Sometimes its just legal limbo

Anybody, a lower level of government, an organization or a person, can legally challenge a law/legislation, says letter writer

Dear Sir:

As pointed out in The Terrace Standard’s February 25, 2015, article “Just stop it, says district” there is a large difference of opinion between the public acceptance of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine’s new dump location south of Terrace near Lakelse Lake and the regional district.

I personally do agree that the location is not the best, because it is above watercourses and could leak in the future, but both the existing Terrace and Thornhill dumps do have the same problem.

They are located above watercourses and leaching into them.

Because of B.C. geography – mountains, valleys, rivers, streams – it is very difficult to find a good location.

But one thing what people may not realize is, if one level of government decides to give new powers or remove powers from a lower level of government, that lower level is just about absolutely powerless about that.

Even the federal government has limitations about its power, they can pass/make laws and legislation, but sometimes the Supreme Court of Canada can set aside, invalidate sections or parts of such laws/legislation, as we have seen in a number of cases recently.

Anybody, a lower level of government, an organization or a person, can legally challenge a law/legislation.

But as we also have seen recently that can take years or even decades to go through the court system, not to mention a lot of money.

Once a court invalidates a law/legislation, they give that level of government a time frame to change the law, but meanwhile any action using the old law would not even make it to court.

Such a legal limbo can last for several months or even longer.

Martin Holzbauer,

Terrace, B.C.