Three years after residents were forced to evacuate about a dozen homes in Sechelt, BC’s Beach watch The local state of emergency was finally lifted.
It was first declared by Sechelt County in February 2019 due to erosion and sinkholes that made the Porpoise Bay community unsafe to live in.
It was renewed more than 150 times after that, and many times after a The BC Supreme Court Judge has ruled that the state of emergency extension continues to be illegal.
“We’re not sure what it really means at this point, other than now, the district has to have some sort of future plan in place, or we assume they do,” said resident Ed Pednaud. so.
“Hopefully, that means they’ll sit down and talk to us for the first time in three years.”
Since the evacuation, some homes in the Seawatch subdivision have remained attractive to the public and residents have limited access to their belongings.
Property value for a number fell sharply from more than $1 million to about $2, according to recent BC Assessment figures, and as homes deteriorate in the elements, some have been broken into and vandalized.
Resident Rae-dene Pednaud said: “We have two kids at home and the financial part is unknown, always a mystery.
“We came here because this is our dream.”
Provincial BC judge rules that Sechelt residents must be paid to relocate through sinkholes
In January, the province was ordered compensation two Seawatch families close to $200,000 in accommodation and accrued expenses since evacuating.
Neighbors Carole Rosewall and Gregory and Geraldine Latham argued in court that repeated emergency extensions had “put them in limbo”.
Justice Geoffrey Gomery ruled that the initial state of emergency was justified, but a repeat and indefinite extension was not.
“There appears to be no incentive for anyone to take steps to address the geotechnical instability of the subdivision while it is still subject to (local emergency) and under orders.” evacuate,” Gomery said in his ruling. “No steps have been taken to cancel the subdivision either.”
The BC government is appealing Gomery’s ruling.
Sechelt County released a brief statement in response to a request for comment on this story.
“The district is considering the steps to be taken under the decision of the BC Supreme Court,” it wrote by email.
Provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the province is complying with the court’s decision and has stopped approving emergency extensions because no new information to justify them has been provided.
“It’s a terrible situation for the landlords and right now the matter is in court,” he said in an interview.
“However, at the same time, the Interior Department can and is trying to work with the regional county on possible solutions or workarounds for the situation there.”
The judge ordered the province to pay the displaced Sechelt residents
Meanwhile, the Pednauds said they were aware the state of emergency had not been renewed by local media, rather through Sechelt County or the provincial government.
Ed said: “They put up a fence, put an emergency order and they tried to forget about us. “We are not going far, this has to be fixed. It has to be resolved in some way. “
The litigation surrounding the situation has affected their mental health and savings, he added, but he is most worried about their kids.
“We keep saying that we want to be whole, but I don’t know how you make all six years of your life, how do I give my child back the childhood that I have. we planned them,” he said.
“No amount of money can do that.”
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8623101/state-of-emergency-lifted-sechelt-bc-seawatch-subdivision/ State of emergency has finally been lifted for Sechelt, BC’s charismatic Seawatch division – BC