PSIT to be removed by end of 2012: Adlem

The team was put on indefinite hold in January 2011 pending a file review

Mission Mayor Ted Adlem

Mission’s mayor will be introducing legislation to scrap the Public Safety Inspection Team (PSIT) by year’s end.

The district isn’t using the bylaw and it’s just sitting in the books, Mayor Ted Adlem explained.

“There is no PSIT team now, nor will there ever be one under my watch,” he added.

The PSIT bylaw has been contentious since its 2008 inception. The bylaw was created to address concerns regarding clandestine drug labs and marijuana grow operations, allowing the district to penalize property owners whose homes are found to be altered to produce illegal drugs, like marijuana and methamphetamine.

The team visited homes based on data from BC Hydro indicating unusually high power consumption.

Property owners whose homes were suspected of housing illegal substances were charged $4,900 for the inspection and a $300 administration fee. Additional remediation inspections were $250.

The team was put on hold indefinitely in January 2011 and every file, except for ones initiated by police, is being reviewed.

The review won’t be completed by the end of the year, said Adlem, who notes it is being worked on weekly.

Adlem is hopeful council can address the problems surrounding medical marijuana grow operations before the PSIT bylaw is gone for good. The federal government has legalized marijuana through a medicinal use, but has downloaded the problems associated it to local governments, explained Adlem.

It’s a safety issue, according to the mayor.

Businesses in Mission are inspected on a regular basis, and Adlem says his restaurant is subject to checks twice a year. Fire and safety inspectors should inspect a building where marijuana is being grown, he reasoned.

“I don’t care if you grow marijuana, just make sure it’s done properly,” said Adlem. “We have every right to expect every home is safe.”