138 East Hastings – A Perspective

VPD PROJECT ACCESS

The Most Important Issue Facing Sequel Strata

VPD Project Access is a an agreement where the Vancouver Police Department is given unsupervised access and may enter the Sequel building whenever they wish.
The agreement ensures the VPD has zero liability for any and all damage caused by the VPD.

VPD PROJECT ACCESS

  1. The agreement was initiated and written by the VPD to ensure they have zero liability.
  2. All damages done to property or persons by the VPD actions on Sequel property are paid for by strata.
  3. Should the VPD be taken to court for actions on Sequel property, strata pays VPD legal expenses.
  4. Should a court award a monetary payment to a victim, strata pays the award amount.
  5. Insurance, Legal and even Police Officers have concerns for owners with respect to financial liability.
  6. Strata lawyer Ms Baker said this in her email to council:
    “The strata corporation has no authority to waive claims on behalf of the residents.”
  7. An action by the police akin to the incident at Sequel in April 2022 or a Myles Grey incident could bankrupt strata.
  8. We could lose our places or be forced to pay out money that would be more than our units are worth.
  9. The Vancouver Fire Department has a lock box at Sequel so they may enter the building unsupervised. Yet, Sequel did not have to waive any claim of liability for that. Owners are not financially liable for claims, unlike with the VPD.

 

The question is why would anyone put the strata in such a position? 
The police have not had an issue getting into the building.
So why would we put ourselves into a position where strata is liable for damages that could run into the millions?

 

Please note: Documents used for the information on this page are listed/linked at the bottom of the page.

 

What is VPD Project ACCESS?

VPD Project Access is a an agreement initiated and written by the VPD where the Vancouver Police Department is given unsupervised access to the Sequel building. 

The VPD has been given their own access and may enter the Sequel building whenever they wish. The agreement lays out a list of guidelines for entry, but the VPD is not restricted to those guidelines.

So what you ask?
That puts vulnerable residents, who have the right to feel safe in their home, and who do not feel safe around police, at risk. That is the first issue. Some of us may be able to understand this and some may not. But I think we can all understand the next issue — the liability issue.

Liability Issue – VPD Has Zero Liability

All Damages, VPD Legal Expenses & Awards Paid By Strata

The VPD has written the agreement so that they are completely liability free. Any damage the VPD does to property or persons on Sequel property is paid for by strata including legal expenses and awards to victims. This could be in the millions; much more than strata could pay.

Under the agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) specifies that:

  1. All damages committed by the VPD to property while they are at the Sequel building are paid for by the strata.
  2. All damages committed by the VPD to persons while they are at the Sequel building are paid by strata.
  3. Should the VPD have a complaint filed against them, get sued by a person or be held to any legal obligation for actions committed at Sequel, strata pays all legal expenses for both the VPD and E-Comm (a company that works with the VPD).
  4. For all of the above, strata pays for any legal award ordered by the court or legal entity for all damages regarding the VPD to the victim.

Will This Make Sequel Safer?

The simple answer is No.

The VPD have not had an issue getting into the Sequel building for any reason.

The longer answer is It does not make Sequel safer, it will make Sequel unsafe.

Why? Because the VPD now have unlimited, unsupervised, unconditional access to the building. The guidelines set in place for their entry are a joke because the financial liability states that even if the VPD comes into the Sequel building without adhering to the guidelines, strata still pays for any and all damage to persons and property; VPD legal expenses are still paid by strata; as well as any court ordered award to the victims.

Also, let’s remember that there are people who are vulnerable in our society and are profiled by the police. These residents could be endangered by the very presence of police in an otherwise safe environment. It is not okay for people who do not live here and live in parts of the city that are not endangered by police to make decisions for those of us who do live here.

Why Is This Dangerous For Owners?

Strata Bankruptcy

This is dangerous for owners because the VPD has shown that they can be violent, unsympathetic and are not skilled to deal with persons dealing with trauma. A situation will happen in Sequel because of our location and because of the VPD attitudes in DTES. Should the damages be high, owners will be forced to pay out of their own pockets. Should the damages be high enough, involve legal expenses and court awards, strata could go bankrupt and owners would lose their homes.

Are you willing to lose your home or investment property because of something the VPD did?


Thinking Precedent Matters Part 1

Council believes that since there is no precedent, there is no danger. First, we do not know if there is precedent since agreements are private.
Second, thinking precedent matters is misguided. I have participated in court cases where there was no precedent. In one case, the legal expenses for my participation were over $200,000. The award was over $1M.

We all have earthquake insurance: Even though scientists say that there will be no major earthquake in Vancouver “in the near or medium future.” Yet, we all know it’s a possibility and could bankrupt those of us without insurance, so we have earthquake insurance to offset the risk. If we buy into the idea that no precedent means no risk of court or damages paid, then we would not have earthquake insurance.

Lack of precedent is not a basis for thinking nothing could happen.


Precedent Part 2

Council keeps repeating that there is no precedent for VPD damages resulting in strata paying damages regarding property, people, legal expenses and legal awards. But in fact I do no see any basis for that statement.

The strata layer Alison Baker, who was only able to work as much as a retainer would allow because strata would not pay for a deeper search into caselaw, said in her email:

“…reviewing applicable legislation and caselaw is outside of the scope of the retainer.”

 

This means that strata lawyer Ms Baker did not complete a comprehensive review of the legislation or caselaw to determine if there was any precedent regarding this agreement.

 


Incidence of VPD Abuse of Authority and Neglect of Duty on Sequel Property

“Get down or you’re gonna get it in the face.”

This incident occurred in April 2022. An official complaint against the VPD for their violent actions and their unprofessional and cruel behaviour has been approved and is being investigated by the OPCC. This incident will go to court. The unarmed indigenous woman is on Sequel property when she is told by the VPD officer with the shotgun “Get down or you’re gonna get it in the face.” After 6 police moved in to arrest her, she was left face down on the concrete (Sequel property), handcuffed, begging for help and crying in pain – and the VPD stood over her and laughed. Yes. Laughed.
Three VPD officers have currently been found to have violated the Police Act. They have all elected to go to a hearing with Legal representation. More complaints are being lodged against the VPD around this incident.
If that had happened now, the VPD agreement holds strata financially liable to pay for VPD legal expenses and court awards to the victim.

More information and complete video with sound about this incident here.


Other Incidents of VPD Acts of Arrogance, Violence and Death

Ask the Sequel owner who had their window smashed by the VPD ($1,500 repair bill) instead of their door kicked in ($200 repair bill) during a wellness check. When council was on scene advising and begging the VPD to just kick in the door instead of breaking the window.

VPD officers milling about on the third floor at Sequel, when asked by a council member if they could help them with anything the officer in charge replied “Yes, you can get the fuck out of our way.”

Think something like Myles Grey could not happen at Sequel, think again.

 

View List of Recent VPD Incidents Against Citizens

2 Vancouver police officers caught on video posing with dead man on Third Beach

Investigation launched after Vancouver police officer hits pedestrian on Hastings Street

IIO investigate serious injury of man during arrest by Vancouver police

Vancouver man accusing VPD of police brutality

Vancouver man levels allegations of police brutality against VPD

Caught on cam: Allegation of police brutality in DTES

Const. Nicole Chan reported sex assault and extortion by VPD sergeant before her death, inquest hears

Psychiatrist gives evidence that contradicts what a Vancouver police officer told Coroner’s Court.

7 VPD officers to face hearing over allegations of unnecessary force in death of Myles Gray

Vancouver police officer guilty of assault with weapon in arrest of Black man stopped for jaywalking

VPD’s response to inquest into suicide of Constable Chan, who filed assault complaint against supervisor

Charges in 4 major VPD drug investigations requiring significant resources and personnel ruined by charter rights violations by the VPD

‘Institutional systemic racism within the VPD,’ 30 year VPD veteran officer files complaint againt VPD

VPD officers made, shared video that ‘ridiculed’ sexual harassment investigations: OPCC report

VPD contentious study on social spending commissioned without participation of city called ‘harmful’

VPD officer assaulted girlfriend five times on off-duty trip, review finds acts of discreditable conduct by officer

Criminal investigation launched into off-duty Vancouver police officers who threatened the RCMP officer at scene.

B.C.’s police watchdog appoints retired judge to review a VPD disciplinary decision that threw out allegations against an officer accused of misconduct.

Former detective convicted of sexual exploitation and breach of trust for kissing two female victims of sex crimes.

VPD Counter Exploitation Unit: four out of nine have either been charged or are still being investigated with corruption

Vancouver police fail to identify officers accused of ‘inappropriate comments,’ racism

Court hears VPD knew about detective’s misconduct long before he was suspended

Salon owner complained about officer’s contact with young victims

Vancouver police officers claim union reps told them not to take notes after death of Myles Gray

More Vancouver police officers to testify today at inquest into Myles Gray’s death

Canadian coroners rejecting excited delirium as cause of police-related deaths

Firefighters say VPD officers told them not to check Myles Gray’s condition in last moments

Court documents reveal new details of sex assault allegations against disgraced Vancouver detective

Disgraced Vancouver detective allegedly gave advice on covering up stabbing: new documents

Detective’s ‘hidden side’ came out when he took advantage of young sex crime victims

Lawsuits raise new allegations of sexual and psychological abuse by ex-VPD detective

The VPD is considered on of the deadliest police forces in Canada.
The VPD kills people at a higher rate than any other BC force.

How Did This Pass Without Owner Approval?

FSR brought VPD Unsupervised Access to council. At the time there were 4 members on council. I was one of them. Council was going to pass this without any owner awareness, approval or vote. I disagreed but was outvoted. I left council over this as I did not wish to be part of such an arrangement without having owner input and vote.

Council says they held a vote but an informal vote through Google docs where 8 people voted is not valid. Council says there was 1 vote against. There are at least 2 people who have come forward to say they voted against it. Council at the AGM said I voted in this informal vote: I did not. Those 2 incorrect statements by council show why formal votes matter.

The March 2023 council meeting had 3 members of council and 2 of those members voted to push the VPD Unsupervised Access agreement (MOU) through. No owner input. No owner vote. It was passed with the vote of 2 council members.

The next official meeting was the AGM, where owners vote on issues. But council would not wait. Why?

Have Any Professionals Been Consulted?

Council did not consult with any professionals before initially approving the VPD Unsupervised Access.

Three council members initially voted this with no legal or insurance consultation. After I left council, I called the insurance company to ask their opinion and they contacted strata with their concerns. That is the only reason legal and insurance became aware of this VPD Unsupervised Access Agreement. Council’s attitude was that it could simply push this through with no involvement or consultation with owners or even legal or insurance professionals, whose job it is to protect strata’s investment. Their opinions made no difference to council who voted it in at the March council meeting, although the AGM, where owners vote on important issues was the next meeting scheduled.


Strata Legal Department Concerns

Strata’s legal opinion from Allyson Baker, Partner at Clark Wilson, the lawyer strata has on retainer.

“The strata corporation has no authority to waive claims on behalf of the residents.”

 

“While I expect that there are some limitations on anyone’s ability to bring a claim against the police, I would be concerned that agreeing to the terms below would prevent the strata corporation from bringing a claim where there is a legal basis for doing so.”

 

“…reviewing applicable legislation and caselaw is outside of the scope of the retainer.”

[This means that strata lawyer Ms Baker did not complete a comprehensive review of the legislation or caselaw to determine precedent.]

 


Strata Professional & Lawyer Concerns

I contacted a lawyer and a professional who specialize in strata and they agreed with everything our strata legal opinion stated. The strata corporation cannot waive claims on behalf of owners and even though there is a legal misconduct case agains the VPD, strata could not bring a claim, since strata has waived claims. Even though Strata has no right to waive claims on behalf of owners and residents.

It is doubtful either the approval or the “Limitations of Liability” clause are legal.

This is for open access into common property owned by strata corporation member-owners, not the council.

Additionally, it potentially is susceptible to abuse, hence the need for a legal review, open dialogue and approval by owners.

Any and all liabilities, including outside the scope of the authorization, will be born by the building ownership.

Council is only a fiduciary, and does not have absolute authority to authorize common property matters.

 


Strata Insurance Company Concerns

When I left council I called strata’s insurance company. They have concerns that anyone would allow this in a building. They told me it was foolhardy and that ‘No one does damage to a building like the police do. It’s a well known fact in the insurance world.’ Insurance will not cover the costs of any damage to persons, nor will it cover legal expenses or award payments. The company also told me that the strata’s deductible was so high for property damage that they would not be involved in any damage payments. The person I spoke with at the company said they were very concerned and would be contacting FSR.

Emails to strata from BFL Canada, strata’s insurance company:

We recommend getting independent legal advice about the impact of the following:
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY… the Counterparty now agrees on its own behalf and on behalf of the Building Group not to sue or make any legal claim against the VPD and EComm Group for anything arising under the MOU and to reimburse the VPD and EComm Groups for any costs arising from anyone within the Building Group suing or making a legal claim against the VPD and EComm Group under this MOU

 


VPD & RCMP Concerns

I know people in the RCMP and was introduced to a member of the VPD. Both spoke on the condition that they were not identified, which I found interesting but agreed to. Both thought that the agreement was only beneficial to the police. The VPD member thought it was a great thing for police – unsupervised access and zero liability. When I told them I lived in the building they told me that it would be smart to either cancel the agreement or sell. I asked why and they said that (1) it does not make buildings any safer because police can always get into a building when they need to and (2) there will be major costs to strata when something goes ‘not according to plan’. Both told me it was a matter of time before an traumatic situation occurs because of the building location and the attitudes of the VPD who work in dtes.
I showed the video of the woman being shot by the VPD to both officers. They shook their heads and said they could not comment because they cannot be seen to take any side but the VPDs in an incident . They could not support the police actions in the video.

 

Strata has approved the VPD Unsupervised Access against insurance, legal and professional opinions to the contrary.

Owners Are Concerned

Many owners are concerned for their financial obligations under this agreement and the impact paying for damages could have on the strata. Legal expenses in the hundreds of thousands, awards in the millions could bankrupt strata or owners if the cost was shifted to each individual owner.

I understand that some people trust the VPD implicitly and that’s one view. But many of those people do not live here in Sequel in the downtown eastside. The VPD here are not the VPD you meet on the west side or in other parts of the city.

Owners are asking for a vote – and since we are the ones who will be financially responsible, I don’t understand the why there cannot be  a vote for owners to make their wishes known. Then it’s decided and done. Why is this even an issue?

What Can Owners Do Now?

If you are concerned about the possibility of strata going bankrupt and you losing your home and possibly more then there are steps owners can take to overturn the already approved VPD Unsupervised Access:

  1. Ask Council to cancel the VPD Unsupervised Access agreement.
    If enough owners talk with council perhaps council will see that owners do not want this in our home building. 

    If council will not do that then…

  2. Sign the petition to hold a vote by owners.
    Under the Strata Act, if a petition is signed by 20% of owners to hold a vote, an SGM must be held for this vote.
  3. Sign a proxy so your vote will count.
    You will be asked to sign a proxy so that your vote will be counted at the SGM if you are unable to attend. This is vitally important.
  4. Talk with you neighbours, your tenants, and the people who live here.
    As an owner you may live outside of DTES and not realize the danger of having the VPD in your home building. Educate yourself to the realities of life in our community and the actions of the VPD.

 

That’s it!
If owners do that we can cancel the agreement & protect our homes from VPD caused bankruptcy.

Please find links to all the documents used to create this page below.

Documents re VPD UNSUPERVISED ACCESS

VPD Brochure | Project Access Info | Access Agreement

VPD – Access Brochure

VPD – Project Access Info sheet

VPD – Access Agreement


More About the VPD Project Access at Sequel

Limitation of Liability, etc. laid out.


VPD Shoots Unarmed Indigenous Woman on Sequel Property

This incident has resulted in an OPCC formal complaint against the VPD and will likely result in court and a possible award to the victim.

Video and Information When the VPD Shot Unarmed Woman who was on Sequel Property


Documents Released by Strata After Owner Request For Information
Strata Files Pertaining to VPD Unsupervised Access
  1. StrataVPDAccessEmail 1 – Emails January 2023 – And 8 responses from informal, unofficial poll
  2. StrataVPDAccessEmail 2 – Emails from December 2022 ->   Pages 8-52 are illegible
  3. StrataVPDAccessEmail 3 – Emails November 2022 ->   Pages 7-49 are illegible
  4. StrataVPDAccessEmail 4 – Emails April 2023 ->
  5. StrataVPDAccessEmail 5 – Emails January 2023 ->
  6. Legal Advice and Insurance Opinions
  7. StrataVPDAccessJan2023Minutes
  8. StrataVPDAccessMarch2023Minutes
  9. StrataVPDAccessSIGNEDMARCH292023

Council Email Thread 2022 – Initial Emails

Halfway down page please see Background: Council Vote Email Thread


Response From Professional in BC Strata Matters

Please scroll down page to Response From Professional in BC Strata Matters

I love living in this community and love living in this building with all the great people here.
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Facebook Page – Building Issues: 138 East Hastings Social Club

Jayun //  Addie Fern on FB    Email: jn@138easthastings.com    Telegram: @groovylala

Jayun // jn@138easthastings.com

 

Love is the answer.