Penticton – The City of Penticton has filed its statement of defence in the civil case brought forward by the Save Skaha Park Society. Over the past 10 months the City has sought to find a resolution to the group’s concerns outside of court procedures. The City is still optimistic that a negotiated resolution is possible but understands that while conversations are progressing, so must the legislative requirement to file a statement of defence.
“I think all parties are best served by coming to the table for a rational conversation, free from sensationalism and lawyers – this is still the aim and we will still work to resolve this through all channels” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, “our defence helps us get closer to resolution and an outcome we can all embrace”.
The statement of defence outlines facts the City has conveyed from early in the process. The statement denies the land in question was acquired on trust conditions. Further, it shows Council has acted within its authority regarding Skaha agreements. Approval of electors is only applicable under specific circumstances of acquisition in the Community Charter and does not apply to these agreements. Similarly, approval of the electors is only applicable if the City were to remove the dedication of parkland, which has never been the intention.
Although the City is exploring further negotiations and an out of court resolution, discovery is the nest step of the legal process.
The City also filed a similar statement of defence today in the civil claim brought forward from a private citizen.