Judge Sides with Squamish Nation in RV Park Dispute

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April 20, 2011 by   - () 5 Comments

Click here to see a gallery of photos of the RV park described in the following story.

A group of former RV park owners who were kicked out by the Squamish Nation band council after they stopped paying rent to the band have been told by a British Columbia Supreme Court judge they have no right to the land where the park operates.

Six member of the Baker family — including one woman who is also a band councillor — went to court recently to challenge the ownership of the land in West Vancouver after the band council told the family it could no longer operate the trailer park without either an agreement or paying rent, the North Shore News reported.

Members of the Baker family said the land was theirs because it was granted to them in a verbal contract by former chief Joe Capilano prior to the amalgamation of several tribes under the Squamish Nation.

But Justice Frits Verhoeven ruled there's no evidence the land belongs to anyone but the band as a whole.

He also ordered the Bakers to pay the Squamish Nation about $500,000 owed in rent from May of last year.

Members of the Baker family operated the Capilano RV Park for 50 years. But when the last 10-year agreement ran out in 2008, and the band asked the owners to sign a final five-year lease, the family refused. The band has indicated it intends to eventually develop the land.

In May of last year, the owners of the RV park stopped paying rent, so the band filed a lawsuit against the Bakers claiming $500,000 in unpaid rent and asking the court to declare the land as rightfully theirs.

Verhoeven has now done that, saying the Baker family — who were not represented by a lawyer — has not raised any legitimate defense.

In making the decision, the judge noted previous leases signed by the RV park owners had been with the Squamish Nation as owners of the land and that nobody had taken issue with that before.

Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish Nation said the band council hasn't yet determined whether it will run the RV park itself or enter into a lease with new business owners.

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5 Responses to “Judge Sides with Squamish Nation in RV Park Dispute”

  1. alex freeman on April 23rd, 2011 7:47 pm

    The photos in this article were only photos of the RV Park for transients.
    100+ people are permanent residents of the park on the other.
    side of the road. Very misleading article

  2. ts'wltextwx on July 1st, 2011 3:26 pm

    The Capilano RV Park is in appeal. There was a very important land code vote on the table at the same time. It was voted down. The Chiefs and Council continue to run as if it went through. All previous employess continue to work at the RV Park. Continue to stay at the RV Park and enjoy the facilites. The Baker family will be back.

  3. Chuck on March 30th, 2012 11:01 am

    It's so embarrassing. For Klatle-bhi to be labeled a tresspasser like that on his own land, and to have indian law lose so terribly to the white mans law. Now he's under investigation by the law society? That's terrible…Klatle-bhi has some problems sure but that does not mean anyone has the right to tell him what to do. Now the paper law is telling him who to pay and where to go?

    It is so shameful…I hang my head for you and hope you find meddicin soon.

    [59] The conduct relied upon by the plaintiff as being reprehensible includes the following: first, that the defendant evaded service of court documents in these proceedings, requiring three separate applications for substitutional service; second, that the defendants refused to identify themselves to the court when specifically requested to do so by Justice Sigurdson; third, at the January 14, 2010, hearing, they permitted a person to speak on their behalf who was highly disrespectful of the court and its processes and who purported to fire Mr. Justice Sigurdson and the court clerk, as well as opposing counsel, before the proceedings concluded.

  4. Edward on March 30th, 2012 12:38 pm

    What a good article, very revealing…interesting reading up on the info from some of the comments…seems a nonlawyer was allegedly hired, investigations are under way and a mockery of court proceedings was attempted by this klatle bhi character. Strange and crazy comments about indian law and the white man, contempt of court and so on. Makes sense he is unavialable for comment appearently a 1/2 million dollar fine was levied against them too. Wow, what a screw up that was.

    I understand the residents of the park remain largely unaffected and the band now runs the show.

    Good to hear no innocent bystanders were affected by this guys outrageous behaviour.

  5. Gordon on April 16th, 2012 9:18 am

    Klatle-bhi has always been this way. He is sick and has great hatred and wants to teach the white man a lesson, he tries to hide it to be sneaky but it is there. The courts taught him a lesson now, he is incomprehensible, and even the bakers admit it was a big mistake to hire klate-bhi. What a weak and shameful embarrassment that he behaved this way in the courts. It is sad that the band and the bakers suffered for his arrogance.

    He is buying lots of nice things now, talking about his possessions and what he has and what he will get. It is not a surprise he is being investigated and will not return calls.

    Shame on him. Embarrassing our people like that.

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