• Lorene Rilkoff v. Environmental Health Officer

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    405689  B.C. Ltd. dba Hide-A-Way Mobile Home Park, Permit Holder


    Decision Date: September 16, 1999

    Panel: Judith Lee

    Keywords: Health Act – s. 8; Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 3.2, 3.4, Interpretation Act – s. 29; sewage disposal permit; jurisdiction; limitation period for filing an appeal; public notification requirements; definition of “newspaper”.

    This decision concerned a preliminary issue of jurisdiction in an appeal by Lorene Rilkoff against the May 14, 1999 decision of the Environmental Health Officer (“EHO”) to issue a permit for a sewage disposal system for the Hide-A-Way Mobile Home Park in Robson, B.C. The Board considered several questions in this preliminary application: whether or not the permit was published in accordance with the laws regarding notice; whether the publication used for giving notice was a newspaper as defined for the purposes of the legislation; whether or not the Board had jurisdiction to consider acceptance of the appeal despite non-compliance with notice requirements in the Regulation; and whether or not the facts enabled the Board to exercise discretion to accept Ms. Rilkoff’s appeal despite the fact that she filed her Notice of Appeal after the 30 day limitation period.

    The Board found that the notices regarding the issuance of the permit met the notice requirements of the Regulation, and that the publication used for giving notice satisfied the definition of “newspaper” in the Interpretation Act in that it was meant for general circulation and was published regularly at intervals not longer than a week. The Board also found, however, that Hide-A-Way failed to publish the notice within the 10 day limitation period commencing on the date the permit was issued, and that this constituted non-compliance with the statutory notice requirement.

    The Board found that non-compliance with the notice requirements of the Regulation was not fatal to the validity of the Permit in this case, and that the Board therefore had jurisdiction to consider acceptance of the appeal. The Board also found that, since the notice was published late, the circumstances may have warranted allowing Ms. Rilkoff a reasonable extension of time to file her Notice of Appeal. However, the Board found that her delay in submitting her Notice of Appeal was, at almost three months from the date of the issuance of the permit, too long, that she had provided no satisfactory explanation for the delay, and that it would therefore not be a reasonable exercise of the Board’s discretion to accept the Notice of Appeal. The appeal was rejected.