'Not a political matter': Sasquatch lawsuit thrown out of B.C. court
Published Wednesday, September 5, 2018 11:41AM PDT
VANCOUVER - A British Columbia court has thrown out a lawsuit that claimed the provincial government has committed a “dereliction of duty” by failing to protect the sasquatch as a threatened or endangered species.
Todd Standing, who describes himself as a wildlife expert and film maker who has spent years studying the sasquatch, launched the suit in January.
He claimed officials within the B.C. fish and wildlife branch don't acknowledge the existence of sasquatch and infringed on his rights as they relate to his concerns regarding the “primate, also known as bigfoot.”
In response, the province called the lawsuit “frivolous,” “an abuse of process,” lacking “an air of reality,” and applied to have the case dismissed, saying Standing's statements of fact are ultimately incapable of proof.
In his judgement posted online Tuesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Ball finds no issue with B.C.'s lack of sasquatch recognition, ruling that no duty was owed to Standing to support a view on the existence of any creature.
Ball finds none of Standing's legal rights have been breached by the province and approves the application to reject the lawsuit, ruling the action has no reasonable prospect of success.
Standing had claimed B.C.'s position breached several of his charter rights, including the right to equal treatment regardless of personal characteristics, but Ball disagrees.
“A belief in the existence of the sasquatch is not an immutable personal characteristic,” Ball says in the eight page judgment.
“First, there is no political belief at issue here; Mr. Standing's belief in the sasquatch's existence is not a political matter. Second, such belief is not akin to 'constructively immutable' grounds like religion. Where religion can be an element core to a person's state of being in all aspects of life, the same cannot be said of a belief in the existence of the sasquatch.”
In striking the claim, Ball also ruled it could not be amended and resubmitted, and he ordered Standing to pay the government's legal costs.
The B.C. government's response to Standing's civil claim shows this was not his first legal attempt seeking a declaration of the existence of “a giant hairy vertebrate, hominoid or primate.”
In October 2017, the province says Standing filed a claim against the Ministry of Environment seeking legal proof that sasquatch exists and that Standing can lead groups into its territory and have them interact with the species.
In that claim, the province says Standing wanted a wildlife biologist to be required to accompany him into known sasquatch territory for not less than three months so Standing could show the biologist all the “associated signs this species exhibits.”
Although that claim was filed in the court registry in Golden, B.C., the province says it was never served with the action.