Embattled former BC Housing CEO leaves Squamish First Nation's housing firm

May 12 2023, 10:20 pm

The effects of the Government of British Columbia’s bombshell release of the findings of its forensic investigation into BC Housing and its relationship with Atira Women’s Resource Society continue to ripple.

Nch’ḵay̓ Development Corporation (NDC) confirmed to Daily Hive Urbanized today Shayne Ramsay is no longer with the company. He joined NDC as its executive vice president of real estate and development starting in September 2022, the same month he left his role as the CEO of BC Housing after 22 years.

Ramsay was still profiled on NDC’s website page on its senior leadership team as recently as Thursday. As of today, he has been removed.

NDC is a new private company wholly owned by the Squamish First Nation to oversee their real estate investments, including the execution of the construction of the major Senakw rental housing development on the reserve at the south end of Burrard Bridge.

All of this follows Monday’s herculean press conference when Premier David Eby and BC Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon condemned Ramsay for numerous instances of mismanagement and conflict of interest in his previous leadership of BC Housing, which is the provincial crown corporation responsible for executing the provincial government’s extensive, affordable housing investments.

Ramsay and his wife, Janice Abbott, are at the centre of the investigation, which accuses the former BC Housing CEO of providing Atira Women’s Resource Society with preferential treatment and heightened levels of funding through inappropriate channels and without following rules of conduct and agreements. Abbott is the CEO of Atira, which has quickly become BC Housing’s largest service provider by a wide margin in recent years.

shayne ramsay Janice Abbott f

Former BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay (left) and Atira Women’s Resource Society CEO Janice Abbott (right), who are married. (BC Housing/Atira)

Eby has indicated the provincial government has requested for a change of leadership at Atira, but the non-profit housing operator. But Atira, in its initial comments in response to the report, expressed defiance, rejected the investigation’s findings, and expressed its continued support for Abbott’s leadership.

In response to the findings, the provincial government is conducting extensive reforms to BC Housing, including the most recent appointment of Vincent Tong as the crown corporation’s new permanent CEO, and conducting a separate new investigation into Atira.

Until further notice, the provincial government is suspending all new contracts and funding to Atira, and any existing contracts that expire will not be renewed. The province notes that existing residents under Atira’s care will not be impacted.

Ramsay and Abbott have yet to make public comments on the controversies.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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