The owners of the VIMC said they don’t feel victorious after their court win over North Cowichan. (File photo)

The owners of the VIMC said they don’t feel victorious after their court win over North Cowichan. (File photo)

Motorsport owners don’t feel they won a victory over North Cowichan

Lawyer says GAIN Group always wanted productive relationship with municipality

The owners of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit don’t see their court win as any kind of victory over the Municipality of North Cowichan.

Lorenzo Oss-Cech, a lawyer with Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt Barristers & Solicitors which is handling media relations for the GAIN Group that owns the VIMC, said the GAIN Group had always wanted a productive and beneficial relationship with the municipality.

“The owners didn’t want to go to court in the first place,” Oss-Cech said. “They always wanted to work with North Cowichan on this [$36-million] project.”

After a judicial review in September, the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s Justice Diane MacDonald ruled on Nov. 6 that North Cowichan failed to provide justification for its controversial decision last year to deny the VIMC a development permit for its expansion plans.

RELATED: Court quashes North Cowichan’s decision to deny expansion at VIMC

RELATED: North Cowichan taxpayers face 133% ‘worst case’ hike from a VIMC lawsuit

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

Oss-Cech said the GAIN Group is waiting for North Cowichan to decide what it will do before deciding its next steps.

“The owners don’t know what North Cowichan intends to do at this stage, and it’s hard to speculate,” he said.

After two well-attended public hearings on VIMC’s expansion proposal held last November and December, North Cowichan council decided twice to deny the application due to community concerns about noise, environmental impacts, and First Nations objections.

Council met shortly after MacDonald’s ruling to discuss the municipality’s next steps.

Mayor Al Siebring said North Cowichan’s lawyers require more time to study the ruling before making any recommendations on how to proceed.

“We have 30 days to decide whether we’ll appeal the ruling, or reconsider the application,” he said.

A report written by North Cowichan’s CAO Ted Swabey last December after the VIMC threatened legal action over the issue said the potential liabilities associated with the VIMC claims for damages can’t be ignored, and could have potentially devastating implications for North Cowichan and its taxpayers over the next 10 years and beyond.

Swabey said that if the worst-case scenario were to happen, the municipality could be saddled with a judgment as high as $60 million.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

Just Posted

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Vancouver Islander selected to Canada’s first-ever national skateboard team

Courtenay’s Shay Sandiford has his eye on qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo

Tara Martin, head of the UBC Faculty of Forestry Conservation Decisions Lab, checks out some of the wildflowers that grow on SISCENEM, also known as Halibut Island located east off Sidney Island. Martin had brought the island to the attention of The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC), which subsequently bought the island, then transferred ownership to WSANEC Leadership Council under a historic first. (Alex Harris/Submitted)
An Island of reconcilation: conservancy turns $1.55 million over to First Nation

SISȻENEM (Halibut Island), off Sidney, transfers to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council under historic deal

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

March 8 is International Women’s Day. (Stock photo)
Editorial: International Women’s Day can inspire us to recommit to equality

Let’s call out sexism, amplify feminism and keep working toward equality

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Office vacancy rates are rising in Greater Victoria while the supply of industrial land is shrinking. (Black Press Media File)
Report finds supply of industrial land in Greater Victoria shrinking

Office vacancy rates in Greater Victoria continue to rise

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Eaglecrest Golf Club plans to operate as a nine-hole course starting April 1. (Eaglecrest Facebook photo)
Eaglecrest Golf Club in Qualicum Beach still plans to have course layout reduced to 9 holes

Town council continues to negotiate lease for 18-hole operation

Nanaimo painter Shawnda Wilson hangs her exhibit Tropical Wallpaper at Jonny the Barber. The show runs until the end of March. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter battles pandemic blues with tropical exhibition

Shawnda Wilson presents ‘Tropical Wallpaper’ at Old City Quarter barbershop

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

Most Read