Recently, in Nelson v British Columbia (Environment), 2020 BCSC 479 (“Nelson”), the BC Supreme Court examined and ultimately approved a broad exclusion of liability clause contained in a restrictive covenant registered on title to property pursuant to section 219 of the Land Title Act, RSBC 1996, c. 250 (the “LTA”).
Under the LTA, an Approving Officer may, as a condition of approving a subdivision, require that a restrictive covenant be registered on title to the lands being subdivided “if the approving officer considers that the land is, or could reasonably be expected to be, subject to flooding, erosion, land slip or avalanche”. Under the LTA, such covenants may contain terms “of a negative or positive nature”. The LTA also makes express provision for the inclusion of indemnity provisions whereby the subdividing party, and the successors in title to that party, may be obliged to indemnify the subdividing authority for matters addressed in the covenant. (more…)
As addressed in a previous post, in December 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 [Vavilov] which introduced a new test for the determination of the applicable standard of review of administrative decisions and revised the framework for conducting reasonableness review. (more…)
Twenty years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada declared in the case of Nanaimo (City) v. Rascal Trucking Ltd.1, that the question of whether a local government was acting within the scope of its authority should be determined on the standard of correctness. Subsequently, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that such a question “will always be reviewed on a standard of correctness”.2
On July 15, 2019, sections of Bill 22, Civil Resolution Tribunal Amendment Act, British Columbia, 2018, c.17 came into force and amended the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, SBC 2012, c.25 (the “CRTA“) and the Societies Act, SBC 2015, c.18 (the “Societies Act“). The amendments provide the Civil Resolution Tribunal (the “CRT“) with jurisdiction to resolve disputes over certain claims under the Societies Act.
Societies should be aware of these amendments because members may apply to the CRT in order to challenge a society’s interpretation or application of the Societies Act as well as certain actions, threatened actions or decisions of a society. Also, citizens may apply to the CRT in order to challenge a society’s decision or interpretation of provisions respecting access to records or financial statements.
In 2018, the City of Victoria successfully defended a petition brought by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association to quash the City of Victoria’s Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw which prohibited businesses from providing customers with single-use plastic checkout bags. The Supreme Court determined that the Bylaw was a regulation of business and even though it may have incidental effects on the protection of the environment, that did not affect the validity of the Bylaw.
By its January 21, 2019 decision in Wu. V. Vancouver (City), 2019 BCCA 23, the BC Court of Appeal has overturned the 2017 decision of the BC Supreme Court in the case of Wu v. Vancouver (City), 2017 BCSC 2072 and has made important findings as it relates to the limits of legal duties owed by public bodies such as local governments, and the liability to which they may be exposed. (more…)
In two recent decisions, Saanich (District) v Brett, 2018 BCSC 1648 (“Saanich”) and Nanaimo (City) v Courtoreille, 2018 BCSC 1629 (“Nanaimo”), the BC Supreme Court considered local government applications to the Court for pre-trial injunctions to terminate unauthorized homeless encampments. Generally, these cases represent examples of the Court undertaking a balancing of the homeless population’s need for shelter and against the nature of these encampments within the context of the duties and authority of public authorities to reasonably manage lands falling within their jurisdiction. (more…)
The Village of Chase recently defeated a challenge to the validity of its Property Maintenance Bylaw by local business owners in Chase Discount Auto Sales Ltd. v Waugh, 2018 BCSC 2014. Mr. Justice Grauer of the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed the judicial review petition of the business owners and helpfully summarized the relationship between the bylaw powers and remedial action requirement authority of local governments provided by the Community Charter, SBC 2003, c. 26. (more…)
In Romegioli v. Langley (Township) 2018 BCSC 1867, the B.C. Supreme Court recently had opportunity to judicially review the decision of a bylaw adjudicator upholding over 500 bylaw infraction notices (with associated fees and costs of approximately $270,000) that had been issued to the petitioner, Mr. Romegioli, relating to the operation of a cannabis dispensary. The dispensary caught the attention of Langley for breaches of multiple bylaws relating to operations, renovations and signage.
In 1139652 B.C. Ltd. v Whistler (Resort Municipality), 2018 BCSC 1806, the B.C. Supreme Court recently reviewed a decision of the resort municipality of Whistler denying a property owner’s application for a Development Variance Permit (DVP). The Court upheld the decision, finding that it was reasonable.