Living/Working November 12, 2021


November 12, 2021

Mutual fund’s class action alleges B.C. mining firm issued misleading prospectus

Lawsuit against Vancouver-based Excelsior Mining Corp. centres on problem-plagued copper mine in Arizona



A Toronto-based mutual fund is suing Vancouver-based Excelsior Mining Corp. and two senior executives, claiming in a class action that the company issued a misleading prospectus that didn’t disclose significant problems with carbon dioxide at its flagship Gunnison copper mine in Arizona.

The lead plaintiff, MM Fund, filed a notice of civil claim under the Class Proceedings Act in BC Supreme Court on November 1, naming Excelsior Mining, company president and CEO Stephen Twyerould and chairman Mark Morabito as defendants. According to the claim, the company issued a prospectus in late 2020 and supplemented it a couple of months later as it was wrapping up a $31.7 million public offering in February 2021. MM Fund claims it bought 500,000 units in the offering, each unit consisting of one common share and one warrant, exercisable in August 2022 for $1.25 a share.

However, the fund claims the prospectus “failed to fully, truly and plainly disclose all material facts” about the company and the securities on offer. Beginning construction in December 2018, Excelsior’s Gunnison project is less than 100 miles from Tucson, Arizona, and is set to produce up to 125 million pounds of copper in the last stage of its three-stage development production plan. A year later, the company announced that the project had been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, touting a production rater of 25 million pounds of copper a year in its first stage of operations.

But in May 2021, the company disclosed in regulatory filings that the Gunnison mine was having problems with carbon dioxide bubbles that hampered the mine’s copper production rate. In September 2021, Excelsior admitted in a news release that the carbon dioxide issue would mean the Gunnison project would not achieve its 25-million-pound goal and that “the project’s operations costs would substantially increase.”

MM Fund claims the prospectus misrepresented the Gunnison project, alleging that the defendants “were already experiencing problems caused by the presence of carbon-dioxide … which negatively impacted flow rates at the wellfield, negatively impacted mineral production, [and] caused delays and increased the operational costs of the project.”

“As a result of the misrepresentations in the Prospectus, the securities of Excelsior were sold to the public at an artificially inflated price,” the claim states.

MM Fund seeks class certification and damages for misrepresentation under the Securities Act. The allegations have not been tested or proven in court, and the defendants had not responded to the lawsuit by press time.



Hockey tournament’s goal: use Canada’s game to help the homeless

One evening on a refrigerated rink 35 years ago, I concluded I was never going to skate and shoot well enough to keep playing our national game. I felt less Canadian.

But to my good fortune, I was arriving at pickup hockey to often discover the goalie was a no-show. By the way, a tip: that is a proven Canadian way to lose friends. Then again, I can confirm a proven Canadian way to make friends is to pull together some equipment and just stand in goal and occasionally stand in the way of a puck.

To do better than that is much harder than it looks. It felt like a fool’s errand then, and many nights at the rink decades later it can feel the same way.

At my age, we no longer talk in the dressing room about our injuries; we talk about procedures. Where Wayne Gretzky talked about going where the puck will be, my teams mostly move to where the puck was or where it might never have been.

Matters not.

Oldtimers’ hockey has furnished friendships, networks, escape and the remnants of virility and youth. The rink ritual serves as the Great Canadian Cave, a safe zone of camaraderie and trash talk, of weekly catch-up on the family and the job and the idiots who govern.

But to be fair, there are much more crucial things to consider. Hockey is mostly a momentary dodge of the imperatives of community, and as we age our obligations grow to use our resources and resolve more regularly to address need. And if we can mix that pursuit with a pastime, so much the better.

That will draw me this year to meet a new batch of fellow travellers, this time for charitable purposes. The Hockey Helps The Homeless (HHTH) tournament November 26 at Thunderbird Arena at the University of British Columbia is a mixer of beer leaguers and real players (two National Hockey League alumni per team) who raise funds for the privilege of playing.

The day’s gathering of dozens of teams has taken place for a quarter-century across Canada in more than a dozen cities. The most recent Vancouver event in late 2019, one of the country’s largest each year, furnished $495,000 to homelessness initiatives. Nearly $4 million was raised nationally.

Our homelessness challenge in Vancouver needs no introduction, but let’s remind ourselves that when we tuck ourselves into bed tonight there will be more than 3,600 on our streets without shelter. Many are suffering multiple physical and mental health challenges, many are contending with addiction issues, multigenerational trauma and violence in their lives. They are at a profound remove from the men and women who will play for charity, but in talking to those who have participated, many can cite an inflection point where the plights of our homeless could have swallowed them, too. That often draws us to a charity; a donor could have easily been a recipient.

Any eye test on the Downtown Eastside would conclude conditions have worsened in the pandemic, and the sprawl of homelessness is encompassing new districts. With that has come several associated symptoms: deteriorating health circumstances as the rain and colder weather ensues, open drug use in several neighbourhoods, overdoses as a tragic daily feature and public concerns about street safety. Of course, no one wants this and Vancouver is trying, but failing, to grasp the extraordinary threat to well-being and loss of human potential that comes with the inadequate response – as are other Canadian cities.

The depth and complexity of the challenges require profound institutional reforms in health, education, housing and income support, among others, that no government seems willing or able to undertake because even partial solutions will take a generation. Instead we muster mostly a containment strategy.

That being said, it would be abhorrent to just let everything be. There are steps we can take to mitigate the daily and deepening harm that comes to our fellow Vancouverites, and for that we should be grateful for and supportive of organizations well into the weeds daily.

HHTH keeps the funds in the communities where they are generated. Locally from its last tournament in late 2019, some $495,000 was distributed locally to the Salvation Army, Urban Native Youth Association, Raincity Housing, Covenant House, Bloom Group, Westminster House, Zero Ceiling, First United, Lookout Housing and Health and Last Door. This year’s target is $500,000, and at this writing we are close to eclipsing it.

The deep roster of local business sponsors is impressive: the Canada Life insurance company, law firms like Dentons, Farris and Cassels, resource companies like Wheaton Precious Metals and Pan American Silver, financial services like Canaccord Genuity, BMO Capital Markets, Haywood, Winchester Securities Corp. and TMX, professional service firms like KPMG, Deloitte, companies like the Sandman Hotel Group, the Davidson & Co. accountancy, the Kingston Construction and Metrie building firms, the Bissett Fasteners manufacturer, the Hello Pal app, the Keurig Dr. Pepper and Pepsico beverage giants, the Odyssey production house, the Lift bakery and more. The Canucks’ J.T. Miller and wife Natalie are luncheon sponsors.

My ask comes last: My goal is $5,000. Please help me reach the goal at:

 Donations of more than $25 to indulge what will likely be my embarrassment earn a tax receipt. •

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



Step into the Sistine Chapel at this breathtaking exhibition coming to Vancouver

Enter the world of Michelangelo's masterpiece at this unique event this fall.

Metro Vancouver residents will have the opportunity to soak in life-sized frescoes reproduced from the Sistine Chapel this fall 2021 in the city | SEE/Bridgeman

Metro Vancouver residents will have the opportunity this fall to soak in breathtaking, life-sized frescoes reproduced from the Sistine Chapel right here in the city.

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition invites guests to step into the world of one of the Renaissance artist's greatest masterpieces and one of the most famous pieces of art in the world. Starting Nov. 19 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, visitors can get up-close-and-personal with 34 reproduced frescoes that adorn the Vatican chapel's ceiling. 

The frescos are reproduced with "state of the art technology from exclusively licensed high definition photos," which creates an intimate encounter with pieces such as "The Creation of Adam" and the "Last Judgement." The technology offers a unique perspective for a "new way of seeing every detail, colour, and brushstroke of Michelangelo’s iconic and timeless masterwork."

Signage and audio guides in multiple languages also deepen the experience, bringing the artist and his iconic works to life.  

The exhibition will visit Vancouver after stopping in cities including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Brisbane, and Montreal. 

L.A.-based produced company SEE Attractions, Inc. brings the exhibition to the city. It has produced several other exhibits including Star Trek: The Tour, Tutankhamun: His Tomb And His Treasures, The Titanic Official Movie Tour, The Complete Frida Kahlo Exhibit, The Art of Banksy: Without Limits, and Museum of Failure.

“We are honoured to share this experience with art lovers of Vancouver,” said Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Attractions, Inc., producer of the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition.

“Whether you have visited the Sistine Chapel before or are seeing these masterpieces for the first time, the intimate, one-of-a-kind view invites a new perspective.”

The exhibition will have limited capacity, timed entries, and will operate in full accordance with B.C.'s current public health guidelines.

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

When: Nov. 19 until Nov. 30: Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last entry at 7 p.m). Closed Mondays & Tuesdays. Dec 1 until Jan. 2: Open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last entry at 7 p.m.). Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre East - Exhibition Hall A, 999 Canada Place
Duration: The visit will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes
Tickets: From $12.60 (plus service charges) Find more information on tickets online.

Find out more information about the event.


Cycling Vancouver: A ride through Stanley Park, Vancouver’s best-known bike route

Park loop offers a little bit of everything for riders

Biking in Stanley Park | Brian Lim

Ever been on the Sploop? Wondering what the heck that even means? Here's an expert rider's guide to taking a ride through beautiful Stanley Park on what could very well be Vancouver's most well-known bike route. 

Where: Stanley Park

Why: Perhaps Vancouver’s most iconic bike route. A bit of exercise, a bit of scenery – Stanley Park offers a little of everything.

Difficulty: The Stanley Park Loop (or “Sloop” or “Sploop” as it is often called) is an enclosed circuit, just under 10 km in length. In its current iteration, the loop travels the perimeter of the park on a dedicated lane on Stanley Park Drive. Concrete barriers were installed this summer to physically separate the car lane from the bike lane. The loop is mostly flat, with one climb (the Prospect Point climb) and descent. The climb is just over a kilometre in length and can be difficult on a heavier bike with less gearing (for example a Mobi or a tandem bicycle), but for most bikes and cyclists, it is a readily conquerable feature.  

How to get there by bicycle: Located downtown, there are many ways to access the park. Most commonly, people take Beach Avenue as there is a dedicated bike path separated from traffic. Alternatively, you can take either seawall bike path (Stanley Park Seawall Path or the Coal Harbour seawall) to enter the park, depending on the direction you wish to enter the park.

Important notes:

Stanley Park is generally safe since the bike lane is partitioned from the car lane. That being said, riders should be (always) attentive and careful for the following reasons:

  • There are many tourists in the park – both on bikes and in cars. They often get distracted by the scenery or by their search for a parking spot. Please take responsibility for your own safety and be wary when approaching/passing other vehicles.
  • People are in the park for many reasons: some to sightsee, some to exercise, some to train. As a result, cyclists can do their loops at very different speeds. Please ensure that you indicate to someone that you are passing with a friendly “passing on your right/left,” and please ensure you are aware of your surroundings enough so that you can hear such a call (that is, do not listen to your music so loud that you can’t hear people yelling at you).
  • The barriers and the consequent flow of bike/car traffic have created a couple of areas where cyclists should take more caution- particularly at the bottom of the descent after Prospect Point, by the Teahouse in Stanley Park restaurant. Cars can cross through the bike lane to access parking. People also ride up that section of road to get to Third Beach, though I think it is technically a one-way bike lane.
  • In the fall, the bike lane can be covered in leaves; be careful not to slip.

A nice benefit of Stanley Park is that there are washrooms/water fountains everywhere through the park: by the Stanley Park information booth, by the totem poles, by the water park, at the top of Prospect Point.

In the summer, Prospect Point has a wonderful café/ice cream shop. It is such a nice treat after you’ve sweated your way up the hill. Another bike-friendly stop near Stanley Park is Café Villaggio in Coal Harbour (across from Cardero's). There’s plenty of patio seating, a lot of space to lean your bike against, and awesome pastries.

Brian Lim likes to ride bikes (sometimes with his camera). He's a complete and consummate amateur - both in cycling and in photography, and says he doesn't take himself seriously - and neither should you. Lim wants to share his love of cycling, so please reach out if you want to talk! You'll find him on Instagram at @wheelsandwhisky.


Vancouver Cocktail Week event to debut in March 2022

Time to raise a glass – or two – to what's shaking in the Vancouver cocktail scene

The inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week, hosted by The Alchemist magazine, takes place in March 2022 | deineka/Getty Images

Get ready to get into the spirit of things and raise a glass or two to what bars and restaurants are doing with spirits at the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week.

The exciting new event, presented by The Alchemist magazine (a sibling to V.I.A.), will take place from March 6 to 20, 2022, and will celebrate the excellence of the city’s cocktail scene and the hospitality of its bars, hotels and restaurants.

“We’ve been talking about this idea for years and we knew right from the beginning that it would have to be about community – not just the bartending community that is so central to this event, but the wider community of Vancouver,” said Joanne Sasvari, editor of The Alchemist and co-founder of VCW. “After the last two years, that’s never been more important.”

Several fun events are on the roster for VCW, including a kick-off cocktail brunch at the Fairmont Pacific Rim; a special Happy Hour at the Vancouver Aquarium; a boozy Forbidden Vancouver walking tour of Gastown; a drag event; and several cocktail-paired dinners. There will also be happy hours and seminars to enjoy. The celebration will culminate at The Roof at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (which is undergoing renovation and will re-open in time for the VCW festivities) which will feature a quaffable journey through the decades of Vancouver drink history.

As a wonderful bonus, a portion of ticket sales will go to VCW's charity partner, the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Tickets are on sale now.

Vancouver Cocktail Week

When: March 6-20, 2022

Where: Various locations in Vancouver


What are we reading? November 10, 2021

Photo: Matt_Gibson/Getty Images

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

A chat with Toronto Star crime reporter Peter Edwards and Mexican crime journalist Luis Nájera about their new book, The Wolfpack: The Millennial Mobsters Who Brought Chaos and the Cartels to the Canadian Underworld, and how different Canadian cities stack up, gangster-wise. – Canadaland


Proposals to build highrises in the Jericho Lands and at Oakridge and Sen̓áḵw prompted this essay by UBC urban design program founding chair Patrick Condon. The headline commendably wastes few words: “Density Good. Towers in Parks, Not Good.” – The Tyee


Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Instead of wasting more time reading social media posts, consider digesting a new analysis of humanity's past that could help map out a path to a more enlightened future. – NBC News


Another intriguing entry in hydrogen-powered zero-emissions commuting technology courtesy of research from the University of New South Wales. – Interesting Engineering