Judge reserves Strathcona Provincial Park decision

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

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

Just Posted

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Potlatch 67-67:

This is the third part of a three-part June series looking at… Continue reading

Comox Valley Schools to see trustee shakeup next fall

Four of seven trustees have stated they will not run for re-election in October

UPDATED: Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Humboldt survivors to attend NHL Awards

Players say it’s a blessing to be back together again

Justice minister: marijuana still illegal for now

Driving under the influence of drugs has always been — and will remain — against the law

Crown recommends 150-years for Quebec mosque shooter

Crown lawyers say Alexandre Bissonnette deserves to receive the longest sentence in Canadian history

192 missing after ferry sinks in Indonesia

Drivers are searching a Indonesian lake after a ferry sank earlier this week

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children

A lawyer has documented more than 300 cases of adults who have been separated from a child

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Public to have say about pot

Cannabis Act has passed third reading

Most Read