Town Receives Court Approval for Mack Laing Viewing Platform

Mack Laing proposed design
News Release

On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, the Supreme Court of BC approved a joint Comox and BC Attorney General application to vary one of the trusts left by Mack Laing, allowing the process of building a viewing platform on the site of Shakesides to commence.

This variation results from years of planning and consultation with the community and the K’ómoks First Nation. Once constructed, the viewing platform will overlook parts of Goose Spit. It will provide an opportunity for the next generation to view the birds, animals, and plants in the park, along with learning about the natural environment and First Nations history. This project will be completed in the area Mack Laing dedicated to the public, along with a view he noted in his writings as having enjoyed for over 50 years.

Mayor’s Statement

“The viewing platform will be an area where residents, visitors, and students will be able to enjoy the park in its natural state for decades into the future, as Mack Laing had wanted. The ability to construct this viewing platform with Mack Laing, nature, and First Nations history panels has been years in the making, and we are happy to be able to transform this area into a usable space.

Town Council acknowledges the length of time, about 40 years to rectify the issue.  The current Council was not here when this first started. However, during the last Council’s term (2018 – 2022) and into this new Council’s term, we have been working to resolve the trust with a fair and balanced outcome.

The Mack Laing Heritage Society (MLHS), who opposed this trust variation, and the Friends of Mack Laing, who supported it, have both put in significant time and effort in attempts to resolve the legacy of the property. The MLHS has been dedicated to preserving Mack Laing’s legacy, and through their work, the Town has realized and made the best effort to correct a number of lapses it made in managing the gifts left by Mack Laing.

Council decided to move forward with a viewing platform recognizing they were balancing all interest groups, including acknowledging Mack Laing for his contribution to community growth and land enjoyment, the respect for the traditional stewards of the area, and the realities of a changing climate that often floods the area. What will be constructed is a platform that will allow Comox residents to learn about Mack Laing and the area’s First Nations history. Visitors will enjoy the view that Mack Laing cherished in a structure built to withstand future climate change. 

As we move forward with implementation, Council has expressed and acknowledged the desire to find a way to heal the community divide by building on the natural history - a history that is respectful of the commitments Council made to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the local First Nations,” said Nicole Minions, Comox Mayor.   

The Town will now begin the process of fulfilling the conditions of the court-varied trust with the expectation that construction will begin in 2024.

Read the BC Supreme Court judgment here.  


Media Contact:

Nicole Minions, Comox Mayor