Status of Nanaimo vs Millennium – Judge’s Arbitration Ruling
Ron Bolin: Dec. 1, 2010
The judges decision in the case of the City of Nanaimo vs. Millennium Nanaimo Properties Ltd. and Suro Development Corporation is in. Millennium’s right to go to arbitration is upheld. This means several things for Nanaimo’s citizens: 1) higher legal costs in this matter; 2) that arguments will take place behind closed doors and the public will be kept in the dark; and 3) that the need for Council and Staff to advise citizens on whether Millennium actually has any skin in the game is now imperative. If, as many have held, neither ever had any risk in their agreements with the City, then certainly we should not throw good money after bad. And I must apologize for my stance that the City would not proceed to any costly action if there were no assets to be attached.
Indeed, as citizens we need to determine whether those that are paid to look after our interests on Council and those who have been paid very well to look out for us on Staff have been derelict in their fiduciary responsibilities. We need to question our representatives and civil servants as to whether in entering this case in the first place it was known that we could not win, and more to the immediate point, whether it is worth continuing in a process that we may know to be both costly and without point.
Ron Bolin, Oct. 26, 2010
For those who wonder where this case went, the following information was promptly provided by Mr. Al Kenning, Nanaimo’s City Manager, in response to my request.
Please note that my reference to shadows was aimed at the court process which keeps “outsiders” to a case on a very short leash, and perhaps with good reason. Upon my request, Mr. Kenning acted promptly. It is to be hoped that, as the citizens of Nanaimo are, de facto if not de jure, party to this matter that future court appearance dates may be made public.
I can advise that Millennium Nanaimo Properties Ltd. have applied to the court to “stay” the City’s action to force this dispute to arbitration. Under the Partnering Agreement there are arbitration provisions however the City is of the opinion that arbitration is not applicable to this dispute.
Please note that the latest information I have is that this issue is scheduled to be heard on Thursday October 28 at 10:00 am in Nanaimo.
From: Ron Bolin [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: October 26, 2010 11:41 AM
To: Al Kenning
Cc: Mayor&Council; Derek Spalding; Toby Gorman
Subject: Court Appearance
Good morning Al:
I stopped by the courthouse some days ago to see about getting a copy of Millennium’s statement of defense/reply. I was told that none had been filed and I didn’t want to pay another $8 just to look at the file again, though I did notice new material. I was told however that the matter was to be in court at 10am yesterday. I dutifully showed up but couldn’t find file 60133 on the daily schedule. On asking at the Supreme Court wicket I was informed that the case had been adjourned last Friday.
On trying to find out when the matter would reappear, I was told that, since I was not a party to the case, the best I could do would be to get up early to look at the daily schedules until I found it listed. You will appreciate my frustration that a case of this significance for the citizens of Nanaimo, i.e. about 4 percentage points on our upcoming property taxes, was so hidden in the shadows from the public, shades of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce.
I would appreciate it if you could let me know when the case will next appear in court. The citizens of Nanaimo are a party to this matter.