Comox Valley Record

Judge reserves Strathcona Provincial Park decision

A struggle between public and private played out in B.C. Supreme Court last week.

A judicial review, initiated by Friends of Strathcona Park, focused on the provincial government’s decision to place private business interests above the best interests of the public and the park.

After hearing both sides, Justice Sigurdson decided to reserve judgment.

“We hope that this case will help set a precedent ensuring protection of our province’s parks,” says Bridget Horel, a Friends of Strathcona Park spokesperson.

“The granting of this permit is being challenged on the grounds that the minister of the environment never considered whether or not the permit was necessary,” explains Scott Bernstein, lawyer for the Friends. “While government looked at whether it was financially beneficial to them, they did not address the key question, whether it was necessary to preserve and maintain the existing recreational values of the park, as is required by the Park Act.”

B.C. government lawyer Leah Greathead suggests in her argument that the jurisdiction of ministers and bureaucrats is beyond the reach of the court. She continued that the minister had full authority, under the Park Act, to make the decision that he made.

“It seems as though our Province is saying that the public and the courts have no place in questioning the decisions they make," Horel says. “We believe that provincial parks are to be kept for the public and that the public does have a right to say whether or not parks can be sold, privatized or commercialized.”

The judicial review concluded Friday, but the public will have to wait to hear the outcome of this court case until a written decision has been provided. For more information or to find out how to donate, go to the Friends of Strathcona Park website.

— Friends of Strathcona Park

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

NDP blasts lottery corporation spending
Road closure updates: 8 a.m.
Lack of addiction treatment flagged by crime panel
Will you be ready when ‘The Big One’ hits?
Lava slows but still on track to hit Hawaii market
Having fun at Hilton Centre
Deep Bay Marine Station — whale bones sold out
Grant aims to promote physical literacy for kids
Just call TVs Mr. D, Mr. Lucky

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.