City of Parksville named in petition to the court regarding Parksville Community Centre

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A former Parksville city councillor has filed a petition to the court, requesting a judicial review of city council’s decision to change the use of the Parksville Community Centre (PCC).

The petition by Mary Beil, who sat on council from 2014–2018, asks for council’s decision to be set aside and that the city be directed to hold a public discussion about the use of the community centre. A petition is a court form that starts a judicial review in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

The petition cites B.C.’s Community Charter as its legal basis. It refers to Part 2, Section 24 1a, which states a council must give notice of its intention to provide assistance to an organization, including “disposing of land or improvements, or any interest or right in or with respect to them, for less than market value”.

It also cites Section 25 1a, which states that unless authorized under the Local Government Act, “a council must not provide a grant, benefit, advantage or other form of assistance to a business”, including an exemption of a tax or fee.

The petition notes “Parksville City Council issued a news release and a signed letter of intent that would change the use of the community centre to a child care centre and rent the space to Boys and Girls Club Central Vancouver Island for a dollar per annum”.

The city informed the community via a news release in October 2020 about the new use of the community centre. It entered into an agreement earlier this month with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island (BGCCVI) to operate the building as the BGCCVI Parksville Child, Youth and Family Centre.

The petition was filed on May 10 — the City of Parksville must respond within 21 days, according to the document.

“This matter has been referred to legal counsel for review and the City has no comment at this time,” Deb Tardiff, manager of communications, said in an email to Oceanside News.

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