Openness and transparency in the district apparently doesn’t apply to public records when it comes to legal affairs, and I was rather astounded to find not even council knows what the district is being sued for. There is no list of current legal matters available to council, and on any given day a councillor could find his or herself chatting with the plaintiff in litigation naming the district as a defendant.
Fortunately, BC Court services online can be accessed by anyone to find out what the district is up to behind its most secret closed doors.
I was quite surprised to find the district has retained a lawyer to help the CRD keep our back country closed, in this case with the gate on Glintz Lake Road. As with Harbourview Road, the district is using our tax dollars to help the CRD deny it is a public road.
Not knowing the district was already involved, (and apparently neither did anyone on council), I recently went before council to request the district take an affirmative interest in the proceedings on Glintz Lake Road, because it provides access to a site at the top of Ragged Mountain that the owners want to utilize for communication towers, and if accessible, it would be a suitable alternative site for the Alcatel/Lucent tower planned for downtown Sooke. They currently can’t do it, because the property is landlocked with a private gate obstructing the road. The road is also an alternative route into Sooke Mountain Provincial Park and the owner has indicated he would be receptive to permitting access to the park if the district helps get the road open.
I have made the Statement of Claim and the district’s reply available online to anyone that would like the district to get on the right side of this and quit wasting our money. Since litigation is by its nature adversarial, my suggestion is that someone at the district try a cooperative approach, pick up the phone and call the plaintiff’s lawyer and ask if we can help the plaintiff in return for a settlement.
The Statement of Claim is here: http://mckenziefriend.ca/docs/StatementofClaim.pdf. The district’s defense is here: http://mckenziefriend.ca/docs/sookeresponse.pdf