Ex-Cambie Street merchant Susan Heyes files to appeal Canada Line ruling in Supreme Court

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      A former Cambie Street merchant is calling for financial help as she tries to take her fight over compensation for losses related to Canada Line construction to the country's highest court.

      In 2009, Susan Heyes, owner of the maternity-wear store Hazel & Co., won a B.C. Supreme Court decision that held TransLink, Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc., and InTransit B.C. Limited Partnership liable for nuisance.

      But, in February of this year, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the previous ruling, which had awarded Heyes $600,000 in damages.

      Today (April 15), Heyes announced that she has filed for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, and she plans to represent herself in court.

      Heyes issued the following statement:

      I have just filed for leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada as a self represented litigant.

      Contributions can be made to the Susan Heyes Legal Defence fund : Royal Bank – account # 07200 – 5076666

      I have no means to pay further huge legal fees to take this case to the Supreme Court of Canada, but as a citizen and a small business owner, I can’t afford not to. This is an issue of national importance with the potential to impact any small business in Canada.

      The ruling of the BC Appeals Court, if not overturned, would mean that any small business in Canada in the path of a mega-project could suffer severe financial hardship or bankruptcy, without any legal obligation to tell the truth or to provide restitution, on the part of those responsible.

      In this case of the P3 model for the Canada Line, this project has even been provided with the powers and funding of every level of government, to profit at the expense of the small businesses. This is unjust and unfair.

      I began this fight for justice and compensation six years ago. I have mortgaged my home twice to keep my business viable. $300,000 of the $600,000 award plus costs, was paid out in legal fees, leaving me with a fraction of my actual losses to invest back into my business.

      The Canada Line consortium, with assets over $13 billion, expects Hazel & Co to repay the entire $600,000 award, including the already paid legal fees. However, the lawyers for Canada Line apparently suggested that they might be prepared to waive some or all of the recovery of all moneys paid to Susan Heyes Inc. if no Leave to Appeal Application to the Supreme Court of Canada was filed.

      Faced with another massive legal bill, and considering this financial inducement, the incentive for stopping any further legal action is compelling. But so is my determination for justice to prevail, and for this issue of national importance to be fully heard, and rectified.

      I welcome financial assistance to continue this challenge.

      If the several years of catastrophic business losses caused by the secretive, non-compliant cut and cover construction of the Canada Line is not considered severe, unreasonable, intolerable - and merits compensation - what process, what length of time and what degree of harm is?

      The Supreme Court of Canada will be asked to consider the balance of fairness in the shared burden of costs and the shared benefits, as they relate to all participants in this landmark case, and that leave is being brought forward by Susan Heyes as a self-represented litigant, at great expense.

      You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.



      all the best

      Apr 15, 2011 at 7:17pm

      I'll be making a donation tomorrow at the Point Grey RBC.

      glen p robbins

      Apr 15, 2011 at 10:45pm

      Ms. Heyes battle is one between good and evil. This is no exaggeration--it is important that she win. There is a huge gap between those that control the government and citizens rights - and the citizens. The success of the former continues to rely on the apathy and divide of the latter. Ms. Heyes is the people's candidate---------her success at the Supreme Court of Canada sends a message to all that though she has suffered - been lied to and deceived by the likes of political sociopaths Campbell - Falcon et al------been finessed out of her justice by a clearly narrow Appeal decision - it is necessary that she win and win big.

      This is important for the status quo - as well - because in no minor way Ms. Heyes loss at the Supreme Court of Canada would represent yet another compelling reason why the people will need to use force and or violence if necessary to take back their democracy from the hands of essentially bad and dishonest people who currently possess it -

      Taxpayers R Us

      Apr 16, 2011 at 2:15am

      While I agree with her damage suit, did she not have the chance to move to another location?

      I would have accepted a settlement to move onto Broadway or someplace similar, it's a helluva lot less than a $600K decade-long battle into bankruptcy.

      glen p robbins

      Apr 16, 2011 at 10:21am

      TRU - she could not - because - and you can readily see this in the Appeal decision - the process of construction was one where merchants were led to believe one thing - and consequently felt comfortable staying put. Information with respect to bargaining vis-a-vis the two methods of construction proposed was never forthcoming - and this for the advantage of the government to create a need for money - introduce a private partner and then revert back to the cheaper option - of construction - which did not provide Ms. Heyes and others with the knowledge that would permit them to make the common sense choice you quite rightly allude to.

      Then - the Appeal court zeros in on abstract statute governing the rights of various authorities and construction and such - and clearly negligently ignores the recital of these facts of 'fast secret moves' by the government for their own reasons - leaving the merchants out in the cold like a lump of shit in the road.

      This is a case which leaves the Marxists with their thumbs in their suspenders - government courts cops on one side - the regular person under their boot. A thoughtful Judicial decision would have hammered the government - absolutely hammered them - they have the authority to do certain things for the overall good - but lieing and cheating which is what really went on here - and the history clearly bears this out - there isn't any doubt it was purposeful - and perhaps they thought it was for the overall good - but it trampled Ms. Heyes - and other merchants - in a civilized court she would have received 10 million - a decision which contrary to the positions of apologists and other media of the smaller cranium - would not have perpetrated legal actions in all construction - JUST in those circumstances where the defendant - in this case--the Government of BC - Campbell - BC Liberals were quite obviously dishonest in their methodology.

      In most other circumstances - this would not apply - so the 10 million I propose would send a message for the government NOT to approach their authority in such an egrigious and abusive fashion.


      Apr 16, 2011 at 11:54am

      I hope she takes the case to the Supreme Court, loses, and finally slinks away like the pathetic oportunistic crybaby she is


      Apr 16, 2011 at 12:02pm

      Fuck business owners! What is needed for society and the people as a whole is more important than the interests of a business owner, large or small. Canada Line is used by a lot of people at all times of day. It was long overdue. Seeing as the creme-de-la-creme of Vancouver had an issue with the more sane above ground route along the Arbutus corridor, Canada Line needed to be done.

      And, how could anyone justify $600,000 for two or three years of disruption? If this is anything close to what she was making before construction, you'd think she should have been able to get by.

      Taxpayers R Us

      Apr 16, 2011 at 2:57pm

      I agree with you Glen, and I agree that the government needs a swift kick in the ass for this, but from a practical point of view, what would have been easier? I don't think her business location was all that great to begin with. Was settlement even discussed?


      Apr 16, 2011 at 4:37pm

      Fuck moralistic morons who don't take the time to do 15 seconds worth of research before posting! Yep, that's how long it took me to follow the links from this story backwards to get to http://www.straight.com/article-224070/cambie-merchants-court-victory-li...

      Government already has a method for extracting money from "rich" people -- it's called taxation. You also might want to consider the number of "little people" who lost their jobs when the "business people" got screwed due to this issue.

      Freddy Fellini

      Apr 17, 2011 at 12:00am

      Fuck TJ!

      "What is unusual is that Ms. Hayes was awarded $600,000 for nuisance, in the absence of any evidence that they transit builders had been negligent, and even though cut and cover had been specifically approved through a federal and provincial environmental assessment.

      While I sympathize with the losses of the Cambie Village merchants, I am very concerned about the impact of the class action on the future development of transit in Canada. Everyone suffers from the absence of adequate transit in our urban areas, but the courts can rarely do anything about government inaction. If we make it even more difficult and expensive to build transit, we will have less of it, resulting in more gridlock, more pollution and a poorer economy for all."



      Apr 17, 2011 at 12:42am

      Nick, you piece of @#$%. Who the #$%^ do you think you are?

      Just because some low life worms like you benefit from transit doesn't mean that people who pay form it can be treated like @#$%.