A University of Victoria student has filed a class-action lawsuit against the university over parking fees that weren’t refunded when the school closed because of the pandemic. (Facebook/University of Victoria)

Student files class action lawsuit against University of Victoria over parking fees

UVic did not refund prepaid parking after pandemic halted classes

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the University of Victoria for parking fees not refunded when classes ended as a result of the pandemic.

The suit, filed by student Elizabeth Cheeke, states it is on behalf of any faculty, staff, student or visitor who purchased a parking permit from UVic effective between March 16 and Aug. 31.

“It just comes down to the refund,” says Mitch Selly, lead counsel for Cheeke. “There’s no allegations of anything malicious or fraudulent or anything like that happening. It’s just, give the class the refund for the parking.”

UVic has not provided in-person course instruction since March 16, shortly after the coronavirus outbreak was deemed a pandemic. The lawsuit says UVic suspended pay parking for those that pay on a daily or hourly basis on March 20, but announced it would not issue partial refunds for those with permit contracts.

READ ALSO: More than 2,000 UVic students asked to leave dorms in response to COVID-19

Summer courses have also moved online.

Selly says a “number of people” have been in contact with him about this issue, but added anyone can opt-out of the class-action if they wish to do so.

Paul Marck, associate manager of public affairs for UVic, told Black Press Media that the school is aware of the lawsuit, but would not offer any further comment as it “is now before the courts.”

During the 2019/2020 school year, UVic sold 4,190 parking permits. The fee for an annual general parking pass is $568.05 plus GST and PST.

READ ALSO: UVic offers students Pass/Fail grading option as COVID-19 impacts spring studies

According to Marck, parking fees contribute to the operation of Campus Security Services and to the maintenance and upgrading of the parking infrastructure, which “are continuing costs throughout the year.”

Selly says that while UVic has taken a lot of responsible action throughout the pandemic by shifting to an online approach, the parking contract has been “frustrated,” meaning that without fault to either party, the contract is incapable of being performed due to an unforeseen circumstance.

He adds that many students are employed through the service industry which has been “totally decimated by COVID.”

“So, [these are] people who it would do some good to give them, even if it’s just a partial refund, all the little bit can help,” he says. “Students are in a precarious financial situation so that’s really what the class action is all about.”

The school has 21 days to file a response to the claim.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusUVic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VicPD find used, uncapped needle tied to handrail in Beacon Hill Park

Officers believe the needle was put there with the intent to harm someone

PHOTOS: Kids, parents cool off at Langford splash park

Centennial Park is home to a popular water feature

Saanich landfill gets used oil and antifreeze dropoff centre upgrades

BC Used Oil Management Association oversees upgrades, two new facilities in province

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read