Legal News

Universities and Colleges Parking Powers Extended

The BC Government has moved to expand regulatory powers of public universities and colleges in response to the recent court decision which held that the University of British Columbia did not have the authority to levy fines for parking violations: see Barbour v. The University of British Columbia, 2009 BCSC 425.

On October 7, 2009, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2009 (Bill 13) passed first reading in the Legislature. Bill 13 includes changes to both the College and Institute Act and the University Act, granting express powers to colleges, institutes and universities governed by these statutes to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements in relation to traffic and parking. The amendments specifically exclude the application of section 5 of the Offence Act, leaving it up to the institutions themselves to create and enforce their own parking regulations.

Bill 13 must pass second and third readings before it comes into force. However, once in force, the amendments will have retroactive effect. This means that neither UBC nor any other institute governed by the amendments will have to refund the years of penalties and levies collected under parking regulations which would have been unenforceable under the ruling in Barbour v. The University of British Columbia. In an era of fiscal restraint, the ability of post-secondary institutions to collect fees, penalties and fines in relation to parking will continue to be a valuable tool.

Link to Bill 13, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2009