Former Keremeos firefighter Doug MacLeod is finding that the wheels of justice are not only slow, but perhaps not completely round either.
His day in court was deferred once again on May 9 when proceedings were put off due to a scheduling conflict in a Penticton courtroom. Presiding Judge Meg Shaw told the court that a criminal case would take precedence over MacLeod’s small claims dispute.
“I’m going to do something unusual,” Judge Shaw told the court, asking both MacLeod and Regional District Okanagan Similkameen counsellor Melanie Cannon if they wished to try and start their case later in the day, if it appeared that the criminal case could be resolved early enough.
Cannon informed the judge that she would no longer be counsel for the RDOS after June. She further informed the court that she wished to present an application to have the case dismissed over a statute of limitations rule.
The regional district wished to present the argument that MacLeod was a month late in filing his claim, at seven months.
The two parties met with Judge Shaw again on Thursday afternoon. Shaw reserved judgement until next week on the dismissal application. Should she deny it, a date will be set for continuation of the case.
Both parties expressed frustration with the number of delays encountered in bringing the matter to a decision.
MacLeod has been seeking a court decision for more than a year. He was terminated by the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department in March of 2011, but the firing was later deemed illegal. His case came before the regional district board in August of 2011 where a decision was legally made to fire him without cause. The long, drawn out proceedings have proven time consuming and costly, MacLeod admitted, not only for him, but to witnesses as well.