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February 21, 2023

Beacon Hill Park:   BC Attorney General's Appeal is Dismissed

The Province proceeded with its appeal to Justice Punnett’s Supreme Court opinion which supported the Friends of Beacon Hill Park (FBHP) position that under the terms of the 1882 Beacon Hill Park Trust, permanent sheltering that we saw through 2021 is not allowed. On February 21, 2023 an unanimous Appeal ruling was issued dismissing the Province's Appeal. 

HMTK vs. In the matter of s.86 of the Trustee Act/ Re Beacon Hill Park Trust appeal on November 14 and 15.

The results of the Province's appeal was published Feb 21, 2023 and the Appeal panel of three judges unanimously dismissed the Province's Appeal. 

In summary  

Held: Appeal dismissed.

The question posed by the trustee must be reframed to ensure that it relates solely to the management and administration of the trust property, and does not purport to limit or qualify the constitutional rights of others, including the rights, if any, of persons experiencing homelessness to shelter in the Park when they have no other options.

If rights to use the Park for other purposes are asserted, they will have to be adjudicated based on the facts and law at the time. The terms of the trust, however, are that the Park is to be used for the recreation and enjoyment of the public, which use does not include temporary overnight sheltering.

What This Means

This means that the our position that the terms of the 1882 Trust are valid and and legally binding. This ruling further enhances our ability to defend the Park based on the original 1882 Trust. 

This ruling is both profoundly and deeply satisfying to us at Friends of Beacon Hill Park Society. We want to deeply thank all our members and supporters who have supported us through this long and expensive legal journey. I addition we would like to thank our legal council for their dedication and sound advice though out this multi year process.

You can find the full Appeal ruling on our website:

2023 BCCA 83 British Columbia v. Friends of Beacon Hill Park.mhtml.pdf

Just a short reminder to please continue your support by renewing your membership for 2023.

 Contact us at:

Joan Halvorsen, President, Friends of Beacon Hill Park

Tom Epplett, Treasurer, Friends of Beacon Hill Park

Attorney General Appeal Factum, Filed July 8, 2022.pdf

FBHP - 22.08.09 Respondent Factum-FBHP.pdf

City of Victoria - CA48187_Factum_respondent_City (00109425-2xE48C6).PDF


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