The SRD decided not to indemnify Area B Director Noba Anderson for court costs. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Strathcona Regional District won’t cover director’s court costs

Case was concluded June 10, with lawyer saying clients were put up to launching petition

The Strathcona Regional District’s is not covering legal expenses for Area B Director Noba Anderson in connection with a recently-concluded court case.

The Mirror has received a copy of the letter responding to Anderson’s request the SRD indemnify her for the legal costs to defend herself against conflict on interest allegations in a court petition by 14 people dating back to January. The allegations were in relation to a GoFundMe site set up by a neighbour following a fire on property she co-owns.

The SRD letter was dated May 10, 2019, a month before the case was concluded locally in B.C. Supreme Court. On June 10, lawyers for both parties made a joint submission conceding there was no conflict of interest. The petitioners’ lawyer said little about the situation but did mention his clients had been influenced by others to launch the case.

Part of the agreement was a lump sum of $4,850 based on a tariff system rather than for costs on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

RELATED STORY: Petitioners concede no conflict against Strathcona Regional District director

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing confirmed that under the Local Government Act, section 740, local governments have the power to indemnify (or compensate) a local government official for expenses because of legal actions. They can either indemnify through a bylaw generally or by resolution in a specific case.

The Strathcona Regional District covers this issue in Bylaw 287 from early 2018. In one section, the bylaw cites four reasons the SRD may refuse indemnification. These include cases where an official has failed to notify the regional district in accordance with the requirements of this bylaw; failed to cooperate with the regional district in its defence of the claim, prosecution, appeal or other proceeding; interfered with the regional district’s investigation into a claim, or with the settlement, negotiation or other proceeding related to that claim; or voluntarily assumed liability or settled a claim without notifying the regional district beforehand. The SRD letter, though, only cites the decision not to indemnify Anderson in her defence of the petition and does not cite a particular reason.

SRD board chair Michele Babchuk told the Mirror this week the decision was made during an in-camera discussion, which typically cover deliberations around land, labour or legal issues.

“Those documents are in-camera, so I’m not able to really speak too much about them,” she said.

She could not elaborate on the decision-making process, again stressing the confidential nature of the deliberations, though she suggested the court petition itself was not solely the issue for in-camera discussions around indemnification. Regarding the court case, she said, “The board has always considered that an external process.”

Babchuk added, “I feel pretty confident in saying the directors look forward to concluding all these issues.”

Just Posted

La Familia gets Campbell River’s River City Arts Festival swaying to the music

Campbell River Arts Festival was treated to the sounds of Latin music… Continue reading

Disaster risk reduction course open to Campbell River high school students this fall

SRD protective services coordinator hopes program will eventually become integrated into curriculum

Large sections of Baikie Island Nature Reserve in Campbell River still in need of major attention

Greenways Land Trust has been looking for almost $1 million to address south side of conservancy

VIDEO: Break-in third this year at Indigenous art stores in Campbell River

Awatin Aboriginal Arts robbed for second time in 2019; Wei Wai Kum House of Treasures robbed in June

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read