Former Cambie Street merchant awarded $600,000 in damages for Canada Line construction

The B.C. Supreme Court has awarded former Cambie Street merchant Susan Heyes $600,000 in damages relating to the construction of the Canada Line.

Heyes, who owned and operated the maternity wear store Hazel & Co. at 16th Avenue and Cambie Street from 1999 to December 2008, sought compensation—through her lawyer Cameron Ward—for lost earnings between 2005 to 2008.

Heyes claimed the cut-and-cover construction of the RAV Line (now known as the Canada Line) disrupted her business.

In his ruling today (May 27), Justice Ian Pitfield said Canada Rapid Transit Line, TransLink, and InTransitBC are all equally liable for the damages awarded to Heyes.

The ruling cleared Canada, the City of Vancouver, and the B.C. attorney general of misrepresentation, negligence, and nuisance.

In an e-mail widely sent around today, Heyes wrote: “WE WON !!”

Heyes has relocated her store to Main Street.




May 27, 2009 at 6:08pm

I'm very happy to read about Ms. Heyes receiving her $600,000 ($0.6 million) award for damages resulting from the RAV Line; she deserved more than $0.6 million in my opinion. TransLink ran roughshod over the merchants on Cambie Street to get the RAV Line built in time for the Olympics.

The award of $0.6 million is a drop in the bucket for TransLink which spent $2,000 million on the RAV Line. An additional $600 million to the taxpayers of Vancouver who suffered is also appropriate to discourage TransLink from doing the same thing elsewhere in the future. Too bad some of the unethical people who are responsible for the chaos on Cambie Street aren't going to jail. If TransLink doesn’t just pay up and admit fault on Cambie Street without an appeal, TransLink needs an overhaul, and ones in charge need to be fired.

Perhaps the residents who have been battling TransLink over its obscene use of the 99 B-Line diesel buses on the UBC trolley bus routes can learn from the Cambie Street lawsuit to sue TransLink for the unbearable nuisance TransLink’s noisy and polluting diesel buses inflict. TransLink is an unethical corporation and an awful disgrace.


May 27, 2009 at 6:14pm

Wonder if those businesses who went bankrupt will have the ability recoup THEIR losses from this fiasco?

Evil Eye

May 27, 2009 at 10:12pm

The lawsuit is just the beginning. Pittfield called the RAV P-3 a charade in court, lending credence that the Campbell P-3 was a sham.

Is this Gordo's business acumen; sham deals, done in secret? We need to dig further into the RAVco./Intransit BC business dealings. Maybe the RCMP commercial crimes unit should investigate the whole affair? Will we again see RCMP officers raiding the legislature for evidence of wrong doing?

Stay tuned folks, this is just the beginning!

Rational View

Aug 2, 2009 at 6:09pm

This is a terrible decision. Who do you think is going to pay for this womans judgement? It will come at the expense of further upgrading the much needed transit system in Vancouver.
Does Translink get money back for the increase in business these people will be getting as a result of the increased pedestrian traffic in the neighbourhood?
So now any improvements that do happen in Vancouver will cost a lot more because Translink will require insurance against lawsuits.
Welcome to America!

Mark Jaworski

Oct 11, 2009 at 9:55pm

Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments were paying the construction company, but behaved much worse than banks. Banks forward more money businesslike, only when construction proceeds according to the plans. Plan was to drill the tunnel, but to cut the costs and cheat investors they dug the hole, to save $400,000, blocking access to businesses. That is the truth. There was criminal negligence of civil servants allowing for change of plans and damage to the reputation of Canada Line. Canada Line looks cheep, much worse than Metro in Warsaw or Moscow, built 50 years ago. Taxpayers got cheated and Executives of the Constraction Company should those damages have docked of their pay. We may never know whether it was ignorance or conspiracy to defraud all of us.