Alberta denies rule changes would create rental suite fire traps

Alberta’s municipal affairs minister says there’s no truth to accusations the government is secretly changing rules that would put renters in fire trap suites.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s municipal affairs minister says there’s no truth to accusations the government is secretly changing rules that would put renters in fire trap suites.

A published report says the government is considering watering down health regulations that currently prevent landlords from building and renting out suites with no bedroom windows.

Doug Griffiths says the health rules are trumped by provincial building and fire codes, which forbid bedrooms from not having windows or other means of safe escape in case of fire.

He says any changes to the rules will only bring them closer in line with the codes.

NDP Leader Brian Mason says there’s no reason to change the rules if the government truly wants to keep Albertans safe.

Health Minister Fred Horne says he has not seen any regulation changes that would allow windowless bedrooms, and says he would have serious reservations if they did.