B.C. Housing ultimatum to Penticton council extended another day | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Housing ultimatum to Penticton council extended another day

Penticton city council will discuss a request by B.C. Housing for reconsideration of a March 2, 2021 council decision to close the city's emergency winter shelter located at 352 Winnipeg St. on March 31 at tomorrow's regular meeting.
March 15, 2021 - 5:05 PM

B.C. Housing says it will wait until tomorrow to hear Penticton council’s response to a request to reverse their decision to close the city’s emergency winter shelter at the end of the month.

B.C. Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay issued an ultimatum in a March 8 letter to Penticton city council, requiring a response “no later than Monday, March 15, 2021,” regarding a request for council to reconsider the cancellation of a temporary use permit for the shelter that is due to expire on March 31.

The letter alluded to the use of ‘paramountcy powers’ in order to override council should they fail to change their minds by March 15.

In response to an INFOnews.ca query as to whether B.C. Housing intended to move forward with plans to override council’s decision today, the ministry said it is waiting to hear what council says.

"B.C. Housing has asked the City to reconsider its decision to reject the application to extend the Temporary Use Permit for continued operation of the temporary shelter at 352 Winnipeg St.," B.C. Housing said in an emailed statement. "The city has agreed to review and discuss this request at tomorrow’s council meeting. We look forward to hearing from them after their deliberations."

Councillors voted unanimously against B.C. Housing’s request to renew the operating permit for another year at for the former Victory Church building at 352 Winnipeg St at the March 2 meeting of council, triggering an angry response from housing minister David Eby and last week’s subsequent demand by Ramsay.

The letter from Ramsay, as well as council’s response dated March 11, is contained in this week’s council agenda package. In council's letter, Mayor John Vassilaki indicated council would not be considering Ramsay's request by March 15, stating then the request would be considered at tomorrow’s regularly scheduled council meeting, March 16.

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