Judicial Review over Slots

In the fall of 2005, after seeking legal advice and gauging community support, the Conservancy initiated a Judicial Review of the City of Vancouver’s decision to approve slot machines at Hastings Park against public opinion and under the guise of “Save the Track”.

D. Creighton Argues in Court (sketch by James Lindfield)

Grounds for legal challenge:

• The City did not fulfill its own conditions for approval set out in July 2004, when Council voted 6 to 5 in favour of slots. These included satisfactory resolution of traffic & parking issues and that a “Master Plan” for the Park be in place BEFORE slots be allowed.

• Due process for rezoning was not followed; major decisions were unrightfully delegated to staff; and proper notice was not given to the public after the application was modified mid-stream to do away with underground parking.

• Parks Board was never consulted despite the fact that, under the Vancouver Charter, Parks Board has “exclusive jurisdiction” over permanent public parks such as Hastings Park.

The case was heard in BC Supreme Court by Madame Justice Dorgan in March 2006.

Judge Dorgan rendered her decision in August 2006, ruling in favour of the City.

An appeal of this decision was filed in court in September 2006.

The Court heard arguments on the appeal in January 2008.

(For the detailed arguments of the appeal, see attached Factum.)

The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the City.

The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the Conservancy case in 2008.

The Conservancy raised over $50,000 in a tremendous show of support from its membership, the community and with the help of West Coast Environmental Law’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund.


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