Pubdate: Thu, 12 Jul 2001
Source: Richmond Review, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Richmond Public Library
Author: Al Kemp
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)



"Supreme court overturns eviction of marijuana grow operators." "Surrey 
bylaw will fine landlords for tenants' marijuana grow operations." "Ontario 
government allows eviction of illegal drug operators in 10 days."

These were all media headlines last week. The attention being paid to 
illegal marijuana production operations in our province is increasing, as 
are the operations. Yet our industry continues to be buffeted by 
governments and courts which limit and restrict the ability of landlords to 
avoid or evict those who break the law.

B.C. Supreme Court overturned a decision by a Residential Tenancy 
Arbitrator which upheld a landlord's attempt to evict a tenant for growing 
marijuana. The judge ruled that no "serious" damage had been caused, so the 
tenant could remain.

The judge's conclusion is reinforced by a statement on the Residential 
Tenancy Office's web site: "If a tenant's illegal activity is causing no 
damage to the landlord or tenants and is not likely to cause any risk or 
damage, the landlord may not be successful in ending the tenancy on this 

The City of Surrey passed a bylaw providing for landlords to be fined 
$5,000, plus be forced to pay up to $2,500 in policing costs if a marijuana 
grow operation is discovered in their property.

Yet Ontario has seen fit to enact a regulation that permits rental owners 
to evict tenants who "produce, traffic in or possess" illegal drugs with 
only 10 days' notice.

Residential rental owners are not the cause of the marijuana growing 
problem in B.C. They are not responsible-or able-to solve this problem. 
They are not the accomplices of marijuana growers; they are the victims.

Our new government needs to make a clear and emphatic policy statement that 
marijuana grow operations are not welcome in our province and that 
landlords who attempt to evict grow operators will be supported in their 
efforts, not vilified.

Al Kemp chief executive officer, Rental Owners and Managers Association of B.C.
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