Storefront Marihuana Dispensaries: Failed Constitutional Challenge

In the case of Abbotsford (City) v. Mary Jane’s Glass & Gifts Ltd., the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted two declarations sought by the City of Abbotsford, and ruled that the operators of Mary Jane’s Glass & Gifts Ltd. were in breach of the City of Abbotsford’s Business License Bylaw and Zoning Bylaw.

Further, the Court found that the City’s Business License and Zoning Bylaws are constitutionally valid and do not unjustly infringe Section 7 (life, liberty and security of person) or Section 15 (equality rights) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The decision in this case is not surprising.  It confirms the basic assumption that storefronts selling marihuana for any purpose are illegal.  The federal laws in place related to access to marihuana for medical purposes do not authorize retail marihuana dispensaries. (more…)

Trevor Morley Joins Stewart McDannold Stuart

Stewart McDannold Stuart is pleased to announce that Trevor Morley has joined the firm. Trevor has demonstrated his effectiveness as counsel in all levels of court in the Province, and will be working with our litigation practice group, providing services to our local government clients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stewart McDannold Stuart Welcomes Jeff Locke as Associate Counsel

We are very pleased to announce that Jeff Locke has joined Stewart McDannold Stuart as Associate Counsel. Jeff is widely regarded as a leading local government lawyer in the Province, and has established a sterling reputation as a highly effective litigator for municipalities and regional districts. Jeff will continue to provide legal counsel and litigation services to local governments throughout the Province from our offices in Victoria. Stewart McDannold Stuart has been one of the leading local government firms in British Columbia for over 25 years, and with his knowledge and experience, Jeff will be a tremendous addition to our firm’s complement of local government lawyers.

 

 

 

 

Math and Materiality: Challenging Election Results – Duperron v. School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)

In reasons released January 5, 2017, Justice Rogers of the BC Supreme Court found that a failure by a School District to hold a second advance poll in a school trustee by-election did not materially affect the outcome of the election. (more…)

Navigating the Constitution: Shipping, Navigation and the Right to Moorage

The lakes, rivers and ocean shores of British Columbia are undoubtedly beautiful but the complex regulatory and legal regime that governs these bodies of water can create real uncertainty for local governments seeking to understand the extent to which they may exercise their zoning powers over land covered by water and structures erected within water. (more…)

No “Grandfathering” Out of Requirement for Development Permit

In a recent decision, the BC Supreme Court confirmed that on-going development projects commenced before the enactment of an Official Community Plan are not exempt from the requirements of that OCP, nor will they be protected by the  “legal non-conforming” provisions of the Local Government Act.

The case of Columbia Shuswap (Regional District) v Darnell, 2016 BCSC 1674 (“Darnell”) concerns the developer of a lakefront property. In 2005, the developer undertook a project to restore a field on the property, which entailed placing large amounts of fill within 30 meters of the lake. (more…)

Societies Act

Local governments that are involved in or have incorporated societies should be aware that the new Societies Act, SBC 2015, c. 18 comes into force on November 28, 2016. The new Act modernizes how societies are established and governed, bringing them more closely into line with for-profit business corporations. (more…)

SMS Presents at the VILGMA Annual Conference – November 16-18, 2016

Colin Stewart and Madelaine Campbell will be presenting “Council Codes of Conduct – The Ethical Issues / Legal Update” at this year’s LGMA Vancouver Island Chapter annual conference. This year, the conference will be hosted by Campbell River and held at the Campbell River Maritime Heritage Centre. Colin and Madelaine will present on November 17th at  3:45 pm, and they look forward to seeing you there!

Presentation at the Building Officials Assocation of BC Conference

Michael Hargraves and Ryan Bortolin will be giving two presentations at the Building Officials Association of BC conference in Richmond, BC, on November 17, 2016. The topics of the presentations are “Legal Cases Involving Building Permits and Inspections” and “Regulation of Marihuana Dispensaries”.

LGMA Clerks and Corporate Officers Forum

On October 27, Peter Johnson will be presenting a session on Signing Authority at the LGMA Clerks and Corporate Officers Forum, which is being held this year in Parksville.