October 11, 2019

City of Burnaby alleges pulp and paper company contaminated public land over three decades

BIV's lawsuit of the week

Photo of vacant property at 8255 Wiggins Street alleged to have been contaminated by Domtar | Rob Kruyt

The City of Burnaby is suing Montreal-based pulp and paper giant Domtar (TSX:UFS) for damages and remediation costs to clean up city land it alleges Domtar contaminated over several decades.

From the 1960s to 1991, Domtar owned a parcel of land on Wiggins Street in Burnaby where it manufactured asphalt and roof shingles. According to a lawsuit recently filed in BC Supreme Court, during this time the company’s agents and representatives began dumping crushed asphalt, wood debris, roofing grit and drums containing waste onto the adjacent city property. The lawsuit claims that the city property has become a contaminated site under the provincial Environmental Management Act.

“The City has and will continue to suffer loss and damage as a result of Domtar’s actions,” states the notice of civil claim. “The presence of waste and contamination on the City Property also has interfered with the City’s use and enjoyment of the property.”

The suit also alleges that the city will continue to suffer loss and damages as a result of Domtar’s actions.

The City of Burnaby’s claim focuses on negligence as well as nuisance and trespass. According to the notice of civil claim, Domtar owed a duty of care to the city as a neighbouring property. The suit claims that Domtar should have exercised all reasonable care and diligence to ensure that waste and contaminants didn’t manage to migrate to city property.

The damages the city is seeking include the cost of site investigations and remediation as well as all other associated costs for the city property, including legal work, diminution of the value of the property and damages for the unreasonable and substantial interference with the city’s use of the property.

The allegations have not been tested or proven in court, and the defendants had not responded to the lawsuits by press time.


BC Green Party stock set for fall in wake of Weaver’s departure

If you like to play the long game in your career, then there is an attractive new job opening. You can be leader of North America’s most successful party whose defining theme will increasingly occupy the next generation’s politics.

If you are more of a short-game player, though, the gig might not be to your liking. The conditions that invested sudden power in the post a couple of years ago are at risk and might not soon restore.

Andrew Weaver, the province’s Green party leader, said last week he will not run again in 2021. He vacates a very visible role with a very attentive constituency. The likely challenge is that Green stock has hit a plateau and will regress.

Part of this is due to the hard act to follow. Weaver has brought an enlightened encyclopedic science to the discourse on climate change. It has been fun watching a textbook reluctant politician build the necessary muscle groups month by month. When he steps aside for a successor, he will be celebrated for capitalizing on an opportunity that may never return.

By no means did Weaver ignite the province in the 2017 campaign, but the mathematics of seat distribution in the legislature provided an oversized favour to his party – a balance of power – and he made the most of it.

The minuscule three Green seats have felt like a mighty 30 in the 87-seat chamber. Weaver has woven an exceptional covenant with John Horgan’s NDP to wrestle government from the Liberals, and the two have sustained a buddy system as few expected. But if Weaver is unique, so are the circumstances of his power.

The minority government dynamic has been instructive, if a little comical.

The NDP has done many things to violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the so-named Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Greens, and Weaver has never wavered. 

He has railed and railed and huffed and puffed on issue after issue, but he knew that toppling the government would topple his party’s grip on provincial influence. Horgan, too, didn’t want to precipitate an early election; he had to hope his partner would wear the mess of sending us back to the polls earlier. Hasn’t happened and won’t.

It is way too early to predict a Horgan 2021 victory – there are some economic headwinds approaching, among other things – but British Columbia will at least get a fuller definition of NDP government before it again votes.

Weaver, like Horgan, reluctantly ran for the leadership and never pretended to be a legislature lifer. He didn’t have to be: his dividend came quite quickly. He ran to raise climate change awareness and was gifted the bonus of authority. Still, let’s not forget that if a few hundred votes had gone differently in just one riding, he’d be obscurely moored in opposition facing Premier Christy Clark.

His party lacks the infrastructure of the established entities, and Weaver has been a comparably substantive leader without a substantive organization. His successor will need both.

It is difficult to see how his boots are filled. There are no iconic Greens evident. The federal election might produce more Green MPs on Vancouver Island, but one has to think the federal leadership will come open in the next term, given that Elizabeth May has been leader for 13 years.

Which is why the BC Green Party stewardship ought not to be for drive-by politicians. 

Any candidate has to recognize the unlikelihood of winning power swiftly or matching the freakish math of the current legislature to effect clout. The job of courting a progressive vote from a progressive government is never easy.

That said, the experience in Europe has shown that a more broadly defined Green party that champions the debate on social justice gains currency. Given that issue’s immediate intersection in B.C. with affordability, First Nations and the impact of technology on labour, it offers fertile political ground for a new leader. In Canada that territory is parked at the moment with more established parties – as, of course, are economic issues.

Weaver’s opportunistic contribution has given British Columbians a taste of what Green governance might mean, but the next leader will need to prepare a full meal. 

Kirk LaPointe is editor-in-chief of Business in Vancouver and vice-president, editorial, at Glacier Media.


Month-long Asian Dining Festival starting in Richmond soon


The countdown is on to FEAST: Asian Dining Festival, which is the multi-week celebration centred in Richmond that has Asian restaurants offering specially-priced group menus.

Now comes the exciting news that FEAST also has its very own signature brew. The beer, the aptly named FEAST, is the West Abby Lite Lager made by Old Abbey Ales out of Abbotsford.

The brew comes in a special-edition FEAST can, and was chosen for its versatility in pairing with Asian food.

“Our West Abby Lite Lager is the feature beer of FEAST and suitable for a wide range of palate and food pairings,” says Old Abbey Ales CEO Sonny Li.

That’s terrific news, because FEAST will encompass a broad range of flavours when it’s on from October 18 through November 18.

Restaurants will span the realm of Asian dining, including restaurants specializing in Cantonese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese cuisines, for example.

Wondering just where you can go to find these special FEAST menus for four to ten guests, featuring signature dishes, specialty items, and recommended eats, all at special FEAST festival pricing? Here’s which restaurants are on board – more will be announced before the event gets underway.

  • Anar Persian Cuisine
  • Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle
  • Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant
  • Clubone Cafe
  • Continental Seafood Restaurant
  • Danny Wuntun Restaurant
  • Ember Indian Kitchen
  • Ginger Indian Cuisine
  • Gingeri Chinese Cuisine
  • Hot Pot Palace
  • Ichiro Japanese Restaurant
  • Jade Seafood Restaurant
  • JiangHu Taiwanese Pot & Wok Cuisines
  • Kanpeki Teppanyaki Restaurant
  • Kisha Poppo
  • Kumare Restaurant and Bakery
  • Liuyishou Hotpot
  • Meetrice Noodle
  • MICHA Richmond
  • Mr. Bro Korean Bistro & Izakaya
  • Ora Sushi
  • Pokey Okey
  • Ramen Takanotsume
  • Shanghai Wonderful Restaurant
  • Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant
  • SuHang Restaurant
  • Tin Tin Seafood Harbour
  • Toku Japanese Restaurant
  • Westcoast Poke
  • Xyclo Bistro
  • Yokohama Teppanyaki & Sushi Bar
  • Tandoori Kona Restaurant
  • Golden Paramount Seafood Restaurant
  • Yuu Japanese Tapas

With the “dine-around” model, FEAST really allows Metro Vancouverites the chance to easily get to known – or re-visit – some of Richmond’s fantastic restaurants, with the FEAST menu acting as an easy, accessible passport to a great meal.

FEAST: Asian Dining Festival

When: Oct. 18-Nov.18, 2019
Where: Participating Asian restaurants in Richmond

Vancouver Is Awesome

Vancouver Is Awesome, a sister publication of Business in Vancouver, is a media sponsor of FEAST: Asian Dining Festival.


A visit to this remote Sunshine Coast village is an ode to beautiful B.C.

The harbour as seen from the shade of an arbutus tree at Lund Resort at Klah ah men. Photo Sandra Thomas

“Where exactly is Lund?”

That was a question I asked recently while planning a cruise of Desolation Sound with Pacific Coastal Cruises and noted our itinerary included one night in Lund on the Sunshine Coast.

But, to be clear, when I say “Sunshine Coast,” I’m not referring to the short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons Landing or Roberts Creek. Lund is at the very northern tip of the Sunshine Coast, is a two ferry trip, and has the distinction of being mile zero of Canada’s Highway 101.

Lund also has the distinction of being one of the most picturesque oceanfront villages I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit and could very well be the poster child for the tagline “Beautiful British Columbia.”


Lund, the ‘start’ of Highway 101. Photo Sandra Thomas

Once we arrived in Lund I immediately regretted never having been before and also felt conflicted about writing about it, because now that I’ve discovered this hidden gem, I kind of want to keep it under the radar. But, then I decided it’s just too charming not to share.

Here are just five reasons you’ll want to add the Lund Resort at Klah ah men to your future travel plans.

The resort

The Lund Resort at Klah ah men is home to 31 newly renovated rooms inspired by Tla’amin art and culture and from the moment we checked in, I could sense the history and tradition of this historic property.


The view from our room at Lund Resort at Klah ah men. Photo Sandra Thomas

Formerly known as the Historic Lund Hotel and Marina, the resort was built in 1905 and is located in the village of Lund, which was once known as Klah ah men. The resort features 31 newly renovated guest rooms, all completely reimagined, and most have decks or access to a deck with unobscured ocean views.


The newly renovated guestroom we stayed in at the Lund Resort at Klah ah men. Photo Sandra Thomas

Our room overlooked the Salish Sea and the boardwalks of 13 Moons Marina and we spent hours relaxing on our large balcony just taking in the views. A gallery at the back of the resort sells local and indigenous art, which is also visible across the entire resort.

The Sweet Shack and 13 Moons Coffee can fill the need for snacks and caffeine, while the Stock Pile is the place you’ll find food, a deli, beer, wine, spirits and fishing gear. Take-out food and meal delivery is also now available from the Stock Pile for locals, yachters and Savary Island visitors.

The Food

We were lucky enough to visit the recently renovate Back Eatery, formerly the “restaurant and pub,” during spot prawn season and executive chef Linton Novak did these delicate morsels proud.

To describe the menu as “seasonal and local” is to simplify just what it is chef Novak does with the bounty from the earth and sea he’s surrounded by — and certainly doesn’t do justice to the ever-changing menu.

Many of the ingredients are foraged or caught locally and cooked using a mix of modern and traditional recipes of the Coast Salish Klah ah men people.


If you can schedule your visit to Back Eatery at Lund Resort at Klah ah men during spot prawn season, just do it. Photo Sandra Thomas

During our visit, my husband enjoyed a seafood bowl brimming with fresh fish, mussels, clams and prawns, while I had to try the Midtown dry stout short ribs with mashed potatoes and charred Brussels sprouts. A decadent sticky toffee pudding topped off our sumptious meal.


A seafood bowl from Back Eatery. Photo Sandra Thomas

We also relaxed at Back Eatery over brunch the next day and, as a result, can happily recommend the banana bread French toast with caramelized banana, rum caramel, maple syrup and brown butter ice cream — it was so worth the carbs.

The newly expanded patio meant we were able to enjoy the view beyond 13 Moons Marina at both morning and night.


Banana bread with brown butter ice cream at Back Eatery. Photo Sandra Thomas

Indigenous culture

Klah ah men translates to “a place of refuge,” the name given to the village by the Coast Salish people more than 4,000 years ago. It’s here they used the sheltered harbour to interact with others and to hunt, gather food and travel along the Salish Sea.

The village was not only significantly important as a cultural hub, but also for practical, everyday life and for story-telling and sharing the traditions of the Coast Salish people.

Marine tourism

Lund is known as the gateway to Desolation Sound, famous for its stunning natural beauty and set against the backdrop of the Salish Sea, so it makes sense the Lund Resort at Klah ah men offers several boat cruises at 13 Moons Marina, located just steps away from the resort.


Pacific Coastal Cruises’ Pacific Bear pulling into the harbour in Lund. Photo Sandra Thomas

A selection of two-hour cruises means you can watch the sunset as you sail past Savary Island, Hernando Island and Saltery Bay, watch for dolphins, whales, seals and sea lions and trap shrimp and crabs along the way. Local guides are also available for a number of marine excursions, including kayaking tours to witness 6,000-year-old petroglyphs.

The journey

If you’re a local, the idea of spending a day and taking two B.C. Ferries to get from Lund to Vancouver and back again for business or an appointment might seem laborious. But as a visitor, even just from Vancouver, our trip over and back was all part of the adventure and the scenery rivalled anything I’ve been lucky enough to witness in other parts of the world.

Lund is located 12-lkilometres north of Powell River on Highway 101 and we travelled from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal to Langdale near Gibsons Landing — reservations are accepted on this route. We then drove the highway to Earls Cove and crossed to Saltery Bay — reservations are not available for the Earls Cove-Saltery Bay crossing.

From Vancouver Island you can leave from the Little River Terminal near Comox/Coutenay — reservations are accepted on this route. Note: the fare for the ferry between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale includes your return trip and the trip from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay is also free, but you have to pay for the return trip.

Vancouver Courier


Forget lattes, you can get Pumpkin Spice Spam Fries in Vancouver right now

@shamelessbuns, Instagram

You’ve seen the memes and gifs: Fall means leaves on the ground, scarves around our necks, and pumpkin spice on everything even remotely edible. Each year seems to bring a fresh crop of food products aimed at seducing those who are madly, deeply, and disturbingly obsessed with “pumpkin spice,” and this fall is no exception.

The Shameless Buns food truck, which launched in Vancouver late this spring, has been rolling out a pumpkin spice seasonal special of their own – and one like no other: Pumpkin Spice Spam Fries.

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Move over Starbucks.... there’s a new kid in town! Limited Time Only! Our Not Your Basic B*tch Pumpkin Spice SPAM Fries served with our house made Smokey Maple Mayo and Spicy Shameless Vinegar. Try it on its own or build your own SPAM Flight-there’s 7 flavours to choose from 😬 They’re seriously good trust us 📸 by ❤️

A post shared by Shameless Buns (@shamelessbuns) on

Known for their menu of Filipino eats, including pandesal sandwiches, loaded french fries and ube desserts, one of their signature items are their Spam fries. They take Spam – a bit of a cross-cultural touchstone for Filipinos – and slice it into sticks and deep fry them, and voila, Spam Fries.

Hormel Foods, the parent company behind Spam, launched their limited edition Pumpkin Spice version of the oft-maligned foodstuff this year, and Shameless Buns has hopped right on board.

They’ve got Pumpkin Spice Spam Fries while their supplies last these days, so anyone who truly wants to have Pumpkin Spice ALL THE THINGS, this one’s for you.

You can follow Shameless Buns on Instagram @shamelessbuns to keep up, or check the Vancouver Street Food App schedule for where they’ll be next.

Vancouver Is Awesome


What are we reading? October 10, 2019

Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles wins the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work to shed light on the origins of the universe. – Globe and Mail


Could a Trump happen here? This insightful piece half-jokes that he already has, and that his name was Rob Ford. But it warns that as Trump’s rise in the U.S. has emboldened racists on this side of the border, Canada shouldn’t get too used to the idea that it is somehow immune to politicians who would launch roundups and put children in cages:

“‘This populist right phenomenon is in Canada, too,’ says Eric Kaufmann, a Canadian political scientist and author of White Shift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majority. ‘It’s just that it hasn’t got control of a major party yet.’” – Politico


Nelson Bennett, reporter:

The shale revolution in the U.S. has provided a short-term benefit to the climate by reducing GHGs from coal power. CO2 emissions from the American power sector fell 25% since 2005, thanks to cheap natural gas. That’s the good news. The bad news is that cheap and abundant natural gas may have also squelched investments in both renewable and nuclear power. – Resources for the Future


Arthur Xie, editorial researcher:

Can Washington go beyond the panda hugger (“the dove”) and the dragon slayer (“the hawk”) on its China policy? Through a recent document signed by a group of figures from the policy, military, business and academic fields and an essay published by professor Johnston at Harvard, Ali Wyne, a policy analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, elaborates that one can support the White House’s call for a shift in U.S. policy on China while acknowledging the risks of overcorrection in the process of recalibration. He also suggests the best long-term outcome for U.S.-China relations. – ChinaFile


Tyler Orton, reporter:

"Welcome to Estonia’s Isle of Women": So what happens to a community when almost the entire male population is off at sea most of the year? This Baltic island has thrived under a distinct matriarchy for years but now it faces notable population declines as young people look for work elsewhere. – New York Times  


Are only children a little bit different from the rest of us or is it just a myth? Neuroscience proves that our brains a wired differently depending on the sibling situation. – Quartz 


Glen Korstrom, reporter:

The blurring of provincial and federal areas of jurisdiction that is present in the rhetoric in the current federal election campaign had me reaching for a 1968-published book of essays that former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wrote in the 1950s and 1960s.

One in particular – Federal Grants to Universities ­– dealt with his thoughts on how important it is for each level of government to stick to areas within its jurisdiction so voters know which branch of government to vote for or against.

“A fundamental condition of representative democracy is a clear allocation of responsibilities: a citizen who disapproves of a policy, a law, a municipal by-law, or an educational system must know precisely whose work it is so that he can hold someone responsible for it at the next election,” Trudeau writes.

Yet, decades later, his son is bringing up Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s policies to try to smear the Conservative Party of Canada. Federal interference in Quebec’s Bill 21 is more complicated as it is arguably a human rights issue that transcends provincial jurisdiction.

Other chapters in the book, such as New Treason of the Intellectuals, and Nationalism, Federalism and Reason, are interesting reads about what it means to be a nation, and how nations need not be sovereign. – Federalism and the French Canadians, Pierre Elliott Trudeau