Justice to Building Owner: Violate Fire Code, Go to Jail

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 18, 2008

In a ruling passed down today, a Hamilton Justice of the Peace just sentenced a property owner to 135 days in jail for several violations of the Ontario Fire Code.

The building is a lodging house at 11 Greenaway Ave., and its owner, Stephen Birch, is going to jail for the second time - on his fourth conviction for similar offenses in his properties.

Mr. Birch had already been convicted on:

According to a press release by the city of Hamilton's Fire Prevention Division:

Chief Fire Prevention Officer Jim Winn with Hamilton Emergency Services would like to remind all building owners of their obligations and responsibilities to ensure that their buildings are kept safe and in compliance with the Ontario Fire Code at all times. Individuals (including a director of a corporation) convicted of contravening the Ontario Fire Code are liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or a year in jail or both while a corporation that is convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.

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By councilwatch (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2008 at 17:24:21

Subsequent to the life causing fire in Hamilton this guy should be kept in jail until all conditions of the Fire Code are adhered to.

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