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British Columbia E.C.B. year end review
January 13, 2001

Now that the year 2001 is here, it is time to take a look at some statistics for the work of the British Columbia Expropriation Compensation Board during the past year.

The Board released a total of 16 written decisions during 2000. This is above the average of 13.9 decisions per year, but well below the Board's output during each of the years 1994-1997. The record was achieved in 1996 when the Board released 28 written decisions.

The Board's output in 2000 included 10 compensation awards. This amounted to almost two thirds of the total written output and is well above the average of 5.1 per year. The record was 12 compensation awards which occurred in 1994. The remaining six decisions involved one determination of liability, two cost reviews and three other cases.

A complete table showing the annual breakdown of the B.C. Board's written output since it was created in 1987 is available from the Statistics page on The Expropriation Law Center. This table provides some insight into the level of activity of the Board over the entire fourteen years since it started operation. During its first year of operation in 1987 no cases were released. This is not surprising because the legislation did not come into force until December 24th of that year. However, during the next six years the written output was relatively low and did not achieve an output comparable to the year 2000 until 1993. In 1994 the output jumped to 24, peaked at 28 in 1996 and dropped sharply over the next two years to 13 in 1998 where it appears to have stabilized.

One surprise which jumps out of the 2000 results is that there were so few cost review decisions. The cost review scheme under the British Columbia Expropriation Act was modified in a significant way on June 28, 1999 by the introduction of a tariff of costs. One might have expected this to generate a considerable number of cost review hearings during the year. However, the Board released only two written cost review decisions and only one of them considers the tariff. The tariff is not mentioned in any of the Board's 1999 written decisions either. The notable lack of written decisions involving the tariff might be explained by the fact that the Board frequently reserves on written decisions for lengthy periods of time. If so, perhaps there will be a sudden increase in the number of cost review decisions in 2001. In fact, the Board's first (and so far only) written decision in 2001 was an interim cost review under the tariff released January 9, 2001.

Although these statistics provide an interesting insight into the Board's operations, it does not provide a complete picture. In particular, many of the Board's decisions are made orally where no written decisions are issued. Often the oral decisions arise from procedural disputes that are of interest only to the parties involved. However, some of them have been of general importance. The BCEA Decisions service has obtained and published transcripts of some oral decisions of general importance. A complete listing of decisions published by the BCEA Decisions Service may be viewed from the Case Law page on The Expropriation Law Centre.

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