In early February, the Municipality of Oak Bay posted notices on all dinghies along the shore that the dinghies were ‘unlawfully occupying public property’ and would be confiscated by February 23rd if not removed. BCNRA directors contacted municipal staff, including the city manager and bylaw officer. As a result of these consultations, municipal staff are aware that as long as the dinghies are below the high water mark, the municipality will not remove them.
Another recent issue concerning dinghies in Oak Bay involved Oak Bay Marina staff confiscating a few dinghies anchored near the shore in an area the Marina claims is part of their water lease. The Marina stated that in order to get their dinghies back, owners would have to pay a fine of $1.50/foot/day. The police were called and the dinghies were returned. Police indicated that if owners wanted to take the issue further, it would be a civil matter.
Two of the BCNRA directors approached Oak Bay Marina management about the incident and were essentially told to leave and if any dinghies were left in the vicinity, the Marina would confiscate them as well. On consultation with the municipal engineer, it was confirmed that the area in question is not part of Oak Bay Marina’s lease.
If anyone has a problem with the Oak Bay Marina taking their dinghies, phone the Oak Bay Police and email the BCNRA directors.
We would like to work through this issue with the Marina.
Kudo’s to BCNRA on presenting these facts as a neutral party. This goes a long way in reducing the helplessness often felt when put up against bullies who have organizations backing them up!
I am so glad there are forward thinkers who organized us into the BCNRA
I think filing a private criminal information for theft against the person who takes the dinghy may make things clearer. One could also pay the fee, get a receipt, then charge them with criminal fraud, and give it lots of publicity.
Oak Bay police are dead wrong. Theft and criminal fraud are definitely not civil matters. They are criminal matters.
You could go pay Oak bay Marina the fees they ask ,with witnesses and a hidden camera phone, and get a signed receipt, to gather evidence .. Then you could go to the prosecutors office with a lawyer in tow, and file a private criminal information against them for criminal fraud and theft. Then you can go to the media and tell them that Oak Bay Marina is under criminal investigation for criminal fraud.
No matter how they whitewash it , the message will have been clearly sent.
You could also file a private criminal information against the Newcastle Island Park people for trespassing, and inform the media in the same manner.
Take a member of the media along with you, when you go to file the private criminal information.