Living/Working June 6, 2019


June 7, 2019

Imperial Oil claims City of White Rock undervalued former gas station site targeted for expropriation

BIV's lawsuit of the week

1510 Johnston Road, White Rock | Google Maps

Imperial Oil Ltd. is suing the Corporation of the City of White Rock after the city allegedly shortchanged the oil company when it expropriated the site of a former gas station.

Imperial Oil filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on May 26, claiming the city expropriated the lands at 1510 Johnston Road in June 2018 for $4,868,100. The 14,420-square-foot site had been vacant for two decades at the time, according to the claim, and fronts “onto a busy arterial road and surrounded by and abutting onto properties used for retail commercial purposes.”

The company claims the city zoned the lands for commercial and residential use as part of White Rock’s official community plan. The lands are designated as part of the city’s “Town Centre” under the plan “envisaging mixed use multi-unit residential and commercial redevelopment with primarily mid-rise to high-rise buildings,” the claim states.

Since the highest and best use of the lands had potential for high to medium density, Imperial Oil claims the true market value of the lands is “substantially higher” than the price paid by the city.

“The Defendant mistakenly relied on an appraisal report that undervalued the Lands,” the claim states. “The Payment tendered to the Plaintiff is insufficient to meet the requirement under the [Expropriation Act] to compensate the Plaintiff for the Expropriation of the Lands.”

The BC Assessment Authority database shows the lands with a 2018 assessment of $3.21 million.

Imperial Oil is applying to the court to determine the amount due for the expropriation under the act, and seeks a judgment for the difference. The allegations have not been tested or proven in court and the City of White Rock had not filed a response by press time.


Liberals whistling past Canada’s infrastructure initiative graveyard

It has been evident in recent weeks and months that the federal government is in a weak position – even though it might proceed – to grant the go-ahead to widen the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Justin Trudeau government has been talking of the imminent decision in the days ahead on whether to resume the twinning of its pipeline – yes, remember, it owns the pipeline – from Alberta across British Columbia and into tidewater to foreign markets. 

This decision is acutely important politically as it moves toward an election, in ways symbolic and actual. While parts of British Columbia oppose the project, particularly in the Lower Mainland, the larger failings of deferred construction are not only losses of jobs and other benefits but also a larger doubt among international investors that Canada is an infrastructure initiative graveyard. 

The pipeline is a litmus test across a range of frontiers for Trudeau and his government. Even if they can deflect the blame, an inability to resume construction as the nation heads to an election would at the very least be an embarrassment.

There remains in B.C. an exceptionally strong list of impediments, and any move toward construction risks a very severe backlash.

Significant among the challenges is the Federal Court of Appeal ruling last year that noted the need for a much stronger duty to consult with First Nations. Work on this has, according to sources, gone much slower than is necessary to appropriately relaunch construction this summer.

One Indigenous lawyer told me that his client’s band is only at an early stage of deep consultation – and that this latest round rewound the clock and didn’t pick up where it left off, by the way. If there is any hope to surpass a court challenge, more time and talk seem necessary as part of the process.

Two sources indicate that the expanded nature of the project’s marine review has identified a new endangered species: steelhead, whose stock is in decline and whose once hereditary fishery would be threatened by a spill. 

Another Indigenous representative noted that the federal government has not stepped forward with substantial new economic options to bring wavering bands into the project economically, like Impact Benefits Agreements or equity positions – millions of dollars, instead of tens of millions of dollars, appear to be the gap. There are bands that will never support the pipeline, like Tsleil-Waututh Nation, but there has been precious little enrichment of the benefits for other bands to come aboard.

On the basis of last week, the Trudeau government’s decision on Trans Mountain will come at a watershed moment. The release of the disturbing Murdered and Missing Women and Girls final report concluded Canada had committed “genocide” through “state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies.”

In pledging measures to deal with an array of institutional issues identified in the long-awaited report, and in telling the world it can learn from what Canada has lately done and plans to do in its relationship with Indigenous peoples, Trudeau has increased the political ante in such a way as to have no margin of error in how his dealings can ensue.

Thus, unless the next few days are remarkably efficient, any procession with construction of the pipeline without a more formidable support base of First Nations would create a clear problem for the prime minister. 

As for the disposition of the $4.5 billion project, it has been widely reported that Indigenous groups are aiming to buy majority control of the pipeline. But two banking sources indicate that conventional financing will be difficult to obtain in any uncertain environment. While financial institutions believe in the viability of the project, none will lend when there is any legal uncertainty. Nor is there sufficient funds among the Indigenous groups that wish to own. That might require the federal government to somehow backstop any deal.

By the time this column appears in print, these issues might be addressed. But at the end of this week, sources were of the view there would be a deferral. •

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


‘Largest one-day food truck festival on the continent’ happening in New West this summer

Downtown New Westminster/Facebook

The Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest will roll into New Westminster for another delicious annual installation this July, and so far nearly 100 trucks are confirmed to participate, with more to be added soon.

Billed as “the largest one-day food truck festival on the continent,” the Downtown New West BIA is urging attendees of the free community event to put on their stretchy pants and head down on July 27, 2019 for an afternoon and evening of eating fun.

In addition to the food trucks, which will likely hit the over-100 mark by day-of, the Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest promises “award winning restaurants, unique activations, live music, artisan markets and numerous beer gardens.”

When it comes to food, bring your wallet and your appetite for sure. You’ll be able to keep it classic with hot dogs, mini donuts, and ice cream, get global with eats from Brazil, Malaysia, Greece, and more, or you can indulge in things like loaded fried chicken sandwiches and scoops of cookie dough.

Check out the 92 trucks that are so far prepping to be there on July 27 (including some that don’t serve food):

  • Arturos Mexico 2 Go
  • Beljam’s Waffles
  • Betty’s Greek Honey Ballz – Loukomades
  • Brazilian Roots Truck
  • Cannoli King Cart
  • Cannoli King Vancouver
  • Chouchou
  • Come Arepa
  • Dim Sum Express
  • Dogs’n’Roses
  • Dolce Amore – The Gelato Mafia
  • Don Churro
  • Fat Duck Mobile Eatery Ltd.
  • Fijian Fusion Catering Inc.
  • Flying Fish N Chipper
  • Fratelli On Wheels
  • Frying Pan
  • Fusion Icy
  • Greek On The Street
  • Green Coast Cafe
  • Hugs by Mollie’s Minis – Gourmet Mini Donuts
  • Hunger Management
  • Ice Cream by Mario’s Kitchen
  • Iron Dog Books
  • It’s All About Grill
  • Japanese Teriyaki Express
  • JJ’ Hot Cobs Ltd.
  • Juicy Green Express
  • Kampong – Taste Of Malaysia
  • Lenny’s Lemonade
  • Mama’s Fish and Chips
  • Meat and Bread Food Truck
  • Meet2Eat
  • Mini Donuts and More
  • Mr. Tube Steak
  • Old Country Pierogi
  • Porkmafia
  • Praguery Food Truck I
  • Praguery Food Truck II
  • Prebak Cookie Dough
  • REEL Mac and Cheese
  • REEL Mac and Cheese (2)
  • Rico & Lalo Frozen Fruit Bars
  • Roasted Revolution
  • Rocky Point Ice Cream
  • Rolling Cashew
  • Sarcastic Bean + (Food Truck)
  • Slavic Rolls
  • Super Thai
  • Taco’N Todo
  • Tacofino Pink Truck
  • Taters – The Baked Potato Co.
  • Teapressu
  • The JerkShack
  • The Original Hurricane Potato
  • The Original Hurricane Potato (2)
  • The Reef Runner
  • The Schnitzel Shack
  • TLC Poutine
  • Twisted Creamery
  • Vancouver Fashion Truck
  • Vick & Jas’ Kitchen
  • Watermelon Mojito Bike
  • Whistler Wood Fired Pizza Company

Keep your eyes out for more additions to the line-up for this year’s fest. Parking will be limited, so consider using TransLink to get there; the event is near the Columbia SkyTrain Station.

Columbia StrEAT Food Festival

When: Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 4-10 p.m.
Where: Columbia Street, Downtown New Westminster
Cost: Admission is free

Vancouver Is Awesome


‘World's fastest megacar’ unveiled in Richmond hangar

The Jesko, which was revealed in Canada for the first time at a hangar in YVR's south terminal | Submitted

What’s being touted as the “world’s fastest megacar” made its Canadian debut in Richmond last week.

The Koenigsegg Jesko was unveiled at a glitzy event hosted in a hangar in YVR’s south terminal on Friday evening.

It had previously been revealed to the public for the first time at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show in March.

The Jesko is the successor to the Agera RS that broke the production car world speed record in November 2017.

The car has a starting price tag of around US$2.8 million and is thought to be capable of speeds of up to 300 mph.


Around 100 car enthusiasts greet the Jesko when it was unveiled in Richmond last Friday. Photo submitted

“Last night saw around 100 supercar enthusiasts gather to welcome the Koenigsegg Jesko to Vancouver (Richmond) as part of its World Tour,” said Asgar Virji, president of Weissach Vancouver, Canada's authorized Koenigsegg dealer.

“Koenigsegg’s simulations say that the Jesko should be the world’s first 300mph car. It truly is a technological marvel.”

At its heart, the manufacturer says the Jesko features one of the most powerful production internal combustion engines on the planet.

“Re-designed with a 5.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 1280hp on standard gasoline and 1600hp on E85 biofuel, it also features the world's lightest V8 crankshaft,” stated the press release.

Richmond News


This Metro Vancouver Japanese restaurant makes a sushi sandwich

Sushi Oyama on Kingsway. Photo: Chris Campbell

It’s a sandwich. It’s sushi. It’s delightful.

Trying to choose my favourite sushi place is nearly as hard as just trying to pick a single place to go for a dinner out.

There’s just so bloody many of them.

I’m always stunned when I see a new sushi place opening for business because there’s probably another one located in the next block.

People like their sushi. I like my sushi.

So how do you choose a place to go? Well, one of my main criteria is how inventive the menu is. So many sushi restaurant menus look the same and my eyes just glaze over as I try and get inspired.

“Oh, it’s not just a California roll – it’s a deluxe California roll. Well, in that case…”


I need some creativity. I also need food that tastes fresh.

I found all of that in one dish at one Burnaby restaurant – Sushi Oyama on Kingsway.

Located in an old stone mansion, Oyama has that one dish that I always come back for and that’s the point of this “Bite. Me.” Blog – celebrating my favourite bites.


Sushi Oyama in Burnaby has a lot of tasty single bites. Photo: Chris Campbell

It’s called the Green Sandwich and they serve four of these chilled beauties on one plate.

The Green Sandwich consists of shrimp, masago, avocado and mayo. Those ingredients are then layered and covered by green soybean paper and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

My friend thinks it’s too salty, but I love that. I also love how soft and creamy it is. It also works with a variety of sauces or on its own.

Oyama has some other great bites, including the “eye” nigiri delights – such as the dreamy bacon eye. I mean, wrapping sushi with bacon is just unfair.

Also pictured with this blog is a tender piece of calamari with a creamy concoction on top, as well as the inari mashed avo.

Oyama is the one place where I mainly order single bites because they have so many different ones to choose from.

Burnaby Now


What are we reading? June 6, 2019


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

Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

It is painful, enraging reading, but everyone should read the final report of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls national inquiry.


In praise of the podcast. – n + 1


As the Toronto Raptors proceed through the NBA finals, the real question to come is whether the franchise can keep superstar Kawhi Leonard. Here, someone makes a very considered pitch. – ESPN


Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

New stats on America’s fastest growing cities. Hot-spot of the year so far: Buckeye, Arizona. – U.S. Census Bureau


With China rattling rare-earth sabres in its ongoing trade war with the West, the U.S. has critical mineral futures on its mind. – Office of Public Affairs


What’s this: electric cars set to generate more global pollution not less? – The Conversation


Glen Korstrom, reporter:

The 2019 Deloitte report on the Canadian cannabis sector has a batch of new statistical projections and focuses largely on the so-called Cannabis 2.0, or the next wave of cannabis legalization.

It pins the value of the edibles market in Canada at $2.7 billion annually, and breaks down demand for everything from gummy bears to honey to even infused granola. Want to know how often consumers expect to consume each of these niche categories within the broader edibles category? Or to break that down by region? It’s all in the report, as is much more – Deloitte


In a week when China warned its citizens that U.S. officials harass Chinese visitors, and that shootings, robbery and theft is on the rise in the U.S., Tiffany put out its quarterly earnings and said that results were disappointing because of “dramatically” lower sales to foreign tourists, particularly Chinese ones. The earnings report from the luxury retailer may be particularly interesting to Vancouver residents who have passionate feelings about the health of the luxury retail sector. Canada’s relations with China are also rocky, and the number of visits from people from mainland China was down marginally in the first quarter of 2019. – CNBC