Ottawa accused of coverup over leaky condos

PUBLICATION:  National Post
DATE:  2005.09.29
EDITION:  National
SECTION:  Canada
COLUMN:  National Report
BYLINE:  Peter O'Neil
SOURCE:  CanWest News Service

OTTAWA - The federal government was accused yesterday of covering up its alleged complicity in the $1.5-billion leaky condo crisis in British Columbia after the government released hundreds of whited-out pages of internal documents and correspondence on the issue. Conservative MP John Cummins alleges the government was aware starting in 1980 that stringent federal home insulation requirements brought in to save energy prevented houses in wet climates -- particularly in B.C. and Newfoundland -- from "breathing" and drying out quickly after rainfall. But Industry Minister David Emerson said earlier this week there will be no more answers because leaky condo owners are suing the federal government. "The government is attempting to hide [its failure to prevent the condo crisis] by claiming the issue is before the courts," Mr. Cummins told the House of Commons yesterday. Hundreds of pages of whited-out documents were released this month after the MP filed an Access to Information request. Virtually everything but his questions, a newspaper's report on the issue and various salutations and bureaucrats' names at the start of e-mails and memos were blanked out.