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October 27, 2017 10:42 pm

Connaught Business License Pulled for 3 Months

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 @ 2:29 PM


RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown offers evidence at hearing – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – After three hours of witnesses, and cross  examination,  Council has unanimously  supported maintaining the  3 month suspension of the business license for the Connaught Motor Inn.The license suspension  is to take effect July 1st .  That means  monthly tenants ( about 9) will be served   a months notice on  June 1st,  advising they will have to find a new home by July 1st.

The hotel  sits at the corner of  15th and Victoria in downtown Prince George,  a major intersection,  and while the property owners  tried to  convince  Council  the problems were being brought on to the property by  trespassers  making their way  from a nearby liquor store to  other locations,  Prince George RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown  dispelled that  thought saying  the hotel  was the “hub” of illegal  activity  from stolen property to drug trafficking and prostitution.  It accounted for  more than 600 calls for service  over the past  four years,  and numerous other stops by police who  were trying to be proactive  in their crime investigations.

At a hearing this morning  where the owners were appealing a 3 month  suspension of their business license, the owners of the property said they were surprised to hear the property had been a regular  hot spot for police  activity and  told Council  they have plans  to  address the issues  outlined in the letter they received in January of this year.

Property owner Joe Carhoun told Council  they would have acted  sooner,  but  it was winter  when they were first  made aware of  the issues and, according to Carhoun  who lives in  the lower mainland, the  Fraser Canyon  is  often closed in the winter making it impossible to get  crews to Prince George.

At one point,  owner Joe Carhoun  posed a question  to RCMP Superintendant Warren Brown about  how  to battle  the criminal activity at the site  “If you were me,  what would you do?” asked Carhoun.  Supt. Brown  was quick to reply “If I were  you, we wouldn’t be here.”

Superintendent Brown  also said  to Carhoun “I think you have been willfully blind in the way  you have run your hotel.” Carhoun responded with “You’re right, but not willfully.”

The Carhouns  told Council they have secured the financing to make the necessary repairs and upgrades,  and have a tenant who wants to run the restaurant but is reluctant to do so pending the  outcome of the hearing. Joe Carhoun said  the loss of that tenant could mean the loss of  about 30 jobs.  He also said  the  whole ( business license suspension  appeal) process  has been “ram rodded down our throats” that  they didn’t have enough time to prepare their case.  But Counsel for the City  noted  that since the first letter was sent to the owners in January advising of the  issues that needed to be dealt with,  there has not been one  building permit issued or  an application  for a permit filed.  The Carhouns were advised April 8th that  their  business license would be suspended , pending appeal.

The Carhouns also told Council they plan to put a fence around the property  and  a gate  that will  be locked at night to keep unregistered guests from entering  the premises after 10:30 at night.  They also  promised cameras a security system and security guards.   But Council  didn’t buy the promises.

Councillor Brian Skakun  said the  owners  would have been better  to not even show up for this morning’s appeal because much of what they had to say  was , in his opinion, “garbage”.

Councillor Terri McConnachie says “claims of ignorance of the problems with this property have fallen on my deaf ears”  then added ” The owners  have  continued to  provide crappy accommodation to people they claim to be victim of.”

Mayor Lyn Hall   said he  recently  went on an RCMP ride-along   which took him to the Connaught “I found it very, very interesting, I found  I was disheartened, disappointed  in what I saw because it was people of our community   staying in  that location with  folks that were homeless, in distress,  drug abuse problems,  and we just took a drive through  and I really had my eyes opened,  it was heartbreaking,  disappointing, and as we went through today’s hearing, I couldn’t help  but think of that ”

The list of issues for the owners of the Connaught to address is long and  fall within 2 timelines:


The business license will not be reinstated until all  of the issues have been addressed.

it has been  well over  a year since the City suspended the  business license for the  Willow Inn ( formerly the Homeland,  or Ranch) motel on Victoria.  That  building  has not yet satisfied  the conditions set for it to resume  business.





I see a financial combustion in the near future.

“according to Carhoun who lives in the lower mainland, the Fraser Canyon is often closed in the winter making it impossible to get crews to Prince George.” LOL!!

Google this Joe Carhoun’s name. He has properties falling apart all over the Province. There are currently multiple communities taking action against him. I hope one of his crappy buildings fall on him!

Sounds to me, I wouldn’t want to work for him as a contractor anyway. .

Councillor Brian Skakun said the owners would have been better to not even show up for this morning’s appeal because much of what they had to say was , in his opinion, “garbage”.

what a guy…. Hey Brian…most of what you say is garbage too.. sure you aren’t a silent partner in the place ?

Clear the tenants and mow it down. The issue will be the same. Where will these marginalized people go? This lower mainland slum lord needs to be held accountable to the city for these actions. if the cops came to my place 6 or 700 times, I’d be lead away in handcuffs and put in jail. No fire alarms, no extinguisher, no fire plans, no oversight, no security
etc etc etc.
The funniest thing was the issue with getting work crews through the Fraser Canyon in the winter. That is a guy making it up as he goes along.
Throw his ass in jail. If that place burned down and people died in the fire, maybe then someone will do something .

I just love his last comment in regards to his derelict property in Cache Creek. The quote is courtesy of the Kamloops Daily News archives.

“The Village of Cache Creek is taking legal action against the Kamloops owner of Oasis Hotel, claiming the property is unsafe and poses risk to the public.

The village filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court seeking access for a host of agencies to better assess the building’s safety. Those include professionals from Interior Health Authority, public works, building and fire inspectors as well as structural engineers.

The village is also seeking its legal costs.

The vacant, two-storey building is visible from the Trans-Canada Highway and attached to the Oasis Hotel by a walkway. It is owned by Joe Carhoun.

In its statement of claim, the village said it has worked for the past two years to get the property cleaned up. Visible inside glass-fronted former commercial shops are “dozens” of dead pigeons.

There is water damage and potential structural damage, it said.

The building poses a fire risk, particularly dangerous because it is connected to the hotel, the village argues.

In a letter written in October and filed as part of the documents, Carhoun said he intends to put a new roof on the building in the spring.

“We are simply waiting for the economy to turn around to proceed,” he wrote the village’s administrator.

“Cache Creek has not changed population in 20 years. So investing must be very carefully done or one loses money operating.”

Oasis Hotel Ltd. has yet to file a statement of defence. None of the allegations are proven or have been heard in court.

“I have plans,” Carhoun continued in his letter to the village. “We are underway on this. If you want us to skip town, let us know.”

the licenece is supsended for 90 days…
so how many people are now sleeping on the street
that had a bed last night?

    None. Didn’t you read the article?

      None today….approx 9 come July 1st

      Sucks to be them .. what kind of idiot lives in a motel anyway?

I thought it was a Motel , its not zoned for a homeless shelter. All the problems should not be put in one area of the City as the nimby people think. The people who do stay there deserve a clean bed to sleep in and a clean room. I would like to see the Motel brought back to its former glory. There is rules for Motels to follow , so why has this Motel not been condemned?? Do not paint the whole are with the same brush.

Another thought; get rid of both trouble Motels , join them with the vacant lot and make a strip mall with housing above.

    Who are you talking to ? Jimmy Pattison ?

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