A law firm in Vancouver has filed a second petition, featuring many Victoria area petitioners, that seeks an injunction by the Supreme Court of B.C. of the speculation and vacancy tax. (Black Press File Photo)

Victoria homeowners part of second class action spec tax challenge

Nine parties included in Supreme Court petition

A Lower Mainland law firm has submitted a second class petition to the Supreme Court of B.C. seeking a temporary injunction from the speculation and vacancy tax (SVT).

The new petition, from Lawrence Wong and Associates in Vancouver, features nine more clients in addition to the five parties included on the initial petition filed Sept. 26. Of the nine clients of which six are parties from Greater Victoria.

One of the parties is Hugh Bacon, who with his wife Heather, have a condo in Sidney.

They claim they’re caught in the giant net that is the SVT as they also spend much of the year at their other place, a seasonal residence next to a ski hill in Ontario.

READ MORE: Speculation tax has generated about $3.74 million in Greater Victoria

READ ALSO: B.C.’s speculation tax under fire in first major legal challenge

“We have rented the [Sidney condo] in the past to help pay the bills,” Bacon said. “And other times we’d stay there four to six months of the year.”

They were surprised with the retroactive application of the SVT because had they known, they could have rented it out. But it was impossible to retroactively rent the house out in 2018, saying they didn’t know until November.

“We’re trapped, like many others,” Bacon said. “At the time, my wife was still undergoing cancer treatment in Ontario. And as you know, you can’t go back and forth.”

Another client in the case is Claire Carlin, who supports the SVT but says she is unfairly caught by its blanket ruling. Carlin’s husband lives in Bellingham. They married 27 years ago but continued to live and work in their respective cities, each other for small increments each month.

“We have an unconventional marriage, he is domiciled in Bellingham, he worked there, and I worked in Victoria,” said Carlin, who lives in James Bay near Beacon Hill.

Despite retirement little has changed and they visit each other about once a week per month. He still has a business there, as well as his children and grandchildren. Carlin volunteers with the Francophone Historical Association of Victoria, leads a federally funded research project in association with University of Victoria on digitizing archives, and volunteers at Abkhazi Garden.

“My [condo] is not vacant. I live in it all year round. When I first called the province, I was told by someone at the province that my situation is collateral damage.”

Making matters worse, Carlin is designated as a satellite owner, because her partner is in the U.S. That bumps her to a two per cent tax bracket.

READ ALSO: Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

READ LETTER: Little sympathy for those facing speculation tax

“It’s an extreme source of anxiety and stress that I might lose my home. If I rented my house, I could avoid the tax, but I would have to find somewhere to live. Or I could divorce my husband.

“The tax bill is so large I can’t afford to pay it. I’m not divorcing him because the province asked me to.”

The petition seeks an injunction based on the claim that the SVT is unconstitutional and infringes Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, life, liberty and the security of the person.

“We are seeking to turn this into a class proceeding,” said Lawrence Wong. “But that comes later. For the time being, we are seeking an interim injunction to suspend the provisions of this tax, so that they don’t have to sell their homes, or remortgage. We want relief for all the proposed class members.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Supplemental information for SD63 students circulates as strike appears close to end

Letters were sent to families of SD63 students late last week

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read