Ex-Cambie Street merchant outraged by Canada Line's appeal of ruling on $600,000 in damages

The former Cambie Street merchant who won a $600,000 award from the B.C. Supreme Court for losses caused by Canada Line construction is outraged by Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc., TransLink, and InTransitBC’s decision to appeal the ruling.

Susan Heyes, owner of maternity-clothing company Hazel & Co., said in a statement issued today (June 19) that the move means justice will be delayed once again.

“I am hanging by a financial thread,” Heyes stated. “Any further delays in receiving the full award of compensation, including costs and interest, will place my livelihood in great jeopardy.”

Heyes issued the statement immediately after the three defendants announced that they will appeal the May 27, 2009, decision by Justice Ian Pitfield.

“We believe there are legal and factual errors in the judgment which support an appeal,” said Canada Line lawyer George Macintosh said in a press release today.

The same release stated that the defendants will pay Heyes for the cost of the trial at the B.C. Supreme Court, as ordered by Pitfield.

The defendants, according to the release, will also “offer to assist Ms. Heyes with her costs for the appeal regardless of the outcome of the appeal”.

Heyes said that small businesses “deserve better than bankruptcy when government-funded mega-projects impact their life’s work”.

“Government is quick to bail-out large corporations,” Heyes said. “Yet the very backbone of our economy, small businesses, are being treated with such disrespect.”




Jun 19, 2009 at 4:45pm

Disgusting, but hardly surprising, the snakes in charge of TransLink have no scruples. Is TransLink really not at fault for its unethical behaviour in ruining lives along Cambie Street by stepping all over people to build the RAV Line in time for the Olympics?

I suggest that Susan contact the residents who have been battling TransLink along the UBC trolley bus routes where TransLink has been flooding these routes with diesel buses for a joint counter lawsuit against TransLink. The diesel buses operating every minute on the UBC trolley bus routes are extremely hazardous to the health of residents are emitting incredible amounts of unnecessary carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) and are causing severe distress to residents from the intense noise.

Good luck, Susan, this time make it $600 million with jail sentences to the ones in charge of TransLink for not accepting the original decision and inflicting more pain. I'll be in contact with your lawyer.

Vancouver Resident

Jun 19, 2009 at 5:15pm

TransLink has this mistaken belief that public transit is more important than the rights of individuals. What rights do petty transit bureaucrats at TransLink have in deciding that transit for 10% to 15% of the population takes precedence over the rights of others, namely merchants on Cambie Street in this case?

TransLink’s crappy little transit service does not take precedence over the rights of individuals in Vancouver. If TransLink cannot operate in a fashion which is not detrimental to residents in Vancouver, TransLink does not need to operate here. Where are the City of Vancouver engineers in this transit mess? Don’t these engineers have a duty of care to protect us against TransLink taking over the city roads owned by Vancouver residents?

where's my bailout

Jun 19, 2009 at 5:22pm

They want to appeal because they don't want this to look like an easy win. Otherwise all the other merchants will be getting in line for their $600,000 bailout.

Shelley Smirfitt

Jun 20, 2009 at 1:30am

In the early '90s, I shopped at Hazel & Co. when I was expecting my children. At that time, it was hard to find quality maternity career clothing in Vancouver, except at Hazel & Co. It was a small business that manufactured its clothing locally and supported many local charities.

I later ran a small cottage business and realized this was no small feat. Susan Heyes was an outstanding, community-minded shopkeeper who deserved to be treated fairly.

Over the past four years, I've been disgusted with the way she was treated. The government didn't willingly do the decent thing and pay compensation; instead, it was forced to.

Susan, you've run an incredible four-year campaign and have been a community champion for 26 years. You have my respect.

Vancouver engineers culpable

Jun 20, 2009 at 12:54pm

TransLink is an unethical corporation. TransLink doesn’t own the roads in Vancouver, we do.

Even though TransLink committed the crime of stepping over the rights of the merchants on Cambie Street, the City of Vancouver engineers abdicated their duty of care to protect us by acting as bystanders and even going as far as cheering TransLink on by bending over backwards to give TransLink the necessary approvals to rip up Cambie Street. The City of Vancouver through its Engineering Department failed us and is just as responsible as TransLink, maybe more, for the wrongs done to the Cambie Street merchants.

The ones who truly have blood on their hands for the Cambie Street tragedy are the engineers at the City of Vancouver Engineering Department for violating their code of conduct to protect the public. Perhaps TransLink is right; TransLink isn’t to blame and would have acted better if the City of Vancouver engineers simply demanded it and stood up for us.

Barbara Fast

Jun 20, 2009 at 2:43pm

.If her Income Tax returns clearly show that she actually
If Can.Revenue agrees that her previous finances coincide with what she is suing for than she shouldn't stress; In my opinion there will be lots of merchants trying to get rich on this and other types of construction, if she is successful [in accordance with her previous filings with Rev. Canada] then beware TransLink- this will be only the first of many suits launched. People like her will do this to get into the "news". Good luck with your "cause".