New B.C. law would target gang-run 'crack shacks'
Minister Mike Farnworth is seen in this undated file image.
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, April 4, 2019 2:24PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 4, 2019 4:52PM PDT
VICTORIA - Properties linked to gun, gang and drug activities are now on the British Columbia government's hit list.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth introduced legislation that empowers people to report alleged illegal activities in their neighbourhoods and gives authorities more clout to shut down those sites.
He says the Community Safety Act, if passed, would allow people to submit confidential complaints to a government unit that will investigate and enforce the act.
Farnworth says the unit will collaborate with neighbours and take escalating steps that would include ending tenancy agreements and closing the property for up to 90 days.
He says people living near so-called crack shacks and other dangerous and nuisance properties have been waiting years for help since the former Liberal government passed similar protection legislation in 2013 but didn't proclaim the law.
Farnworth says Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Yukon already have legislation similar to B.C.'s proposed Community Safety Act.