B.C. strata loses fight after condo owner alleges 'criminal conspiracy' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. strata loses fight after condo owner alleges 'criminal conspiracy'

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A B.C. strata has headed to the Supreme Court in order to settle a decade-long dispute with a condo owner that accused the strata council members of being in a criminal conspiracy.

According to a July 19 B.C. Supreme Court decision, the Richmond strata had been in a longstanding conflict with condo owner Edna Wong for the past nine or 10 years and Wong would regularly email them accusing the strata manager of stealing money from the strata corporation.

Eventually, after fining Wong $10,000 for a variety of bylaw breaches, the strata took him to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

The strata accused Wong of shrieking, yelling, and interrupting its meetings before then posting the footage on YouTube.

The strata asked the Tribunal to enforce $10,000 of bylaw fines it had issued Wong as well as to issue an order restraining him from accusing the strata council of theft and fraud, along with several other demands.

While the Tribunal ordered Wong to remove the videos from YouTube and stop secretly recording the meetings, it refused to rule on the remaining demands.

The strata then took the case to the B.C. Supreme Court hoping it would overturn the Tribunal's decision and allow the fines against Wong to stand.

However, the higher court wouldn't budge.

The decision says the strata had used its nuisance bylaws to issue $5,100 of fines to Wong saying his emails accusing the manager of fraud and theft constitute a nuisance contrary to the strata’s bylaws.

But the Supreme Court sided with the Tribunal and ruled it would be an "overly broad interpretation" of the bylaw to apply it to sending emails from strata property.

The strata also argued Wong's behaviour at council meetings was a nuisance and an "unreasonable interference with the rights of other persons" at the strata.

However, the Supreme Court again upheld the earlier ruling, saying the strata couldn't use this to bar members from its meetings.

READ MORE: Kelowna dog owner wins legal fight with strata over barking

The Tribunal had also rejected a claim by the strata that Wong had defamed the strata manager. The online Tribunal had ruled it didn't have the jurisdiction over libel or slander claims.

But again, the Supreme Court sided with the Tribunal's earlier ruling that it didn't have the authority to deal with defamation cases.

Lastly, the strata had argued for costs to cover its legal fees.

"Given my findings on the other issues, I do not find it necessary to address this issue. As the Strata was not successful in making out any of the bylaw infractions, I fail to see the basis upon which it would collect its legal fees," Justice Peter Edelmann ruled.

Ultimately, the strata lost each of its appeals.

READ MORE: Kelowna strata issues $1,700 fine for tenants' charity car wash

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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