Living/Working March 8, 2019


March 8, 2019
BIV Lawsuit of the week

Developer claims City of Chilliwack secretly expropriated entire downtown city block

BIV's lawsuit of the week


Surrey-based property developer Mann Development (Mainstreet) Inc. is taking the City of Chilliwack to court over a council resolution passed in secret to expropriate seven parcels of land on the former site of a Safeway in the city’s downtown.

Mann Development, part of the Mann Group, filed a petition in BC Supreme Court on February 22, seeking to quash the city’s efforts to expropriate the lands for “public parking and health services.” According to the petition, the company bought the lands in August 2016 and soon began working with consultants and city staff on a development proposal. Two years later, Mann’s development application came up for third reading before Chilliwack city council.

“On August 3, 2018, the day before third reading, Mann Development’s consultant was informed by a city councillor that the development application ‘would be smashed’ at council, meaning that the development application would be defeated at third reading,” the petition states. “On the basis of this information, Mann Development deferred third reading until after the municipal election which was scheduled for October 2018.”

However, the city allegedly refused to schedule a third reading after the election, “despite Mann Development’s best efforts.” On December 18, 2018, the company claims Chilliwack city council met in camera and secretly passed a resolution to expropriate the lands without notice. Mann Development claims it didn’t find out about the expropriation until more than a month later, with city staff informing it that the land was “required for public parking and health services.”

“No study or further justification for the taking has been communicated to Mann Development or been made publicly available,” the petition states. “There are no prior reports or studies supporting a need to expropriate the lands for ‘public parking and health services.’”

Mann Development claims the “secret expropriation was arbitrary” and will cause irreparable harm if allowed to stand. The petition’s factual basis has not been tested in court and the City of Chilliwack had not responded to the petition by press time.


An opening inventory of take-aways from the SNC-Lavalin affair

We could choke the internet with take-aways from the SNC-Lavalin controversy. It’s far from over, but let’s start with these:

1. The combined cabinet portfolio of justice and attorney general has to go. The government of the day put Jody Wilson-Raybould, like her predecessors, in an impractical situation. The justice portfolio advocates the government’s agenda and the attorney general impartially determines the prosecutorial path. Tension naturally ensues, the hats can’t switch, so fix the unique-to-Canada anachronism.

2. If Justin Trudeau is trying to bring emotional intelligence into the political sphere, he has to learn how to empathize and apologize with a disposition less resistant than a reluctant root canal patient.

3. The tide has turned, and when someone asserts that advocacy is persuasion and when someone else asserts that advocacy is pressure, we no longer see it as a saw-off or as a matter of agreeing to disagree on the interpretation of the discord. In this circumstance in 2019, the person pressured is to be believed.

4. As a principle politicians need to attract, build and protect jobs as a duty of office, but not when companies break and conduct themselves consciously outside the rules, even with eventual contrition.

5. A Quebec engineering company job to be protected at almost all cost appears to be worth about 10 Alberta resource jobs to be protected at some cost.

6. Media have to stop permitting political cowards to spread anonymous disparagement of others as some sort of punch in the blindfolded face. The practice is a long-standing disgrace to the craft and corrodes hard-earned and easily frittered trust.

7. The unelected Prime Minister’s Office is preposterously powerful. Can’t anyone please pledge to diminish it?

8. Gerald Butts need not have resigned his role as the most important adviser to Justin Trudeau in order to speak about this matter. He, and those who establish the rules of conduct, should have found a way for him to publicly state his position without professionally abandoning his post. No matter your political perspective, his unsuccessful attempt to shield his boss cost the country an important element in running it.

9. It is difficult to see how Wilson-Raybould is permitted to run for the Liberals this fall, but it is much more difficult to see how Trudeau rescinds his permission.

10. Libya and many other countries have been cesspools of corruption, but that doesn’t mean we should consider bribery and paying for prostitutes for visiting officials as an acceptable price of doing business. What are we saying about our own moral standards when we shrug?

11. Once the Public Prosecution Service of Canada renders its view, game over.

12. Administrations are systems, and one system is to figure out who can prod whom, when and how. The exertion of influence in the SNC-Lavalin affair suggests it is time for the Trudeau administration to figure out who stays in which lane.

13. An election is when we get to decide if a government has earned renewal. How the government has dealt with scandal is one way we judge. But the notion of calling an election over any scandal short of a public crisis is unhealthy.

14. As we head into October, the single largest accomplishment of the Liberal government appears to be the legalization of cannabis – and even that has been a hot mess.

15. We have said this for decades: the Indian Act cannot disappear soon enough. Nor can omnibus legislation.

16. Given the rush by various parties to tap into former Supreme Court justices, maybe we’d better create an Eminent Court of Canada to get a few of these tricky bones thrown their way for consideration.

17. Scott Brison must shake his head at how he went safely from being a Conservative MP to a leadership candidate to a Liberal MP to a scandal-free cabinet minister to a bank executive and only now in departing politics generated any kind of cascade of woe.

18. As far as I can tell, Donald Trump had nothing to do with any of this – at least, as of this writing. Any moment I stand to be corrected. •

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



Chocoholics will be climbing the walls at this immersive new afternoon tea in Vancouver

Enjoy sweet treats at Notch8 Restaurant & Bar at the Chocolate Laboratory Dessert Lounge | Photo: Courtesy Fairmont Hotels

A pop-up chocolate dessert lounge at Notch8 Restaurant & Bar at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is taking sweet treats to a whole new level.

The private dining room of Notch8 Restaurant has been transformed into a dessert-lovers’ delight complete with custom built, floor-to-ceiling chocolate covered walls — though the themed offerings and creative cocktails promise to take centre stage. For the past three years, Notch8 has offered themed afternoon teas with a playful twist on the classic tradition. Changing quarterly, past themes include the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Old World Carnival and Enchanted Forest.

But, guests begin this sacchariferous celebration, dubbed the Chocolate Laboratory Afternoon Tea, by selecting their preferred choice of Fairmont’s LOT 35 Tea to sip on — FYI, the Creamy Earl Grey, a black tea with cornflower petals and a wickedly delicious cream flavour — has become a favorite of servers and guests alike. Anyone looking to add a tipsy twist to their afternoon tea can select from themed cocktails, including the Oscillating Clock, made with Empress 1908 Gin, simple syrup, lemon and tonic.

The experience continues with s’mores crème brûlée, followed by a triple chocolate scone and a raspberry white chocolate scone served with milk chocolate clotted cream and mixed berry compote. The savouries include a chili chicken sandwich with mole sauce and fromage frais, a chocolate BLT made with chocolate apple bacon, tomato and iceberg lettuce, and a cocoa gravlax served with lemon mascarpone and chives.

Sweet treats from the in-house pastry shop complete the tier with items such as gold popping candy chocolate sable, a red velvet cream puff, popcorn brownie and a chocolate waffle topped with caramelized banana and sour cream Chantilly.

More dessert offerings include Liquid Matter, made up of a dark chocolate cake, peanut brittle chunks, chocolate meringue, peanut butter ice cream and molten chocolate, or the Truffle Specimens, which comes in flavours such as goat cheese and lime or olive oil and chipotle.

Meanwhile, cocktails served at the Chocolate Laboratory Dessert Lounge, open Friday and Saturday evenings, include Cocoa Combustion, a drink for two that features LOT 35 Earl Grey Tea, Crème de Cacao, Kraken Spiced Rum and lemon. Dessert offerings include Liquid Matter made up of a dark chocolate cake, peanut brittle chunks, chocolate meringue, peanut butter ice cream and molten chocolate, or the Truffle Specimens that come in flavours like goat cheese and lime or olive oil and chipotle.

For tiny tots, a children’s tea is offered with kid-friendly tea sandwiches, scones and other delicious sweets. Additionally, options catering to guests with specific dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets, are available with advance notice at time of booking. Reservations are recommended, and can be made online or by phone at 604-662-1900.

For more stories from the Vancouver Courier, visit


This picturesque village is close to Vancouver and makes the perfect spring break getaway

Visit Leavenworth WA / Facebook

Spring break is right around the corner for British Columbians and many families haven’t decided how they’ll spend the time off.

Of course, there are endless options – from Walt Disneyland to Hawaii to New York – that are right across the border. However, there is one destination that doesn’t require a plane ticket, yet will completely transport you into another world.

Located a four-and-a-half hour drive from Vancouver, Leavenworth transports visitors into the heart of Bavaria. Indeed, the picturesque Washington village looks exactly like a German town. With alpine rooftops, adorable shuttered windows, latticework features, horse-drawn carriages, beer gardens, and more, the destination offers an experience you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in North America.

Leavenworth also has an impressive Nutcracker Museum that holds thousands of nutcrackers. What’s more, it is located in the Cascade Mountains and is close to a number of ski resorts. There are also a number of wineries nearby, so it is ideal for wine tours.

This idillic locale has a number of family-friendly activities planned through spring break. As a result, both youngsters and their grown-ups may enjoy a selection of fun activities. For example, on multiple days throughout the break there will be a number of self-guided “Nutcracker Hunts” for beginning readers all the way through adults. Participants are given a list of nutcrackers and then set off in the museum to locate them.

The town also has a great deal of live music performances to enjoy at its local bars and bistros. Also, there are après ski parties available for people returning after a long day on the ski hills.

Vancouver is Awesome


Squamish Constellation Festival reveals inaugural music line-up


The Sea to Sky is getting ready to rock this summer. The brand-new Squamish Constellation Festival will fill the region with music for three days in July, and now the fest’s inaugural line-up has been revealed.

Squamish Constellation Festival says this is the “first wave” of participating artists they are announcing, with more names to be released soon. Genres include alt-pop, folk, indie, alt-rock, singer-songwriter, funk/soul, brass/big bands and family acts – the latter ideal considering the fest will offer free admission to kids 12 and under.

Expected to hit the stage during the July 26-28 run are the following:



Taking place on Hendrickson Field, Squamish, the three-day festival will be a “celebration of music, art, food and so much fun,” said Tamara Stanners, one of four Squamish-based festival directors, in a media release.

Constellation will also offer attendees visual, live, and interactive art during the event. On site will be food trucks, as well as local beverages and brews from the region. Enjoy your food picnic-style, wander the marketplace, and take part in a legacy art creation.

Early bird general admission passes are available on March 6 and 7, with a presale code shared on the fest’s social media channels (@constellationfestival on Instagram is one). Regular passes go on sale for full price at 10 am on Friday, March 8.

“The vision of bringing a music festival back to the Sea to Sky is a real labour of love for us, and is now becoming a dream come true,” adds Stanners.

Vancouver is Awesome


What are we reading? March 7, 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:

We have written at BIV on the difficulties with China not taking our recycling. Now the United States is finding a problem, too, and people are wondering if this is the end of recycling. - The Atlantic


Investigative journalist Jane Mayer examines how Fox News has moved from a partisan to a propaganda machine for the Trump administration. Her evidence is compelling. - The New Yorker


It is not panic time, yet, but Tesla has troubles with showroom closures and share declines are very perplexing for the firm. - The New York Times


Emma Crawford Hampel, online editor:

What makes a really strong password? Is yours really all that unique? Why is ‘ji32k7au4a83’ a surprisingly common password? - Gizmodo



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Entrepreneur Doug Putman is being heralded in Britain as the potential saviour of the HMV brand. The 34-year-old Canadian bought the ailing company in 2017 and is turning a profit on this side of the Atlantic by rebranding HMV locations as Sunrise record stores, and he aims to rescue the 100 remaining HMV stores in the U.K. - CBC


Retail survival story: Benny’s Market, at the corner of Union Street and Princess Avenue in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, will celebrate its 100th birthday in August. - CTV


Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

A trio of energy issues to consider:

If B.C. is aiming to sell boatloads of liquefied natural gas to Japan, the market there just got a lot softer, according to this U.S. Energy Information Administration report, which notes that in 2018 Japan restarted five nuclear reactors that were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima accident. As a result, says the EIA, the increased nuclear power production will likely to "cut Japanese imports of LNG in the electric power sector by as much as 10% in 2019." - U.S. Energy Information Administration


More marine cargo ports are getting on the green train. - GreenPort


Energy storage, that vital cog in the renewable-energy-viability wheel, continues to develop, according to Forbes

Glen Korstrom, reporter:

Inspiring to read about a past BIV 40 Under 40 winner, Vancouver’s Eric Pateman, in Forbes discussing his many international initiatives and how to create culinary tourism strategies. - Forbes


This well-argued opinion piece by David Clement, North American affairs manager at the Consumer Choice Center, outlines a lot of the pitfalls that could spur the legalization of cannabis-infused drinks. - Financial Post


NHL players will not be punished for using cannabis, according to this interesting investigation by ESPN, which contrasts policies for drug use and testing procedures among the major sports leagues. NHL teams are also proportionately more in states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis compared with the other leagues. – ESPN


Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Wait, what? Australia, one of the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas, is now considering also importing LNG to address a domestic natural gas supply shortage. - The Sydney Morning Herald


No, vaccines don’t cause autism. Anti-vaxxers have long relied on a single, 12-person study that linked vaccine to autism. That study was retracted and the author stripped of his medical licence. Now, a new long-term study of 657,461 children, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, finds no link between vaccinations and autism. - Axios


Some of the most vigorous opposition to practical solutions for dealing with climate change comes, not from climate change skeptics, but from some of the more dogmatic environmental groups. This Houston Chronicle piece on research into turning natural gas into both hydrogen and carbon nanotubes, which could replace steel, underscores why zealotry can be counterproductive to the effort to tackle climate change. - Houston Chronicle


Tyler Orton, reporter:

Here's what British people will eat if they end up with the worst-case Brexit. - Bloomberg


Hayley Woodin, reporter

The ideas of modern monetary theory are gaining interest, and perhaps some support. But the senior economics correspondent for The Upshot argues their real-world applicability best be tested before a roll-out to the world’s largest economy. Canada gets a shout-out as a potential 2.0 testing ground. - New York Times