Kwantlen Student Association loses court fight

Its dispute with the Canadian Federation of Students was over membership and payment of fees

Kwantlen Student Association loses court case against Canadian Federation of Students

Kwantlen Student Association loses court case against Canadian Federation of Students

VANCOUVER — The Kwantlen University College Student Association has lost a court dispute with the Canadian Federation of Students and Canadian Federation of Students Services over membership and fees.

The KSA petitioned B.C. Supreme Court, and the CFS were the respondents. The dispute was over how the KSA, a member of the respondents since the early 1980s, could terminate its membership. The dispute was also over payment of fees.

The KSA says a Feb. 2015 vote of directors validly terminated the membership but the respondents say this wasn’t valid because their bylaws require a referendum of Kwantlen students to do that.

The university collects fees from student for membership in the KSA and CFS and remits them to the associations, pursuant to the University Act.

Justice John Steeves, in his decision rendered Monday, noted that in April 2008 a referendum

of students resulted in 56 per cent in favor of the KSA continuing as a member of the CFS.

He determined the KSA “was and is bound by the bylaws of the respondents, including those related to membership — as well as collection of fees and disaffiliation — and including changes to those bylaws, even if they disagree with them.

“Put another way,” the judge said, ” if KSA decides that it cannot live with being a member then their remedy is disaffiliation” and “that disaffiliation is to be conducted according to the bylaws of the respondents.”

The membership fee to the federation is $3 per student per semester. Steeves noted the university collects these fees for the federation. “There is no compulsion by the respondents on KSA to collect fees,” he added.

The judge decided “there is no basis for finding that the respondents’ bylaws with respect to the collection and remittance of fees are illegal or otherwise objectionable.”

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com