Letters: Harbourview access denied

Letter writer questions whether a road is a public road

In the regular council meeting on March 26, 2012, Mayor Milne advised that in the opinion of district legal counsel, upper Harbourview Road is not a public road. He did not elaborate on the reasons for that opinion.

When asked in later communication how public accounts from the BC Forest Service detailing public money spent on the road every year from 1950 to 1978, and BC Archives documents detailing the public use of the road to access Sooke Mountain Provincial Park could be explained away, he stated that he would not disclose the reasons because that would compromise the district’s position if challenged in court.

With the greatest respect to Mayor Milne, here is what the Transportation Act has to say about it:

Travelled roads becoming highways

42 (1) Subject to subsection (2), if public money is spent on a travelled road that is not a highway, the travelled road is deemed and declared to be a highway.

What does the Transportation Act say a “highway” is?

“Highway” means a public street, road, trail, lane, bridge, trestle, tunnel, ferry landing, ferry approach, any other public way or any other land or improvement that becomes or has become a highway by any of the following: …

(b) a public expenditure to which section 42 applies;

The logical way to settle the matter would be to publicly disclose solid reasoning supporting the position that the road is not public. The notion that some top secret legal advice can somehow compromise the district’s position is patently silly — since the first thing the district has to do in court is to publicly state its reasons for its position.

If the legal case supporting the opinion that Harbourview Road is not a public road is so weak it can be compromised by disclosure of the reasons for the opinion, it seems to me that the district should not be defending the Capital Regional District’s position for it. If the case is strong, then the district should disclose it and settle the matter out of court.

It is extremely disappointing that this administration seems determined to waste taxpayer’s money to defend the CRD’s position on this issue.

Terrance Martin

Sooke

Just Posted

Sidney veterans club raises $29,000 for community organizations

Annual donation directly benefits Guides and Scouts, seniors centres, food bank, among others

BC Transit’s Stuff the Bus brings back the spirit of giving to Victoria

17th annual Stuff the Bus is Dec. 15 at Save-On-Foods at Tillicum Centre

Sooke’s under-14 girls squad ready for playoff tests

Sooke team has perfect record so far

Sooke’s Santa Run joined with Otter Point to fill the food bank

Dozens of volunteers took to the streets to gather food and cash donations

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

More B.C. Indigenous students graduating high school: report

70% of Indigenous students graduated, compared to 86% across all B.C. students

2 facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog found in B.C.

Amy Hui-Yu Lin and Glenn Mislang have been charged with causing an animal to continue to be in distress

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Out of the doghouse: B.C. city lifts ban on pup who barked too much at dog park

Cameron the Shetland sheepdog is allowed back into Uplands off-leash dog park under some conditions.

Canada-China relations turn icy over arrest of Chinese exec

The Huawei case has threatened to complicate U.S.-China efforts to resolve a bitter trade dispute.

Prosecutor signs off on former B.C. Liberal government’s quick-wins probe

David Butcher said in a statement released Monday that the RCMP recommended charges under the Elections Act

Canadian physicist who won Nobel Prize touts science for the sake of science

Donna Strickland, 59, said securing the field’s highest honour has given her a significant new platform

Too many die in heavy truck crashes, B.C. auditor says

Province has no mandatory driver training for commercial vehicles

Most Read