Take Back Delta Hospice wins important legal victory for the community

On November 13, 2020, the BC Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal attempting to block membership applications to the Delta Hospice Society. The DHS must accept the membership applications that were originally denied by the Board in May of 2020.

In June, Chris Pettypiece, Sharon Farrish and Jim Levin filed a BC Supreme Court petition to block a special meeting of the Delta Hospice Society (DHS) that excluded hundreds of applicants for membership and proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws to turn the Society into a Christian-based organization. The ruling went in favour of Pettypiece and his group, blocking the DHS Board’s ability to conduct any further business related to a special general meeting.

The current DHS Board ultimately appealed the decision in a further attempt to restrict the rights of community members to participate in their own hospice. The BC Court of Appeal hearing was October 7t​h​ and, in a decision delivered today, the Court of Appeal confirmed that the Board of Directors does not have discretion to exclude members on any basis not set out in the Bylaws. Further, the Court of Appeal found no error in the conclusion of the B.C. Supreme Court that the incumbent board acted in bad faith by rejecting membership applications without any basis in the Bylaws.

“This is a victory for our community, it is a victory for our human rights,” says Chris Pettypiece, spokesperson for Take Back Delta Hospice. “We will continue to take steps to ensure our community has a voice in the future of Delta Hospice Society and hold the Board accountable for good governance. We still have a lot of work to do – this is not over. Community members need to get involved through Society membership and now, more than ever, is the time to do so.”

Pettypiece continues, “We have been overwhelmed by support from local community members. Volunteers have worked tirelessly on a membership drive so the community has a voice in the future of their local hospice. We are grateful for their efforts to help ensure this valuable community asset will remain intact for generations to come.”

Take Back Delta Hospice advocacy group is composed of DHS members, supporters and advocates who believe the Society should be accountable to its members and the community it serves. TBDH relies on donated time and resources to try to ensure Delta Hospice remains accessible to all and respects everyone’s personal decisions for their end of life care.

Learn more about Take Back Delta Hospice on their website at https://takebackdeltahospice.ca/​ or email at: ​hospice4delta@gmail.com

Take Back Delta Hospice spokesperson Chris Pettypiece Chris.pettypiece@telus.net
604 219 3256

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