By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
The District of Invermere will recoup some of the more than $30,000 in legal costs expended in the battle against a deer lawsuit that was dismissed last November.
On Friday, January 31st, Madam Justice Susan Gropper, who heard arguments in the lawsuit against the districts deer cull-enabling bylaws last fall before dismissing it, ordered co-petitioners Shane Suman and the Invermere Deer Protection Society to pay partial costs, according to the courts B-scale of payment.
Those costs will amount to about $14,500, said deer society member Devin Kazakoff, who noted the $12,000 security posted by the group prior to entering the courtroom will cover most of that.
The district wanted to have (the lawsuit) dismissed; we posted securities in exchange for them not to, he said.
Mr. Suman, who was the original petitioner in the lawsuit, told The Pioneer the costs ruling sets a bad precedent for all concerned members of the public who would want to challenge government decisions at any level.
We disagree with the decision as it deviates from the principle that costs are usually not awarded in a public interest lawsuit, he said. We will appeal this decision regarding the costs, along with the decision earlier that dismissed our lawsuit.
Its the second time Mr. Suman has been ordered to pay by a court in a little over a year. In late 2012, he and his wife Monie Rahman were found guilty of insider trading by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and ordered to surrender $954,938.07 of illegal profits and pay an administrative penalty of $250,000.