Canada Line to appeal $600,000 in damages awarded maternity shop owner
Canada Line announced Friday it will appeal the B.C. Supreme Court ruling that awarded $600,000 in damages to maternity shop owner Susan Heyes after her Cambie Street shop suffered losses during construction of the rapid transit project
This is a dreadful waste of public money. And the excuse “Pitfield’s decision has potential ramifications for numerous public-sponsored infrastructure projects” is nonsense. The judgement made it plain that the defendants abused the process. They said they were going to build using bored tube, got consent, and then changed the plan to cut and cover. That is an old dodge known as “bait and switch”. They would never have got the consent of the city or the impacted community if they had known what was to come. And the other bidders should have called foul too, since they had presented their offers based on bored tube as requested.
What the judgement does is make project managers in future much more respectful of the public consultation process. It can no longer be the dog and pony show we have got used to in recent years, but actually has to listen to what people have to say and make sure that everyone understands what is actually going to happen. And then stick to the plan that was presented – not change it to suit some other interest.
What the proponents did on Cambie Street was wrong – and if they did not realize that at the time, they should have done. It is unfortunate that the burden on the penalty falls on the tax payer and the individuals who committed this wrong do not themselves have to pay any penalty. Yes this decision does set a precedent – and other merchants on Cambie Street should benefit from it. It will not impact other projects other than to ensure a proper process – which is what they should have had in the first place.