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The steps to fairness

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Sam contacted our office with a complaint involving his local municipality. He felt that the Township of Esquimalt (the Township) had acted unfairly by removing a set of stairs located on a Township-owned boulevard fronting his property. Due to the difference in elevation between his property and the street, the stairs through the boulevard were the only way to safely access his house. When Sam complained to the Township, he was informed that he would have to replace the stairs at his own cost and build them in a different location.

Through the course of our investigation, we noted that Sam had expressed his concerns to the Township about the removal of the stairs both before and after they were removed. We also learned that the Township had acknowledged not only that a set of stairs within the boulevard was necessary but that there was a bylaw in place to allow for the stairs. There also had been no complaints about the stairs.

Considering there was no fair rationale provided to Sam, we asked the Township to consider re-installing the stairs in the boulevard at or close to their original location at the Township’s expense. Mayor and Council agreed to fund the cost of a new stairway.