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January 5, 2017, 12:37 pm

CVRD Files Leave to Supreme Court of Canada in Contaminated Soil Landfill Case

Cowichan Valley Regional District
DUNCAN – The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) filed an application for leave of the Supreme Court of Canada on December 29, 2016 in relation to the South Island Aggregates (SIA), Cobble Hill Holdings (CHH), and South Island Resource Management (SIRM) contaminated soil landfill facility in Shawnigan Lake.

The application seeks to have the Supreme Court review the November 3, 2016 decision of the BC Court of Appeal. That decision reversed a March 21, 2016 BC Supreme Court order finding that the contaminated soil landfill facility located at 640 Stebbings Road in Shawnigan Lake was not a permitted use on the property under the CVRD's zoning bylaw, and enjoining its further operation. The Court of Appeal reversed that order, permitting the landfilling to proceed.

"We are concerned with the future implications of this decision on Shawnigan Lake residents, the CVRD and other local government jurisdictions," states CVRD Chair Jon Lefebure. "The Board is committed to protecting the CVRD's ability to control land use through our zoning bylaws and felt it was important to have Canada's highest court review the BC Court of Appeal decision."

The CVRD has sought leave on the basis of three grounds which can be generally summarized as follows:
 
  • The Court of Appeal erred in setting aside the key factual findings of MacKenzie J. at the BC Supreme Court that CHH, SIA and SIRM were using the property as a landfill; that the material they were importing was waste; and that the landfill facility was not integral to the permitted quarry operation on the property;
  • The Court of Appeal incorrectly determined that Provincial mining decisions take exclusive precedence over Regional District land use bylaws; and
  • That the Court of Appeal erred in finding that the Regional District’s authority to regulate soil deposit restricts the Regional District’s ability to regulate land uses.

The application also gives notice that if leave is granted, the CVRD will also be seeking an order requiring the removal of the landfill facility.

CHH, SIA and SIRM have 30 days to respond to the application, after which time the Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether it will hear the appeal.
 
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