Penner v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations)
We represent Sechelt Community Projects Inc which operates as Sechelt Community Forest (SCF). SCF complied with all regulatory and procedural steps to obtain a cutting permit which allowed them to harvest timber on the lower slopes of Mt. Elphinstone. The Petitioners, Messr’s Muirhead and Penner and Ms. Bloom call themselves Elphinstone Logging Focus and have been trying to have a Provincial Park on Mt. Elphinstone expanded to include areas within SCF’s logging tenure. They are very active in opposing logging in this area. Their opposition has previously been limited to blockades. In this case they decided to attack the legislative authority for logging by saying that the Ministry of Forests District Manager’s decision to grant the cutting permit in question was issued without proper consultation with the community and in particular ELF. They sought to have the cutting permit quashed and an injunction preventing further logging.
ELF was initially successful in obtaining an injunction to prevent logging but when they refused to give an undertaking as to damages as required by the Rules of Court their injunction was lifted and logging continued.
At the hearing we argued that there was no obligation to consult and that the Petitioners could not effectively rewrite the legislation to impose one. Madame Justice Iyer agreed, dismissed the Petition and awarded costs to SCF.
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