Raise the standards of building and development practices in Minto

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Problem
On November 5, 2018, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing were contacted regarding the expired status of the Minto Chief Building Official and the Building Assistant on the QuARTs Public Registry. The newly appointed Inspector was not showing in the system at all and deemed unregistered.

What does this mean? It means that the Town of Minto was operating in non-compliance with the Building Code Act. For a period of time, there was NO ONE in the Municipality that had the authority to issue building permits or perform inspections, as recognized by the Province.

The Building Code Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c. 23, section 15.11 (1) states that "No person shall exercise the powers of perform the duties of a chief building official unless he or she has the qualifications set out in the building code for the position, and is registered in accordance with the building code. 2017, c. 34, Sched. 2, 2.16 (3). The same applies to building inspectors in relations to sewage systems and plumbing.

Municipalities are the principle authorities to enforce the Building Code Act in Ontario. Council is fully liable for the decisions and actions of the appointed staff as they act on behalf of Council. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing provides renewal notice by email 60-days in advance of expiry. The fact that the registry reached expired status shows negligence on behalf of the building department and ultimately, Council.

As of October 31, 2018, over 190 permits were issued in Minto - a record breaking high. How many of these permits were issued by the CBO while not in good standing, with an expired registration? Are the permits that were issued during that time frame even legitimate? What if this neglectful behaviour occurred across the Province? The Building Code Act and Building Code exists as a matter of public safety. The authority and power of duties that comes with the role of Chief Building Official or Inspector is vast and is not to be taken lightly.

According to the Town of Minto website "The primary role of the Building Department is to promote public safety and assist development in compliance with Federal, Provincial, County and local regulations." How can community members maintain confidence in the building department and Council with this obvious disregard of a Provincial mandate?

Solution
The Town of Minto Council needs to take full responsibility and prove to the taxpayers of Minto that they are committed to ensuring that building and development in Minto is in compliance with Federal, Pronvincial, County and local regulations - starting with employing and appointing staff that are qualified and registered.
Staff members who were acting in non-conformance need to held accountable. They were being paid to perform duties that they didn't have the authority to do. The simple act of not renewing on time, put the Council and Municipality at risk.
A full investigation into the number of permits and inspections affected needs to occur and be communicated.
The newly appointed Inspector needs to be registered or relieved of the title, effective immediately.
As an act of good faith, a third-party review of the affected permits and inspectors needs to occur to ensure full compliance with the all local and provincial regulations.
A Code of Conduct needs to be developed for the building department, as a commitment to ensuring a high-level of standard for the future.


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