Owner of Brink Forest Products in Prince George, British Columbia, files document in ongoing lawsuit against BCR Properties claiming he was repeatedly reassured land he was buying for new sawmill complex was clean
February 17, 2014
(Industry Intelligence Inc.)
– John Brink, the owner of Brink Forest Products Ltd. in Prince George, British Columbia, filed a legal document Feb. 5 in an ongoing action against BCR Properties Ltd. showing he was repeatedly assured that land he was buying for a new sawmill complex was clean, the Prince George Citizen reported on Feb. 13.
Brink’s plans included building a sawmill, a log sorting facility and a pellet plant as well as moving the existing Brink Forest Products facilities to the site, according to earlier reporting by the Prince George Citizen.
The new complex was never built. In February 2012, Brink filed a lawsuit against BCR Properties, alleging the Crown corporation had tried to hide the true state of the land he intended to buy for the complex.
The litigation related to the planned purchase of 100 acres of a site on which the Canfor-owned Netherlands Overseas Mills once stood; that facility ceased operations in 2000.
According to the Prince George Citizen, in the Feb. 5, 2014 filing Brink claimed he only ended up with 62 acres of useable land because the site included a 22-acre landfill he maintains was not disclosed.
Brink contends BCR’s “silence on a critical issue can amount to fraudulent misrepresentation." He further claims in the court filing that a BCR Properties employee repeatedly assured him the land he was buying was "remediated" and "clean," the Prince George Citizen reported.
According to the filing, the landfill is capped and no structure can be built on it, nothing stored or parked on it, and roads cannot be built on it.
Brink is seeking costs for remediation and compensation for 15 years of foregone profits, according to the Prince George Citizen.
BCR Properties has denied the allegations.
BCR Properties was originally created as an internal department of BC Rail Ltd. to acquire and manage land for railway operating purposes, its website states. The real estate operation evolved to have a significant property management and administration function. However, following a 2004 agreement between the provincial government and CN Railway Co. related to the BC Rail operation, the mandate of BC Properties became to effectively and efficiently dispose of the non-railway related real estate owned by BCR Properties and the British Columbia Railway Co. The strategy is to sell commercial properties at market value through competitive processes, according to the website.
The primary source of this article is the Prince George Citizen, Prince George, British Columbia, Feb. 13, 2014.