Non-RCMP PSIT files and fees to be reviewed

The District of Mission is taking a closer look at non-RCMP-related PSIT files

A review of all non-RCMP-related public safety inspection team (PSIT) files and fees charged to homeowners will be conducted, announced the district Thursday morning.

“We are fully aware that the grow-op situation in Mission is serious and we definitely want it addressed,” said Mayor Ted Adlem in a press release. “However, well-documented problems related to the PSIT activities and the resulting fees that have been charged to Mission residents, must be resolved.”

Coun. Larry Nundal, who was a vocal advocate for homeowners affected by PSIT prior to his election to council, welcomed the news.

“What we’re trying to do is bring a bit more fairness into play. I still think we have a long ways to go, but we’re going to make whatever effort we can,” he said.

Of the 499 households inspected between April 2008 and January 2011 when the program was put on deferral, 283 were levied fines. The district then conducted a review of 96 PSIT-led properties that had not paid fines, which led to a reimbursement and apology to 15 homeowners.

But Nundal said there were homeowners who weren’t part of an RCMP investigation who paid the $5,200 in PSIT fines, but were never given an opportunity to appeal the decision.

“I think this council is wanting to repair any damage that was done, notwithstanding the class action lawsuit,” he said, referring to papers filed in provincial court last July by a homeowner who was fined.

“The council has met with the RCMP and the municipal lawyer, so they are confident in their decision about how to move forward from this point,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Paul Gipps. “A procedure is now in place that meets council’s request for a standardized review process that will be applied equally and which will allow council to track the progress on each file.”

If the information contained in a file does not substantiate the determination of the property as a controlled substance property, the fees will be returned and the decision reversed.