As a citizen of Vancouver Island having friends in the Deep Bay area, I am appalled over what is happening to that community as they face down a development nightmare. Similar to rural communities on this Island, Deep Bay residents were under the impression their Official Community Plan would be honoured.
Since when is an Official Community Plan somehow or other not based on the rule of law? An OCP is a democratic document that citizens produce, vote to accept and abide by but, in some unacceptable twist, elected representatives can arbitrarily change through an amending bylaw. Something is wrong here.
Rule of law does not mean the laws legislated are good laws they are simply man-made laws, subject to human imperfection and citizens can, through various means, have bad laws changed.
The Honourable Eugene A. Forsey was widely regarded as one of Canada’s foremost experts on the country’s constitution.
Eugene A. Forsey was the expert on the rule of law, actually establishing a foundation of understanding whereas, all others simply copied from him and oft times incorrectly. Forsey left Canadians a rich legacy of knowledge in how we are governed.
“Governments in democracies are elected by the passengers to steer the ship of the nation. They are expected to hold it on course, to arrange for a prosperous voyage, and to be prepared to be thrown overboard if they fail in either duty.”
In the majority of cases witnessed on our Island where development for the sake of unrestricted growth or the “dreams” of developers are put ahead of the mainly rural communities who democratically and in all good faith voted for their Official Community Plans, area directors have failed to “hold…on course” the wishes of the community and deserve to be “thrown overboard”.
“What keeps the various authorities from getting above the law, doing things the law forbids, exercising powers the law has not given them? The courts. If they try anything of the sort, they will be brought up short by the courts.”
The recourse citizens have are the courts, not the words of a newspaper editor preaching rule of law minus research beyond duhaime.org while overlooking the highly esteemed Forsey who clearly stated that, “If anyone were above the law, none of our liberties would be safe”. Forsey did not make exceptions for either politicians nor developers. Neither do we.