An even slightly more careful reading of the B.C. Supreme Court ruling on Sidney’s proposed Community Safety Building, (PNR, April 15), reveals that Town Hall’s victory celebration was, at best, premature.
While Madam Justice D. Jane Dardi will, indeed, allow the North Saanich Memorial Park Society to negotiate a long-term land lease, the judge was specifically asked not to rule on the question of whether leasing the land to Sidney for the proposed community safety building would be an allowable use.
According to the ruling, the terms of the Trust require “use by the Residents . . . for community cultural, athletic and recreational purposes.” According to the Attorney General — who, in BC, supervises trusts — a public safety building doesn’t qualify.
And the Attorney General is not alone in her opinion. Though specifically asked not to “adjudicate upon … the proposed lease with the Town of Sidney,” it seems that Justice Dardi couldn’t entirely resist:
“I wish to underscore that I have not approved the proposed lease … I must state that I share the Attorney General’s concern as to whether the tenant’s intended use … conforms to the charitable purposes of the Trust.”
So, why is Town Hall celebrating?
Why is their attendant publicity so buoyant and robust?
It’s easy to see how easily this deal could end up back in court, bringing another payday for lawyers.
In its relentless rush toward development, Town Hall has shown itself willing and able to run over the sentiments of the town.
The Supreme Court may well prove to be more difficult.
Don Enright, North Saanich