This site is presented by The Mack Laing Heritage Society of the Comox Valley, whose mission is to ‘maintain and promote the dissemination of Mack Laing’s environmental values and legacy’
Since late 2017, the MLHS has engaged a lawyer to fight the variance the Town of Comox is seeking for the Mack Laing Trust and Shakesides, which will allow them to demolish the house and build a viewing platform.
To date (March 2019) the MLHS has filed numerous affidavits and over 2,000 pages of evidence about the Mack Laing Trust and other related matters, to the BC Supreme Court. This research was done or commissioned by the MLHS and our lawyer has been paid over $33,000 to date to be our representative in court. This money was raised solely from MLHS members and supporters.
In October 2018, the MLHS produced a business plan for the restoration of Shakesides into a nature house, incorporating generous offers of materials, expertise and labour from many local contractors and well-known professionals: ShakesidesBusinessPlan Oct29 2018sm
The MLHS presented this plan to Comox Council Committee of the Whole on January 23, 2019. and made a presentation about the importance of recognizing Shakesides as a heritage building – a no-cost option for the Town: MLHS Delegation to Comox COW January 23 2019
The Town of Comox and Council have not responded to the generous community support in the business plan, or to no-cost suggestions made by our delegation.
A Little History …
On the advice of Comox Mayor Ives, the Mack Laing Committee, an association of members of Comox Valley Naturalists, Project Watershed, and Comox citizens, created the The Mack Laing Heritage Society of the Comox Valley. It was incorporated as a B.C non-profit on May 20, 2014.
Our Mission Statement:
1) To fulfill the stated wishes of Mack Laing’s 1981 Will and Testament: “that my home be used as a natural history museum,” as faithfully as possible.
2) To oversee the restoration and maintenance of Mack Laing’s home.
3) To maintain and promote the dissemination of Mack Laing’s environmental values and legacy.
4) To fundraise annually to maintain a variety of environmental programmes of interest to the general public throughout the Comox Valley and to the Town of Comox.
Court Action 2017 – present
In late 2017, the Town of Comox appeared in BC Supreme Court to vary the Mack Laing Trust, so that they can demolish the Trust property, Shakesides, and use the Trust funds to construct a viewing platform.
The MLHS appeared in Supreme Court to object to this application, which required it to hire a lawyer at its own expense. The Town of Comox filing and legal representation has been conducted at the expense of Comox taxpayers.
In late 2018, the MLHS was granted intervenor status by the Justice of the BC Supreme Court. Under the terms of the Consent Order, signed by the two parties (Town of Comox and the Attorney General of BC), the MLHS can present evidence in court, and “make full oral and written submissions”, including inter alia submissions on the definition of the trust, whether the trust should be varied, on what terms the trust may be varied, and on alternate variations to the trust.”
Any changes in this Order has to be agreed upon by the two parties, and MLHS. In effect, this Order gives MLHS standing in every way, except in name. In fact the MLHS has, at the request of the Town of Comox, agreed to grant them two extensions to the filing of exhibits to the Court. The current extension period ends in May 2019.
The Mack Laing Heritage Society Board of Directors
President: Kris Neilson
Secretary/Treasurer: Angela Burns
Note: The members of the MLHS Executive named above are listed in our latest Annual Report filing under the BC Societies Act.
We choose to keep the names of the other members of the executive unlisted, both to protect their privacy and to discourage harassment from individuals who do not appreciate the work we do to honour Mack Laing.
We are not required to post AGM Minutes or other reports. However, they are on file and are available upon request to members in good standing.
We sincerely thank all our executive and members, past and present, for the time and effort used to assist us in our endeavours.