Update on Housing Inspections for temporary foreign workers

In mid-September BCAC was advised that Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC) /Service Canada (SC) were rejecting housing inspections. A call with Ottawa clarified that they were enforcing a program requirement that all inspections be completed by “certified inspectors”. A couple of the existing BC inspectors did not meet that requirement at this time.

BCAC worked to secure additional inspectors that meet the program requirements. Home inspectors in BC are regulated by Consumer Protection BC (http://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/home-inspector-portal). Consumer Protection BC recognizes inspectors from four accrediting organizations. In securing additional inspectors, BCAC’s objective was to balance the need for quick access while ensuring consistent interpretation of standards. To achieve this it was decided to try working with one of the accrediting organization and identify a handful of inspectors in each region of the province.

BCAC and the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (BC) (http://www.cahpi.bc.ca/) have agreed to partner to provide a list of certified inspectors throughout the province who are familiar with the program and willing to complete inspections.
BCAC supports having certified inspectors as a program requirement as it helps build public trust for the programs.
At this time BCAC is recommending that anyone who completed an inspection by a non-certified inspector, to have the inspection redone by a certified inspector.

2016 Inspections
CAHPI(BC) Inspectors will be using the BCAC Inspection Form. Farms will also need to sign the standard CAHPI(BC) Contract. Fees for the service will be negotiated between the Inspector and the Farm (as has been the approach in the past).

Please do not use Schedule F from the Service Canada Website. That form is to be used in provinces that do not have their own form and it contains a few discrepancies from the BC standards.

The inspection reports are a 3 page, 4 copy, carbonless form that is available by the Inspectors from the BCAC office. Forms are sequentially numbered and sold to the inspectors at $2/copy (to cover the printing costs).

Please contact inspectors listed directly to arrange your inspections.

Current Issues
A reminder that in the course of completing inspections, Housing Inspectors will be noting obvious violations of building codes that could be a safety issue for the workers. The program requires

facilities to meet building codes in addition to the specific program requirements. Violation of code requirements can result in a failed inspection.

Some issues seen in inspections this fall include:
• Electrical panel with open breaker ports, leaving an open access to the “live” components inside the panel.
• A front door had a partial porch/landing that was not secure and did not provide safe access/egress from the home.
• A TFW suite in a building with a window from one of the TFW bedrooms into the garage (used for fruit sorting & machine storage). Code requires occupancy must be separated by a fire separation.
• Bedrooms in a TFW suite that do not have windows that lead to the outdoors. Code requires all sleeping rooms must have either a window or a door that provides emergency access to the outdoors.

Please forward any questions or concerns to your Commodity Association or Labour Committee Representative. They will be brought forward to BCAC Staff or the BCAC Labour Committee as appropriate.

From Memo, BCAC 30/09/2015

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