On November 7, 2007, lawyers representing the Defendants City of Vancouver, the Attorney General of British Columbia, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, RAV Project Management Ltd. and InTransit BC Limited Partnership applied to strike the claims of the Plaintiff Susan Heyes Inc., dba Hazel & Co., as disclosing no reasonable claim. Their applications were dismissed by Mr. Justice Pitfield of the BC Supreme Court, meaning that the case can proceed forward. The Action (No. S054152, Vancouver Registry) is anticipated to proceed to trial in November of 2008.

The decision dismissing the applications sparked this exchange in the Legislature between MLA Gregor Robertson, a champion of small business, and Hon. Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation:

“G. Robertson: Yesterday this government paid lawyers to fight off the Cambie small business seeking damages in the B.C. Supreme Court from the devastating impact of Canada line construction. The lawyers actually attempted to have the merchants’ case thrown out on a technicality. So not only is this government destroying the small businesses, but they’re denying them their day in court. The judge, thankfully, ruled against this government and its Canada line partners, and the case will be heard.

My question to the Minister of Small Business and Revenue: how do you feel about writing big cheques to lawyers to continue your fight against small businesses rather than fairly compensating those merchants directly?

Hon. K. Falcon: The member well knows that we’re not going to comment on cases before courts…


Hon. K. Falcon: …but there’s more to come.


Mr. Speaker: Members.

Minister, just take your seat.

Hon. K. Falcon: The best part is to come.

Mr. Speaker: Please take your seat.



Mr. Speaker: Members, let’s listen to the answer.

Hon. K. Falcon: I will say this. There is one big cheque we sure did write, and that was a cheque for $435 million to build the Canada line that they

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opposed. And I can tell you that our biggest problem with that project is going to be all the NDPers trying to cram up on the stage and claim credit when that opens.

Mr. Speaker: Member has a supplemental.

G. Robertson: It is absolutely deplorable that this government is letting the situation degenerate into a legal battle with small businesses. It is totally disrespectful of these hard-working families and of the whole province’s small business community. It’s also a horrendous waste of taxpayer dollars. The Premier and his Transportation Minister led the charge on the Canada line project from day one, and they created this mess.

Will the Transportation Minister stand up in this House today, show some leadership again and lead the funding partners in compensating the small businesses on Cambie?


Mr. Speaker: Member.

Hon. K. Falcon: You know, it’s always interesting when I listen to these opposition members, because so often what they say on that side is very different from what they did when they were in government. But the members might want to remind themselves that under the NDP, they also were building a rapid transit line. They may recall that. It was called the Millennium line.

I understand there were a number of small businesses that were impacted pretty dramatically, which were appealing to that government for exactly the support that he’s now espousing. It’s a mockery, Mr. Speaker, because they did nothing when they were in government.

I can tell you that what we are doing is building a line that will take 100,000 people a day out of their cars and into rapid transit. They opposed it. They’re going to try and claim credit on opening day, and they will not get that benefit.”