Condominiums under construction in White Rock. (Tracy Holmes photo)

White Rock endorses resolution on strata insurance rates

Step ‘mainly symbolic’ says Governance and Legislation chair

White Rock council – in its Governance and Legislation Committee role Monday night – unanimously endorsed a resolution on skyrocketing strata insurance rates that committee chair Coun. Anthony Manning admits is “mainly symbolic.”

The city’s resolution, to be sent to the Lower Mainland Local Government Association, calls on B.C.’s provincial government to act “swiftly and decisively to create a risk-sharing model that would return strata insurance premiums and owner deductibles to 2019 levels, adjusted for inflation.”

The resolution notes that strata corporations have seen insurance premiums shoot up by as much as several hundred per cent this year, and strata owners have seen a similar exponential rise in deductibles, partly because of insurers’ aversion to climate change-related risk.

READ MORE: Strata building insurance spikes on Peninsula

But as Manning – also chair of the city’s Housing Advisory Committee – pointed out following the meeting, the crisis is not only financially catastrophic for strata corporations and their members as well as individual owners.

More than that, he said, it also imperils the concept of strata developments as a more affordable, better land use choice within communities, while shrinking the supply of multi-unit homes as a viable housing option in B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. Liberals call for assistance on soaring strata insurance rates

The snag, he said, is that, under B.C.’s Local Government Act, individual cities and municipalities such as White Rock have no powers to address the situation.

“The LGA is a curious beast – a very colonial institution,” he said, noting that only Vancouver, with its own charter, has the ability to act outside of most provisions of the legislation.

“But something needs to be done.”

The association sent out a call for resolutions from local governments on province-wide issues in January, reminding its 33 member governments that resolutions received from the LMLGA – and supported by members as a whole –tend to carry more weight than those submitted by individual communities.

Manning told council that he placed the resolution on the agenda to take advantage of the window of opportunity to make a submission to the LMLGA.

“If the LMLGA endorses tonight’s council resolution it will be brought forward to the Union of BC Municipalities in September,” Manning said following the meeting, adding that he’s aware that it might go no further than that.

“A resolution endorsed by the UBCM must still be tabled as legislation in Victoria (and) there’s no guarantee that parliament will act on it,” he said.

But Manning said he feels the issue of unchecked strata insurance rate increases is looming “larger by the day”

“Hopefully the province will step in long before then,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP not seeing ‘significant loss’ in ranks because of COVID-19

Surrey Mounties say they have a good tracking system to keep tabs on police officers experiencing an illness

Supreme Court upholds White Rock council decision on Lady Alexandra development

Planned 12-storey highrise on lower Johnston Road was stalled in 2018

‘Potentially life-threatening’ injuries in South Surrey crash

152 Street closed in both directions between Colebrook Road and 40 Avenue

No final high school game for Surrey all-stars; six scholarship winners named

COVID-19 forces cancellation of all-star games for boys and girls at Enver Creek gym April 3

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Most Read