Ottawa is covering the majority of the costs for B.C. to repay $2.5 million to people who bought B.C. building codes since September 2018.
Building, fire and plumbing codes for B.C. construction are now available online for free, after the federal government stopped charging provinces for the national code that forms the basis for provincial building standards.
“Not only are we returning money to the hard-working students and firms of B.C.’s construction sector and making national building codes free from now on, we are also celebrating the province’s role in setting the stage for better harmonization under one national standard,” Navdeep Bains, federal innovation minister, announced in Burnaby Wednesday.
Online subscription fees for the documents are being refunded, and those who bought printed copies since last Sept. 5 will get a “substantial refund” of 70 per cent of the cost, the B.C. government said in a statement. Refund cheques are to be mailed out over the next four to six weeks.
The federal government is paying $1.9 million of the refunds, with the remainder of the $2.5 million coming from B.C.
As of April 1, 2019, electronic versions of the National Building Code of Canada were made available at no cost. The change eliminated the royalties B.C. pays to the federal government for the national codes.