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

City of Victoria considers proposed senior rental development

The Mount St. Angela’s complex aims to include affordable rental units

Middle school students busted for vaping in Oak Bay

Oak Bay Police respond to minors vaping, arson, and transients sleeping in a car

Peninsula Panthers look to claw their way back into the win column

Panthers remain the best team in the league, but the Victoria Cougars are set to pounce

Last call for raffle ticket to win $6,900 necklace with 163 diamonds

Oak Bay contest funds patient care for people and families dealing with cancer

More than 30 cars get tires slashed in Oaklands neighbourhood

VicPD are asking for help from witnesses to the incidents

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

According to a press release, both parties met on Oct. 16, 18, 19, and 20.

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

App designed to help cut waste and grocery bills

Food security advocates say addressing poverty is ultimate key

Most Read