اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الجمعة 24 مارس 2023 05:20 مساءً
A longtime resident of Sunset Towers social housing in downtown Vancouver says she and other tenants are alarmed over a letter from the building operator that says emergency responders will have keys to access individual apartments.
"Obviously, it creates specific concerns in a building like Sunset Towers where you have a lot of people who are poor, disabled and often dealing with mental health issues. And we know there are real concerns about the interactions with police," said Gabrielle Peters.
The letter dated March 8 states: "Emergency personnel will have their own building FOB and keys to access all units in this building." The letter does not define "emergency personnel," but the term is commonly understood to mean police, fire and ambulance.
Sunset Towers has 475 apartments in two towers in the city's West End and is operated by More Than a Roof Housing Society.
"I'm hoping that this [letter] is an error or that somebody has mistakenly put this information out there ... because I can't imagine that it would be legal to provide master key access of any kind to all the individual units in a building," said Peters.
In an email, the CEO of More Than a Roof said fobs and keys to access main entrances, elevators, rooftops, common areas, and stairwells are present in lockboxes provided for emergency services, including police, fire and rescue crews, and paramedics.
"This allows emergency personnel to access all floors within our buildings so they can get to all units, but does not give them entry into individual units," said Lee-Anne Michayluk. "We have simplified entry into our multi-unit residential buildings, as many others have, for the safety of our residents to ensure that first responders can get to those experiencing an emergency or a crisis promptly."
Michayluk did not clarify if the information sent to tenants was a mistake or whether a correction would be issued.
Vancouver Fire Rescue told CBC it does not have access to keys for individual units in buildings.
"While building access is important for firefighting and a requirement in the Vancouver Fire Bylaw, key and fob access is not included as a recommendation or requirement for units," said Cpt. Matthew Trudeau in an emailed statement.
In November 2019, Vancouver Coun. Melissa De Genova sponsored a motion asking that police and paramedics be given expanded emergency access to multi-unit residential buildings, noting at that time that only Vancouver Fire Rescue had access via lock boxes.
Council directed staff to develop recommendations and submit a report no later than Q4 2021, but no report was ever delivered.
According to the City of Vancouver, residential building operators can apply for a permit to install a lock box containing keys for the main entrance, roof access, stairwells and other public areas that "allows firefighters and rescue workers to enter your building without causing extra damage during an emergency."
A spokesperson with the VPD said police do not have access to firefighter lockboxes.
In December 2017, VPD launched Project Access, a voluntary program for property managers and strata corporations to give police emergency access to public areas of a multi-unit building by using a special intercom code.
Peters, who uses a wheelchair, said she hopes More Than a Roof will address the confusion and fear the letter has caused.
"I want to know that I can come into my unit, lock the door and that nobody else gets to decide to unlock it but me."
تم ادراج الخبر والعهده على المصدر، الرجاء الكتابة الينا لاي توضبح - برجاء اخبارنا بريديا عن خروقات لحقوق النشر للغير