Penticton mayor John Vassilaki. (File photo)

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki. (File photo)

Penticton council announces special meeting about Victory Church shelter

BC Housing has sent the city an official letter saying it will keep the shelter open

A special meeting of Penticton city council has been called for Tuesday now that they have received the official letter from BC Housing and Minister David Eby about the province using its paramountcy powers to keep Penticton’s Victory Church shelter open.

A meeting of Penticton council will be held via zoom on Tuesday, March 23, at noon to discuss the letter received from BC Housing. Council will then go into a closed meeting.

The closed meeting will likely be to discuss what legal action, if any, that council may take against the province and the owner of the church.

Any decisions from the Tuesday closed meeting will be shared with the public at the next city council meeting on April 5.

Minister David Eby announced that the province would be following through on its promise to utilize its powers to keep the 42 residents of the shelter from being turned out onto the street following Penticton council’s decision, on March 16, to reject the permit extension for a second time.

Despite not owning the property that the shelter is currently operating out of, Eby said that he had been assured BC Housing was on solid legal ground with invoking the Interpretation Act, and that if Penticton council tries to withhold authorizing a building permit for Skaha Lake Road that the province would be legally clear to override the city again.

Last week, Mayor John Vassilaki said they will look at legal action.

“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 Vassilaki last Thursday. “Including the landlord as well as BC Housing, we’re going to hold both of them responsible if they break our bylaw regulations.”

READ MORE: BC Housing and landlord in Penticton’s legal crosshairs

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