The Homelessness Crisis and Municipal Bylaws: Abbotsford (City) v. Shantz

The recent decision of the BC Supreme Court in Abbotsford (City) v. Shantz, 2015 BCSC 1909, is yet another indication of how the seemingly intractable problem of homelessness in Canadian society continues to create conflict and costs for local governments.   The City of Abbotsford was seeking orders from the Court for a permanent injunction against persons who were camping overnight in Jubilee Park, as well as damages from the named defendant, Barry Shantz. (more…)

Natura Developments v Ladysmith: Supporting the Section 219 Covenant

Section 219 covenants are an essential part of any local government’s land regulation arsenal, and can be especially useful in controlling the development process on properties requiring a great deal of oversight.  In a recent case, Natura Developments Ltd. v. Ladysmith (Town), 2015 BCSC 1673, a case argued by Susan Beach of Stewart McDannold Stuart on behalf of Ladysmith, the Supreme Court of British Columbia upheld Ladysmith’s power to impose a tightly controlled development process through a section 219 covenant. (more…)

Labour and Employment Law Update for Vancouver Island LGMA

On November 19, 2015 Susan Beach will be providing a Labour and Employment Law Update for the Vancouver Island LGMA in Nanaimo, BC.

Upcoming Capilano University (Parksville Campus) Presentations

On November 20, 2015 Colin Stewart and Kathryn Stuart will be in Parksville as instructors for the Capilano University diploma program in local government.  Colin Stewart will be addressing conflict of interest and bias and Kathryn Stuart will be presenting a session on administrative law.

Upcoming Capilano University Presentations

On October 23, 2015 Michael Hargraves and Susan Beach will be presenting sessions in Parksville for the Capilano University diploma program in local government administration as part of the local government law program.  Michael Hargraves will be lecturing on real property law and Susan Beach will conduct a session on labour and employment law.


Coping with Community Mailboxes

The transition from home delivery to community mailboxes by Canada Post has been making headlines across the country.  Many communities, and the local governments that represent them, have expressed opposition to the very concept of the end of home delivery service, and frustration with the manner in which Canada Post is going about the transition.  Some local governments have opted not to oppose the transition entirely, and have taken the path of negotiating agreements with Canada Post to govern the process, while other local governments, and most notably the City of Hamilton, have taken a more combative approach. (more…)

Upcoming PBLI Presentation

On October 22, 2015 Colin Stewart will be lecturing in Vancouver for the Pacific Business and Law Institute on Local Governments and Health and Criminal Regulation.

The Annual Tax Sale Approaches!

The tax sale provisions of Part 11 of the Local Government Act (“LGA”) provide municipalities with the ultimate property tax collection tool – a forced sale of the property that is subject to tax. As the saying goes, you can’t fight City Hall!

However, not only is the annual tax sale a handy tax collection remedy, it is a procedural trap for the unwary. Not surprisingly, given the drastic consequences for the owner, the courts require strict compliance with the provisions of Part 11. If you are responsible for conducting the tax sale for your municipality, read on! (more…)

UBCM Convention – September 21 to 25

The partners at Stewart McDannold Stuart will be attending the annual convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities next week.  As in years past we are proud to sponsor the UBCM Daily News. We look forward to meeting with our clients and colleagues over the course of the convention.

New Associate Joins the SMS Team

Madelaine Campbell has joined the solicitor’s department at Stewart McDannold Stuart as our newest associate. Madelaine brings with her valuable experience in planning, development, and local government law, which she gained at a national law firm. She is excited to join the SMS team, and to focus her skills and energy on providing outstanding legal services to local governments in British Columbia.