On February 15, 2023 Ryan Bortolin will be presenting on “Local Government Law 101” at the Local Government Leadership Academy in Nanaimo BC. The basis of his presentation will be the “Guide for Municipal Council Members and Regional District Directors in British Columbia”, a copy of which can be found here.
Surprise, You’re Ostracized!: The Necessity of Procedural Fairness in the Discipline of Elected Officials
What the Supreme Court of Canada's Decision in Nelson (City) v Marchi Means for Local Government Policy Development and the Policy Immunity Defence
Electronic Meetings: Bill 10 Requires Adoption of New Procedure Bylaw Provisions For Continuation of Electronic Meetings
Vancouver Councillor and Bar Owner Found Not to Have Conflict of Interest Relating to Vote on COVID-19 Measures Affecting Local Restaurants
Pacific Business and Law Institute—Local Government 2023
On March 10, 2023 Peter Johnson will be participating in this year’s PBLI conference on local government law, and will be presenting on the topic: “Provincial Overrides and Strong Mayors: Limits on Municipal Council Powers”.
You can find the PBLI website here.
Season’s Greetings from Stewart McDannold Stuart
From all the lawyers and support staff at Stewart McDannold Stuart, we wish you all the best for the holiday season and a happy and prosperous New Year.
In lieu of sending greeting cards this year, we have made a donation to Cool Aid Society on behalf of Sandy Merriman House.
BC Supreme Court finds that Re-Zoning Approval with Variances did not “Create a New Zone”
Recently, the B.C. Supreme Court denied a judicial review petition challenging the approval of a re-zoning application for an apartment complex. In Penticton Society for Transparent Governance and Responsible Development v Penticton (City), 2022 BCSC 2111, the Petitioner alleged that the City had effectively created a new, non-existent land use zone when it approved an amending bylaw that up-zoned a property to an existing zone but where the City was required to subsequently grant variances for aspects of the property that did not meet the requirements of that pre-existing zone. (more…)
Province Introduces Bill 43, Housing Supply Act – If You Don’t Build It, They Will Come
The BC government has introduced Bill 43 – 2022, the “Housing Supply Act” to the legislature, with the stated intention of providing “a framework for housing targets to be established for specified municipalities, and for the minister or Lieutenant Governor in Council to take certain actions if housing targets are not met.” The proposed legislation represents a significant incursion by the Province into local land use and planning authority, and provides the authority for the Province to directly override the decisions of municipal councils, including the power to enact a bylaw in the name of a municipality (more…)
CASE COMMENT: REGULATION OF LAND MAY RESULT IN LIABILITY FOR CONSTRUCTIVE TAKING
Annapolis Group Inc. v. Halifax Regional Municipality, 2022 SCC 36
The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a decision coming out of the province of Nova Scotia which broadens the basis upon which a local government may be held liable for “constructive taking” of private lands.
Public Law Duties ≠ Private Law Duties of Care
Local governments, like other public bodies and officials, are required by legislation to perform specific public duties and responsibilities. If these “public law duties” are not conducted correctly, this may be grounds for finding that the decision or action was improper, and a court may send the matter back for reconsideration. However, it does not necessarily give rise to a claim in negligence. To successfully bring a lawsuit for negligence, the plaintiff must show that the public body or official owed the plaintiff a “private law duty of care”. (more…)
Amendments to Sign Bylaw Leads to Constitutional Challenge and Allegations of Bad Faith
Kaps v City of Surrey, 2022 BCSC 1191 (“Kaps“) is a recent decision of the BC Supreme Court which highlights the importance of ensuring that prohibitions in a sign bylaw are clear and concise in meaning so as to avoid infringing the constitutional protection for freedom of expression. The Kaps decision also reiterated the evidentiary burden that must be met when a person alleges that a bylaw was enacted for an improper motive or in bad faith. (more…)
Reasons for Reconsideration Refusals: BC Supreme Court Reviews the Sufficiency of Reasons in the Context of a Reconsideration of a Business Licence Refusal
The BC Supreme Court recently added to the volume of caselaw regarding the procedural fairness requirements that are applied in reviewing decisions of municipal governments.
SMS: Legal Bulletin
SMS was pleased to attend and present at the 2022 LGMA Conference in Penticton. Please see our special edition SMS Newsletter that we prepared for the conference.