'Shrieking' B.C. strata owner alleges criminal conspiracy by council, manager

An owner had been recording strata council and general meetings and posting some of them on the internet with commentary.

A condo owner reportedly recorded council and general meetings without consent and then posted the recordings on YouTube. | Paul Taylor/Stone/Getty Images

B.C. Supreme Court has upheld a Civil Resolution Tribunal decision involving allegations that a strata owner disrupted council meetings by shrieking, yelling and interrupting with repetitive statements.

The man also allegedly recorded strata council and general meetings and posted some of them online with commentary.

The case stems from a longstanding conflict between owner Edna Wong and other owners.

A July 19 decision from B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Edelmann said between November 2017 and June 2019, Wong sent 18 emails to strata owners accusing council members of being in a criminal conspiracy with the strata manager to steal money from the strata corporation.

The strata wanted Edelmann to set aside a November 2020 B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal decision which declined to make most orders sought. Edelmann declined to return the case to the tribunal for reconsideration.

Named alongside Wong in the case were Li Heng Luo, Pui Ching Li, Gay Yuen Wai Chan, Wei Jing Yao, Yong Gang Wei and Tsui Leung Wong.

In July 2019, the strata issued fines of $5,100 against Wong for 30 purported bylaw infractions between 2017 and 2019 related to emails, videos and other incidents of disruptive behaviour, court documents show.

Multiple additional fines were issued against the other respondents for emails, totalling between $1,000 and $1,200 for each respondent.

Tribunal vice-chair Kate Campbell said the strata alleged, since 2017, the owners engaged in harassing and nuisance behaviour, contrary to strata bylaws.

Specifically, Campbell said, the strata asserted Wong repeatedly sent harassing and defamatory emails to the strata’s property manager and other owners, on his own behalf and on behalf of the other respondents.

“Although the emails were sent by Mr. Wong, several emails are also signed on behalf of the other personal respondents who apparently share Mr. Wong’s concerns,” Edelmann said.

“The strata also says Edna Wong has physically confronted and yelled at strata council members, the property manager, and the strata’s lawyer,” Campbell said. “The strata says Edna Wong has recorded council and general meetings without consent, and has posted the recordings to YouTube with defamatory captions.”

In September 2019, the strata applied to the tribunal seeking eight orders including a fine payment of $10,200, an order that respondents’ restrain themselves from emails and internet posts accusing council members and the manager of fraud and theft and an order restraining respondents from making accusations or false statements.

Edelmann said such a restraining order was out of the tribunal’s jurisdiction and that it was correct in declining not to deal with the issue.

The strata further sought an order that the respondents not video record council or general meetings, or post them online without consent, and that Wong remove all videos and comments he’s posted to YouTube about council or general meetings.

The strata also sought an order restraining Wong from interfering with the registration process at general meetings.

Edelmann said he found no evidence of that.

The tribunal said it could not restrain people from sending emails or posting online. It said the strata should enforce its bylaws around owners’ behaviour at meetings.

However, the tribunal only ordered that the respondents not video record meetings without consent and that Wong remove his YouTube videos and comments.

It dismissed all the other relief the strata had sought.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

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