NANAIMO — In an unusual move, the United Nations has designated residents of the condominium buildings on Cameron Island world heritage sites.

It represents the first time the UN has designated people as heritage sites, instead of structures. With the new designation, each resident will undergo preservation and seismic upgrading.

From herein, it will be illegal to light residents on fire, remove parts of their structure, or relocate them. Penalties could be as much as a $420 fine.

“Listen, when you get to the ages that these people are,” explained UN senior spokesperson Nathan Poe, “they do deserve some kind of status and protection.”

The average age of residents in the three condo buildings is 105 years old.

Older people, if not cared for, have more time to deteriorate, or simply go out of fashion, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres for the announcement, considered the first of its kind in heritage designations.

There are several hundred municipally designated heritage properties in British Columbia, but this is the first time that actual people have been given the internationally recognized designation.