A University of Victoria student has filed a class-action lawsuit against the university over parking fees that weren’t refunded when the school closed because of the pandemic. (Facebook/University of Victoria)

Student files class action lawsuit against University of Victoria over parking fees

UVic did not refund prepaid parking after pandemic halted classes

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the University of Victoria for parking fees not refunded when classes ended as a result of the pandemic.

The suit, filed by student Elizabeth Cheeke, states it is on behalf of any faculty, staff, student or visitor who purchased a parking permit from UVic effective between March 16 and Aug. 31.

“It just comes down to the refund,” says Mitch Selly, lead counsel for Cheeke. “There’s no allegations of anything malicious or fraudulent or anything like that happening. It’s just, give the class the refund for the parking.”

UVic has not provided in-person course instruction since March 16, shortly after the coronavirus outbreak was deemed a pandemic. The lawsuit says UVic suspended pay parking for those that pay on a daily or hourly basis on March 20, but announced it would not issue partial refunds for those with permit contracts.

READ ALSO: More than 2,000 UVic students asked to leave dorms in response to COVID-19

Summer courses have also moved online.

Selly says a “number of people” have been in contact with him about this issue, but added anyone can opt-out of the class-action if they wish to do so.

Paul Marck, associate manager of public affairs for UVic, told Black Press Media that the school is aware of the lawsuit, but would not offer any further comment as it “is now before the courts.”

During the 2019/2020 school year, UVic sold 4,190 parking permits. The fee for an annual general parking pass is $568.05 plus GST and PST.

READ ALSO: B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

According to Marck, parking fees contribute to the operation of Campus Security Services and to the maintenance and upgrading of the parking infrastructure, which “are continuing costs throughout the year.”

Selly says that while UVic has taken a lot of responsible action throughout the pandemic by shifting to an online approach, the parking contract has been “frustrated,” meaning that without fault to either party, the contract is incapable of being performed due to an unforeseen circumstance.

He adds that many students are employed through the service industry which has been “totally decimated by COVID.”

“So, [these are] people who it would do some good to give them, even if it’s just a partial refund, all the little bit can help,” he says. “Students are in a precarious financial situation so that’s really what the class action is all about.”

The school has 21 days to file a response to the claim.

For more news from the Island and beyond delivered directly to your email inbox, click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusUVic

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP and public health inspectors will be out looking for homes and businesses violating provincial health orders Saturday, Oct. 31. (News Bulletin file photo)
Police will be watching for Halloween party violations

RCMP and health officials urge Halloween and COVID-19 safety this weekend

BC Ferries vessel Skeena Queen pulls into the dock at Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island. (Black Press File Photo).
BC Ferries faces calls for improved reliability on Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route

Recent mechanical breakdown resulted in sailing cancellations

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

Retiring local politicians Carole James and Andrew Weaver will receive annual payouts estimated at $87,000 and $34,000, respectively, under the pension plan for outgoing MLAs in B.C., according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. (Black Press Media file photos)
Taxpayer watchdog howling over outgoing MLAs’ pension payouts

Carole James, Andrew Weaver among Island MLAs whose pensions are calculated by taxpayers federation

Decorate, dress up and eat candy. But consider staying home. Black Press photo
EDITORIAL: Think about staying home this Halloween

Like everything in 2020, it has to be different

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

The iconic and well-loved live music venue Logan’s is permanently closing its doors due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)
Victoria pub Logan’s permanently closing its doors

Live music venue unable to weather COVID-19 storm

Brighter Day, a youth-led initiative based out of Volunteer Campbell River, is looking to connect seniors and youth with a new pen pal program to help make everyone more connected during this socially-distanced time. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
New pen-pal program looks to connect seniors and youth in Campbell River

Hope is to ‘make both parties feel less isolated through these challenging times’

The CVRD partnered with Comox Valley Schools to develop the turf field by Vanier Secondary. The Comox Valley United Soccer Club hopes for another field in Comox. File photo
Comox Valley United eyeing Comox as potential for turf field, indoor facility

About 40 per cent of the club’s members comes from the town

A group gathers for a guided story walk at the Comox Valley Art Gallery plaza. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley arts-based project takes honest look at overdose crisis

Walking tour aimed and raising awareness and sparking change

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, Jason Klughart, 28, was arrested at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday at Port Place Shopping Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
RCMP officer and security guard team up to detain suspect after chase in downtown Nanaimo

Jason Klughart arrested on outstanding warrant for possession of stolen property

Victoria police are asking for people's help identifying the suspect of a sexual assault that occurred early Oct. 29. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD searching for suspect in sexual assault incident

A woman was sexually assaulted at the 800-block of Cormorant Street just before 4 a.m. Oct. 29

Most Read