B.C. Conservatives target condo owners

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      The two major political parties may be missing out on one sector that has gotten close attention from the B.C. Conservative Party: condo owners.

      The B.C. Conservatives have been mailing out membership forms printed as part of a brochure telling owners of residential strata properties what the party will do for them if it forms government. The brochure is also featured prominently on the home page of the party’s website, which indicates an interest not shown by either the ruling B.C. Liberal Party or the NDP.

      “I’m told they get a lot of positive response from people,” strata-rights advocate Deryk Norton told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.

      The Victoria-based Norton is familiar with how the B.C. Conservatives were able to focus such attention on strata owners.

      “They were developing policy a while ago, and they asked for input from a number of people, including me, which is more than I can say for the other political parties, unfortunately,” he said.

      Norton is the person behind Strataadvocate.ca, a website that provides information to push for changes in what many consider as outdated and ineffectual provincial strata legislation.

      According to Norton’s site, there are more than 520,000 strata units across the province. In the Greater Vancouver and Victoria regions, over 50 percent of taxable properties are strata units. It also is estimated that at least 700,000 British Columbians are owners of condo properties.

      The B.C. Conservative brochure also notes the growing proportion of strata properties. It states that strata ownership has increased to 25 percent of properties throughout the province.

      The party makes a number of pledges that respond to long-standing concerns from condo owners. These include protection “from fraudulent misrepresentation by developers”, and “full disclosure”¦of all strata affairs”.

      Norton noted that the party went further than just a brochure. The B.C. Conservatives have come out with a proposed “Contract With British Columbians”, a document that lists commitments on 11 areas of concern.

      The eighth item refers to “private-property rights”. Here, the party vows to strengthen legislation to protect property rights, and “amend and then strengthen the outdated strata property act to protect the rights of strata owners”.

      Norton also did something more than just provide input to the B.C. Conservatives. He joined the party. “I was encouraged because they were the only ones who seem to be listening on the matter of strata issues,” Norton said.



      glen p robbins

      Jun 15, 2011 at 1:42pm

      My first ROBBINS poll on the HST (June 5, 2011) "Polls on HST" reflected more support for the HST from those British Columbians living in condos.

      Very interesting (smart) move on the part of the BC Conservatives - more about this in upcoming poll.


      Jun 15, 2011 at 9:29pm

      Only one problem Glen, LIEberals are just CONServatives in sheeps clothing. They will do exactly what the LIEberals did, nothing once elected.

      f. right

      Jun 16, 2011 at 12:45pm

      Sorry not true I am a BC conservative and my values are not with the BC liberals. I am voting to YES to extinguish the HST. I do believe that big corporations need to pay their fair share I also believe that corporations shouldn't have such a large influnce within our government.
      Were we may differ is I do believe that government is there to help people not hand out to people. I do believe in a free enterprise economy without all the recent negative changes to our BC crown corporations. I don't believe that everything is for sale within BC.

      G Hoover

      Jun 16, 2011 at 5:39pm

      The HST is a Liberal problem;
      - The Liberals lied about bringing it in
      - The Liberals lied during the provincial election
      - The Liberals have decided to have a referendum
      - The Liberals will have to react to the results of that vote
      The BC Conservatives are listening to the people and developing policy based on what they are learning from taxpayers! Something neither the Liberals or the NDP have ever done.


      Jun 17, 2011 at 10:05pm

      The Strata Act must be amended to force full disclosure of unfunded liabilities for strata maintenance to present owners and to potential buyers. Councils cannot exercise due dilignce in this regard in the face of apathy and ignorance of too many strata owners. Legislation of a regualtory nature for finances is needed to protect owners.