Lack of trust keeps lawsuit against City of Penticton afloat

Penticton resident Nelson Meikle said all the agreements with Trio are based on incorrect lease information.

Penticton resident Nelson Meikle said he will not be dropping his lawsuit against the city.

Penticton resident Nelson Meikle said he will not be dropping his lawsuit against the city.

Though the Save Skaha Park Society dropped their civil suit against the City of Penticton and Trio Marine Group, Nelson Meikle said he has no plans to do the same.

Meikle said all the agreements with Trio are based on incorrect lease information.

Read more: Save Skaha Park drops lawsuit

“That’s the main thing I am going forward with,” said Meikle, adding that he suspects the city still plans to allow Trio to build on green space in the park.

“It will come out. You cannot just run the marina. There is not enough money in it,” said Meikle, referencing the original expression of interest request, which listed a hotel as a possibility.

“We have to save Skaha Park. We don’t trust what the mayor is saying and his actions,” said Meikle.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said there is no provision in the agreements for a hotel, and the agreement with Trio is limited in what can be done to expand the marina and the marina building with a restaurant and retail offering. There is a provision for a concession and boathouse amenity, which is also restricted in size and requires there be no net loss of green space.

“It is frustrating that someone would still think that there is a hidden agenda for a hotel or any other development,” said Jakubeit. “There is no substance to assertions that clearly do not exist or are not allowable under the terms of the agreement.”

Meikle said the city has never reached out to him to discuss his legal action, one of at least nine court actions he has been involved in since 1989, including four filed in B.C. Supreme Court. He’s also been found guilty of six counts of failing to file tax returns after claiming the federal government lacks authority to tax its citizens.

Meikle said his record of filing lawsuits is because that is the only way to hold governments accountable.

“As long as they follow the laws, there won’t be any lawsuits,” said Meikle. “But when they do not follow the laws, then how do you make them accountable? That’s what the courts are for.”

Meikle explained that other people seem to need a leader and don’t want to take the time and effort to take legal action.

“I have knowledge of how to do it, and can do it at a reasonable rate, so that is what we are doing,” said Meikle. “It’s not just me, there are many people behind me. There is more and more coming over.”

Many of the speakers at the Nov. 23 meeting said the city should just pay Trio and get out of the deals altogether. Meikle projects that the majority of the audience felt that way.

Read more: Large turnout for public meeting

“And what did they do? They voted against us,” said Meikle, referring to council’s endorsement of the new Trio agreements on Dec. 6. “It was straightforward. The people wanted them (council) to pay Trio out and get rid of them. And they didn’t do it.”

“Why should we trust them?” asked Meikle. “The trust has gone out of them.”

Read more: Penticton council votes 5-2 to accept Trio agreements

Meikle has also attempted to draw Penticton MLA Dan Ashton into the fray, but so far with little success. On Monday, he waylaid Ashton as he flew out of Penticton.

“I was there at 6 a.m. to see him take his airplane. For some reason he doesn’t want to respond to my emails, three phone calls and two office visits,” said Meikle. “I found out that he was in town, so I thought I should make myself available.”

 

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