Vernon councillor Patrick Nicol loses tax appeal

The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling against a Vernon politician in regards to income tax charges

The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling against a Vernon politician in regards to income tax charges.

Patrick Nicol, a City of Vernon councillor and board chairperson of the Regional District of North Okanagan, was fined $2,000 in February for failing to file his income tax with the Canada Revenue Agency by a deadline in 2007 and 2008.

Nicol appealed the provincial court ruling on the grounds of misrepresentation of evidence heard at his trial, and that reasons for judgement didn’t allow for a meaningful appellate review.

“I could certainly have done better in this, but there was never any intention not to file and that’s the charge in this case,” said Nicol. “I’m truly disheartened by the decision but we are also under the rule of law so I have to respect the learned judge and I will do that.

“But there is much to learn from the actual case.”

Nicol said all tax owing was paid in 2010, long before his case went to trial, and that due diligence in his case was never addressed.

He said the charges led to him his losing job as general manager of a Vernon radio station, and ended a 40-plus year broadcasting career.

It was support from people that care greatly about him that helped Nicol through a rough period in his life.

“You have a loss of dignity in these things when you lose your job,” he said. “I have a great deal more understanding of what that is like now. Without these people that never, never wavered…if I don’t sound depressed it’s because I’ve been so lifted up by so many of these people in this community, I have no right to feel that way.”

Despite the ruling, Nicol plans to continue to serve the community, and will follow the advice of his late mother, Joan, who encouraged Nicol to see his court matter through:

“Hold your head high, keep a smile on your face and keep your heart in the right place.”