A working group will be created to come up with recommendations for how the Manitoba government can better protect consumers from unwittingly purchasing a property that once housed a marijuana grow-op or drug lab.
"This is a good step forward towards doing the right thing to better protect consumers and to help create safer, healthier communities," Manitoba Real Estate Association chief executive officer Brian Collie said today of the decision to create such a group. "We are pleased to work together to find appropriate solutions."
The decision to form a working group comprised of government and real estate industry officials and experts was arrived at during a meeting Monday between MREA officials, provincial Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux, and senior finance department staff.
It was decided that over the summer, government and MREA staff will look at what other jurisdictions and other real estate boards and associations are doing to address the issue. The working group will then reconvene in the fall to review the information and draw up recommendations for government.
The MREA said last month it would like to see the establishment of a central registry where consumers and real estate agents can go to see a police-generated list of properties that have been used as drug production sites. It also wants the provincial government to establish standards for how such properties should be cleaned up.
It noted the Manitoba Securities Commission requires real estate agents to disclose whenever they are aware a property was once used as a drug production site. But there are no up-to-date records available that Realtors and consumers can check for this type of information.
It said the RCMP’s registry of drug production sites isn’t updated regularly, and the Winnipeg Police Service’s registry only lists sites for one year. After that, they are dropped from the list.