Wednesday, May 22, 2024
May 22, 2024

Court orders two of six Seabreeze residents to vacate

In a court decision unlikely to satisfy any of the parties involved, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled partly in favour of the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation (LMHF), and partly with current occupants of the former motel the foundation now owns. 

The issue before the court was an interlocutory one, brought in advance of the primary court case between LMHF and people remaining in the Seabreeze Inne building on Bittancourt Road. While that case waits for a full hearing, LMHF had sought an injunction that would have resulted in an ejectment and restraining order, giving the foundation “vacant possession” of its building and allowing contractors to begin converting the rooms to hospital staff housing even while the case was being tried.  

Without ruling on the broader merits of the pending litigation, Justice Anthony Saunders dismissed the foundation’s application against four of the hotel’s current occupants, but ordered two of them to vacate the premises by noon Friday, June 30. The lawyer for the four still allowed to stay, according to the judgement written Wednesday, June 21, had alleged facts “more than sufficient to raise triable issues,” and in Saunders’ view their dispute required a complete hearing. 

The two who must leave did not respond to the application, according to Saunders’ written judgement, and since LMHF had established a prima facie case that both only ever occupied their rooms as emergency shelter or transitional housing, “the plaintiff [LHMF} is entitled to the relief it seeks against them.” 

While Saunders awarded “ordinary” costs to the four occupants, he declined to award “special” costs requested by their lawyer, who had alleged LMHF’s litigation was “plainly improper” and “an apparent attempt to bury the Tenants in applications and affidavits.” 

“Notwithstanding the force of this submission [by the occupants’ lawyer], I am not able to find that the plaintiff’s conduct of this litigation has fallen to the level of an abuse of process,” wrote Saunders. “It is indeed unfortunate that the chronic shortage of judges being experienced by this Court, arising out of a lack of sufficient judicial appointments for the Court to be at its full complement, led to the adjournment of the hearings scheduled for March, which could have resolved all matters on their merits.” 

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1 COMMENT

  1. So sad that there is no housing and it is so expensive. My son has been kicked out of all low-income places. HE WAS NOT ALLOWED AT THE SHELTER. He has mental health problems. It breaks my heart. So sick and inhuman.

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