Witnesses continue to give evidence in a BC Supreme Court civil trial over usage of Kin Race Track in Vernon.
The Okanagan Equestrian Society says it has contracts that prove it should be able to use the site for horse-related events, and is fighting its eviction by the City of Vernon and Regional District of North Okanagan in a dispute that goes back more than a decade.
Society member Maria Besso — who testified at the trial in New Westminster this week– says the society believes it has a strong case.
“Both sides are being fairly represented, and obviously the arguments about contracts are indisputable,” Besso tells Kiss FM.
The local governments claim the society hasn’t followed terms of the agreement, such as providing maintenance and holding events.
The last horse racing at the site on 43rd Avenue was in 2013.
The City and RDNO say they are hoping the case will provide clarity on the land’s future.
The local governments would like to use the site for recreational activities.
Besso says five witnesses have testified for the plaintiff (the society) so far in day five of the ten day trial before Justice Michael Tammen.
“There are about three more witnesses for the plaintiff to testify between today and Monday, and after that there will be a couple of witnesses for the defendants (City and RDNO), and then there will be closing arguments, and the judge will get to decide.”
It’s expected the judge will likely take some time to make his decision.
Besso says the society started its witnesses with two Kinsmen who had knowledge of the contracts that were in place when the Kinsmen transferred the land to the City of Vernon in 1964.
“There was also witnesses from the time of a 2000 agreement with the regional district on the sale of the land to the regional district for part of the building of the multiplex (Kal Tire Place.)”
Besso was also a witness after taking pictures of the damage after the grandstands at the park were burned down in an arson fire in 2014.