Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said they are waiting for an official letter from the province on the Victory Church shelter before seeking legal action. (Western News file photo)

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said they are waiting for an official letter from the province on the Victory Church shelter before seeking legal action. (Western News file photo)

BC Housing, landlord in Penticton’s legal crosshairs over Victory Church shelter

The city and council are waiting for a written declaration from the province invoking their powers

BC Housing and the owner of the Victory Church are both in Penticton council’s crosshairs.

Council is waiting for a response from the province in writing before they proceed with any legal action regarding Minister David Eby’s announced use of the Interpretation Act to override their decision on the shelter.

“We have our bylaws, and we’ll go forward according to our bylaws. We’ll take whatever actions are necessary in order to put not only our point across but to abide by those regulations,” said Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki on Thursday. “Including the landlord as well as BC Housing, we’re going to hold both of them responsible if they break our bylaw regulations.”

The permit for the use of the church as a shelter that council had approved will not run out until March 31, and after that, council will discuss matters at their next public meeting on April 5.

READ MORE: BC Housing to use provincial powers to keep Penticton shelter open

Vassilaki said that the delay is to see if the province actually follows through on asserting their paramountcy as Minister Eby had announced on Wednesday.

“Until we receive actual correspondence from them, I don’t think we should be paying taxpayers funds,” said Vassilaki “If it does come, we will definitely seek legal advice from our people to see if we have grounds to stand on, with council’s permission.”

The mayor also called out the Minister for the delay in responding due to what he viewed as not giving the subject the appropriate focus.

“We’ll have to wait until we hear from the Minister. We’re just waiting for a written reply, which we haven’t received yet. He’s too busy getting media to interview him. If the Minister spent as much time giving interviews as he spent doing his job he would do a much better job for the public than he’s doing at the present time.”

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