On Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, legal counsel for the Diocese of New Westminster filed a Brief
in the BC Court of Appeal to seek recovery of court costs incurred in the recent legal proceedings in which, as the Brief affirms, “the Respondents (diocese) were substantially successful both at trial and on appeal and there is no valid basis to depart from the usual rule that they are entitled to their costs.”
During the Appeal, legal counsel for the dissident parishes claimed that the judge erred when he awarded the costs to the diocese. They argued that they sued the diocese as trustees, seeking to clarify the trust on which the properties are held. Further they claimed that it is not in the interest of “harmony” for costs to be awarded against them as they were fulfilling their role as trustees of the parish corporations.
Diocesan lawyers pointed out in the Brief that the dissidents were acting entirely in the interests of their new church organization, ANiC (Anglican Network in Canada) and against the interests of the ACC (Anglican Church of Canada) and the Diocese. The Brief states “Far from acting with good faith in the parish corporations’ interests, however, the Appellants have vigorously worked against the parish corporations.” (Article 12) The Brief also goes on to list the ways in which the Appellants worked against the interests of the parish corporations:
- they formed an entirely different church organization, namely ANiC.
- withheld assessments to the Diocese of well over one million dollars
- used the church buildings to raise money for the current litigation.
In his Oral Reasons for Judgment, June 29th, 2010
, BC Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher awarded costs to the diocese. The diocesan brief states, “That assessment was wholly within the discretion of the trial judge and should not be disturbed.”
Already the costs to the diocese have been considerable, money that would otherwise have been available to fund the ministry and mission of the church. Costs awarded to the diocese would be used to restore ministry where it has been disrupted due to the actions of the dissidents.