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Glendale appeal to proceed
November 25, 2000

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has granted leave to Glendale Trading Ltd. to appeal an unusual 1997 decision of the B.C. Expropriation Compensation Board.

That decision arose out of an application by Glendale to a panel of the Board that had assembled in Williams Lake, B.C., on September 8, 1997 to hear Glendale's claim for compensation. The claim arose from a partial taking for a highway widening project. The application appears to have caught both the Board and counsel for the Minister of Transportation and Highways by surprise. Before the Board heard any evidence on the compensation issues, Glendale asked the Board to disqualify itself and refer the claim to the Supreme Court for adjudication on the grounds that the Board lacked the appearance of independance and the appearance of impartiality. After hearing submissions on that issue, the Board adjourned to allow time to consider the request. The Board dismissed the application on November 25, 1997. This decision is reported as Glendale Trading Ltd. v. British Columbia (Minister of Transportation and Highways), [1997] EXLAW 248.

Glendale filed a notice of its intention to appeal shortly after the Board's decision was released. However, it did not proceed immediately with an application to obtain leave. Instead, it elected to pursue its claim for compensation with the Board. The Board made an interim cost award in August 1998 (reported as [1998] EXLAW 269) and the compensation decision was released on October 11, 2000 (reported as [2000] EXLAW 329). The leave application was scheduled after the compensation award was released.

The leave application was heard by Madam Justice Newbury on November 23, 2000. Although several grounds of appeal were proposed by Glendale, the only one which was allowed to proceed was the issue of the Board's independence. Leave was granted on that issue in part because the independence of administrative tribunals is an issue of general importance that will be considered next year by the Supreme Court of Canada in the context of another British Columbia case.

The Appellant was represented by Reinhard Burke of Burke Frame, located in Chase, B.C. The Ministry of Transportation and Highways was represented by Sherie Verhulst of the Ministry of Attorney General. Catherine Parker of Arvay Finlay, located in Victoria, B.C., appeared for the Expropriation Compensation Board.

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