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North Cowichan to appeal court’s decision to quash Motorsport expansion denial

Municipality has until Dec. 6 to appeal
The first phase of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit when it was under construction. The Municipality of North Cowichan denied the VIMC a development permit for phase two of the project. That decision was quashed by the courts. (File photo)

North Cowichan is gearing up for a legal fight.

The municipality intends to appeal the decision by the Supreme Court of B.C., made on Nov. 6, to quash its decision last year to deny the expansion plans at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit.

North Cowichan’s council has instructed its legal counsel to prepare an appeal of the court’s decision, and the municipality has until Dec. 6 to file the appeal, which is 30 days from the court’s ruling on Nov. 6.

After a judicial review in September, the Supreme Court of B.C.’s Justice Diane MacDonald ruled that North Cowichan failed to provide justification for its controversial decision to deny the VIMC a development permit for its expansion plans.

MacDonald ruled that North Cowichan council’s decision to deny the application is rejected, and the matter was remitted back to council which was ordered to reassess the application on its technical merits and reconsider it.


North Cowichan’s Mayor Al Siebring declined comment on the appeal, saying the matter is now in the hands of the municipality’s lawyers, but he said after the Supreme Court’s decision that it’s up to council whether it would appeal the decision, or to go back and redo the process for VIMC’s application.

“The court’s decision was based on a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that was made before our judicial review was held in September,” Siebring said at the time.

“That ruling stated that if a public institution is going to change a policy, they must explain why. Basically, we were entitled to make the decision we made, but we had to give the reasons for it. We were not aware of that at the time.”

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Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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