Blog

  • Minimum Wage Increases – 2019

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    Last year, we wrote to you regarding the planned increases to the minimum wage in British Columbia, and the impact these increased wages would have on Strata Corporations.

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  • Short Term Rentals / Executive Stays

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    Our great friends at Lesperance Mendes have posted a new article on their Strata Alert section (a great source of information for Strata owners) regarding a recent BC Court of Appeal decision that clarified whether or not executive stay rental businesses are exempt from Strata Corporation rental restrictions.

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  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

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    With the popularity of electric vehicles increasing every month (reportedly, BC has the highest adoption rate in the country which is not a surprise to anyone who has driven in the downtown core recently), there is more and more pressure on Strata Corporations to allow for electric vehicle charging stations to be installed in their parkades. Many are amenable, but run into pragmatic problems such as:

    • Aged infrastructure and limited electrical capacity;
    • The need for capital expenditures to run electrical wires/conduits/install stations;
    • The need to update Bylaws and Rules to set a regime for the installation, maintenance, operation, user parameters and remuneration related to the charging stations;
    • 3/4 Votes to change the use/appearance of Common Property (to accommodate the conduits and charging stations themselves, and also the re-designation of visitor parking when necessary);
    • Appropriate indemnifications to the Strata Corporation for owner installed stations and/or the usage of Strata operated stations.

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  • Rental Housing Task Force & It’s Impact on Strata Corporations

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    In late 2018, the Government of BC released a report from their Rental Housing Task Force which included a number of recommendations designed to alleviate the housing crisis facing British Columbians.

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  • Insurance Renewals & Market Insights for 2019

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    With the ever-changing nature of global insurance markets and the unfortunate increase in severity and frequency of weather-related catastrophes ‘helping’ continue the trend of rising premium costs, the world of insurance is an ever more complicated and expensive one for strata councils to navigate. We take this opportunity early in the new year to pass along some general information to keep you and our clients informed on the renewal process along with some Market Insights from an industry expert to hopefully help make some more sense of this very significant and mandatory operating cost.

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  • The 8th Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive

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    The 8th Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive was a huge success and we are still at it! With the continued unbelievable support from our staff and industry colleagues, Stratawest is proud to have made significant contributions to the North Shore Christmas Bureau for the 8th year running and to Harvest Project in our 3rd year of involvement with their extremely impactful program of ‘extending a hand up, not just a hand out’.  The response this year was again simply incredible, with amazingly generous donations of toys, clothing, thousands of dollars in gift cards, movie passes, and restaurant meals, sporting equipment – including 16 NEW bikes AND COUNTING! – sporting event tickets, iPods and many other items for needy families. Incredibly, there was far more than the picture shows as we could only fit in a few bikes and the boardroom still had plenty of toys in it… and gift cards are not that photogenic, but sure are awesome to get under the tree!

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  • Natural Gas Shortages

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    Fortis BC is asking all natural gas customers, including Strata Corporation residents, to reduce their natural gas consumption this winter because of a shortage caused by reduced supply after a pipe rupture.

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  • The Legalization of Cannabis – and its Impact on Strata Corporations

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    With thanks to our friends at BFL Canada, here is a document they’ve prepared regarding the impacts of cannabis legalization on Strata Corporations and in particular, the potential insurance implications.

    We encourage everyone to review this brief but well written article.

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  • Smoke ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em

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    Marijuana legalization is now here.

    Most Strata Corporations will almost certainly notice an uptick in the number of complaints of a “nuisance”- the smell of marijuana.  What used to set marijuana apart from other smells (cigarettes, barbeques, cooking, untidy suites) was that it was illegal.  That’s no longer the case!

    Our good friends at Lesperance Mendes have put together a primer on the importance of taking complaints about smells seriously.  You can find that here:

    http://lmlaw.ca/2018/10/strata-alert-8-steps-every-strata-council-should-take-when-responding-to-a-smoking-complaint/

    There are many reasons that complaints about smoke (and other nuisances) can’t just be ignored out of hand.  We recommend that Councils faced with these sorts of ongoing issues form a small subcommittee to ensure that the investigative portion of Lesperance Mendes’ recommendations be enacted.

    Just because marijuana is now legal does not mean that people can smoke it with impunity- it can still be considered a nuisance, especially if the recipient of the unwanted second hand smoke pushes hard on the matter.

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  • Sip and Savour 2018 – In Support of BC Women’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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    Stratawest Management is very proud to be the Champion Sponsor this year for Sip and Savour 2018 which is back for a third year!

    Sip and Savour is being held on November 19th at The Pipe Shop at the Shipyards in North Vancouver, with tastings from Vancouver’s top restaurants, bartenders, wineries, and breweries – all supporting BC Women’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

    Sip and Savour arose from numpfer™ founder Sarah Robbin’s desire to give back to BC Women’s, after her daughter Charlotte spent her first three days of life in the Neonatal ICU.  Coincidentally, Stratawest president Cory Pettersen’s own daughter Alexandra also spent the first days of her life in the same unit and we are thrilled to be taking part in this worthy event in the name of all the families and children that may benefit from the same amazing level of care.

    The past two events were an incredible success, demonstrating the extraordinary power of community, and raising almost $100,000 for cutting edge equipment and resources for the tiniest patients in BC and their families in their time of need. Tamara Taggart will once again MC this incredible night where guests sample the best of the city- mouth-watering canapés and delicious beverages from BC’s best restaurants, bartenders, wineries and craft breweries, bid for items from the curated silent auction, and hear incredible stories of courage and hope.

    The 3rd Annual Sip and Savour will take place November 19, 2018 from 7 to 10 pm at The Pipe Shop, a stunning waterfront heritage building located in North Vancouver’s Shipyards District and there are still some tickets available!

    https://www.bcwomensfoundation.org/events/events/2018-11-19/sip-and-savour

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