B.C. woman out $500K because property sits on archaelogical site
Published Wednesday, March 9, 2011 6:02PM PST
A British Columbia woman who spent more than $500,000 on archeological tests because her property turned out to be sitting on an aboriginal archeological site has lost a court challenge.
Wendy Mackay bought the property in Oak Bay, near Victoria, from her parents in 2006, and intended to build a home for herself and her husband.
There was nothing on the land title to indicate the property had any archeological significance and it wasn't registered as a heritage site, but when Mackay's architect checked with the provincial government, he was told the property was still a protected site.
The province's archaeology branch required Mackay to hire archeologists to conduct a series of extensive tests, which she says delayed the construction of her home by nearly a year and cost between $500,000 and $600,000 dollars.
Mackay, whose husband died in 2007, launched a legal challenge that ended up in arbitration, and the arbitrator ruled last year that the province had done nothing wrong.
Mackay appealed the arbitrator's decision, but Judge Shelley Fitzpatrick said the arbitrator correctly applied the law, even though she added she has sympathy for what Mackay has gone through.