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HomeNewsNorth Vancouver Liberals in a dilemma over townhouse hostel owner’s membership

North Vancouver Liberals in a dilemma over townhouse hostel owner’s membership

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Bob Mackin

The North Vancouver townhouse owner embroiled in a dispute with her strata council and civic officials for operating an illegal hostel is also active in the Liberal Party of Canada. 

North Vancouver riding association chair Derrick Johnstone confirmed that Emily Yu is a member and the party is considering what, if anything, to do. 

“We are aware of the strata’s concerns and are consulting the B.C. office of the Liberal Party of Canada for guidance with respect to the rules pertaining to membership within an Electoral District Association,” Johnstone said. “That is all I am in a position to say at this time.”

North Vancouver townhouse hosteler Emily Yu (LinkedIn)

In May, Yu became a volunteer policy chair for the riding association and attended a donor appreciation event hosted by Navdeep Bains, the Innovation, Science and Economic Development minister, at the Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Club in Surrey.

She told theBreaker that Johnstone gave her an opportunity to resign, but she rejected the offer. “[The strata council dispute] has nothing to do with my political life,” she said.

Nobody from the office of Fisheries and Oceans minister Jonathan Wilkinson, the North Vancouver Liberal MP, has responded to theBreaker.

According to City of North Vancouver estimates from 2016, Yu’s $804,600, three-bedroom townhouse in The Beeches complex near North Vancouver city hall grosses an estimated $71,000 to $213,000 a year, not including cleaning revenue. In 2017, bylaw officers ordered her to cease and desist offering tourist accommodation. 

“Normally, the city is not concerned with a resident’s revenue,” said a report to city council from bylaw manager Guy Gusdal from March 2016. “However, in this situation staff raise the revenue issue because the revenue being generated at the expense of the quality of life of the other residents in Ms. Yu’s townhouse complex and at the expense of the safety of the public staying in her townhouse.” 

The Civil Resolution Tribunal agreed with the strata council in a decision last September. The tribunal’s vice-chair Shelley Lopez ordered Yu to pay more than $6,000 in fines, comply with the strata bylaws and stop operating her townhouse as an AirBnB unit or for any other short-term rental scheme under six months. 

Yu denies she has broken any law with her Oasis Hostel. “I offered this service 11 years before the strata changed the rule [in 2016]. According to the grandfathering clause, I am entitled to continue to do what I do and it is unreasonable for the strata to ask a fine from me.”

Yu’s LinkedIn profile says she was a financial advisor with CF Canada Financial Group from May 2011 to May 2012. 

Yu worked with Portfolio Strategies Corporation from 2012 to 2015 and is facing a public hearing with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, Nov. 12-14 at the B.C. Securities Commission. MFDA opened disciplinary proceedings against Yu over allegations of unauthorized discretionary trading and pre-signed account forms, falsifying client initials and signature, and making a false statement to the MFDA. Yu denies the allegations. 

“After the hearing is finished, my previous employer will owe me lots of money,” Yu said. “They accused me, they stole my business, they stole my commission.”

The hearing notice says Yu was registered in Alberta from April 2012 to December 2012 and in B.C. from April 2012 to December 2015, but worked in Vancouver.

The MFDA panel can issue a reprimand, suspend, revoke or prohibit someone from conducting securities-related business or issue fines. 

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