measures which expose Gov’ts classic incompetence.