Back on Track founder Cole Izsak talks to current clients about plans to fight the city on its cancellation of his business licences and orders to vacate. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Ill-fated Surrey recovery house to host open house

Back on Track event planned for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 21

The operator of a Surrey recovery house that has been ordered to close is opening the facility’s doors for public perusal Friday (June 21).

READ MORE: Days numbered for Surrey’s Back on Track recovery homes

Back on Track founder Cole Izsak said the event, set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 9889 140 St., is to provide an opportunity to visit “the Fortress Against Evil.”Refreshments and coffee will be offered.

“A place the city wants to shut down and where 40 young men, in peace and harmony, are getting their lives back on track,” Izsak said in an email.

City of Surrey bylaw officials gave Izsak – a South Surrey resident – notice on June 11 that his business licences for Back on Track were being cancelled as of July 10, and that he was to cease operations at three of his six sites by June 21. He has until Aug. 15 to vacate two other units due to a lack of licensing.

The city’s acting manager of public safety operations, Kim Marosevich, told Black Press Media that the problem lies with the operator’s inability to obtain the required provincial permits.

“We can no longer allow them to operate in contravention of the business-licence bylaw,” Marosevich said.

Another issue she noted is that the homes house more clients than allowed under the province’s Assisted Living Registry.

Izsak told Peace Arch News earlier this month that he has been caught in a “catch-22” situation that was created when the city’s and province’s rules around recovery houses changed in 2017.

With the licence-cancellation news, Izsak fears for what will become of his clients without Back on Track.

“People will die. This is literally a matter of life and death,” he said.

He has appealed the decision

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